Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

This past weekend, I once again ventured to Los Angeles for the annual SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) international Conference. The biggie. This go around, I had roommates and a few Facebook and Twitter contacts, so I wasn’t quite so on-my-own, stranger in a strange land, as I was last year. For this, I am very grateful. Going alone once gives you a lot of headspace and your own bed, sure, but having a little group means you can being in multiple places at one and not have to have your meals alone.

Diandra Mae, Melinda Beavers, and Jennifer Meyer are all very talented ladies and introduced me to a lot of fine and talented people. One in particular was kind enough to ask to see my not-a-portfolio portfolio and offer me her suggestions. I was delighted and handed it over. From what I hear, she’s spot on with her assessments and she didn’t disappoint. In fact, she dove right at one of my biggest fears and allayed them without knowing it! “Don’t lose your lines.” This is my number one fear when moving on to a finish, because, well, I have a serious love affair with sketching. There’s so much energy and life in sketches and I worry about the finish looking dead by comparison. She suggested minimal cleanup of construction lines and then working from there. I instantly felt a huge sense of relief. It will be fun and interesting to see the results in the coming week. Thank you, Kelly Light!

There’s more that I want to share, including some of my favorite quotes from the the speakers I heard and books I’ve seen, but I’m still recovering from having done so much in so little time, with little sleep and modest food. Come back in a day, or two for that. For now, I’ll leave you with this:

“Never write on an empty stomach. Use paper.” -Dan Gutman

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