Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Notes from the Carolinas SCBWI Conference

Deana and her mentor Lisa Kline
Deana (my face-to-face critter) and me.
I brought a sales copy of Ten Easter Eggs
to show-n-tell at the book signing.
Me and Becky.
Next year we have to get
Butt and Underpants guy
to pose with Becky.

Emma Dryden and me

I have no tidbits to share about what editors and agents want. Zero. That's because I parked my butt in Emma Dryden's class the entire time. If you ever have the chance to study with her, do it. She is a pro! Some of this you all know -- write hot, lusty first drafts. Anything goes. Revise with a cool head. Change it up. Try different viewpoints, voices, formats. I had minor heart-attack epiphanies while I did the writing exercises. I realized I should add a plot thread in the historical. Oh, good grief, do I really need to do this? Esp. after I cut out not one, but THREE plot threads already? You can see why this is both distressing and wonderful all at once. Instead of plodding on by myself, I have some insight into what will make my book better. Now if only the words would magically write themselves :) I think many of us had these moments in that classroom. I loved hearing excerpts of what others were working on and was impressed with the quality of writing during brainstorming.

My roomie Jacqueline and me
Keynotes were fabulous. Linda Ashman spoke about the lessons she's learned from twenty years of writing picture books. I'll share two: cultivate patience. Read and write poetry. I'm working on the first. It's my *word* for the year. Linda is incredibly gifted and of course, by the time I made it to the bookstore, all hers were sold out. I did get a look while sitting in the book signing line. And I just ordered Myra Cohn Livingston's Making Poems.

Carrie Ryan gave the closing keynote. Writers WRITE. Make time for it. Make it a priority. I cracked up over not wasting precious time telling someone on the internet that they are wrong! Ahem ...

I came home to this: key lime pie, some fresh veggies from the garden, and my sweet family. Now it's time to put all that I learned from Emma into practice. I might have a few less hair on my head, or maybe it will turn whiter .. but the writing calls to me. I'm sure some of Emma's wisdom will seep into my future posts, so stay tuned.


Faith E. Hough said...

Sounds like a great conference! When you leave knowing that you have work to do, but you know how to do it, you know it's been a good experience!

Leandra Wallace said...

Thanks for sharing! Love the advice on writing first drafts w/lots of passion. It's definitely the time to have fun!

Mirka Breen said...

I love that you are such a pro, Vijaya. What I mean is that you learn all the time.
Oh, and coming back to homemade Key lime pie makes good fortification for the road.

Evelyn said...

Yay for inspiring conferences!! So glad you could go, Vijaya, and so glad you felt like you learned a lot. Wishing you the best as you put it into practice in your mss. P.S. Your new haircut is cute!

Marcia said...

So one speaker's class lasted THAT long? How great for immersion. As always, I love your pictures.

Becky Shillington said...

It was wonderful to spend some time with you this weekend, Vijaya! It was a fabulous conference, and I am already looking forward to next year. Hopefully I'll get to see you before then--Charleston is just a hop, skip, and jump away!

Carol Baldwin said...

Nice post!

Bish Denham said...

I would so love to be a class with you! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and learned a bunch of new stuff. I'm jealous. :) said...

Sounds like a great conference!