The 2014 SCBWI-Carolinas conference was for me, a story within a story. First, the inside story. CRAZY was scheduled to be in the warehouse somewhere around Sept. 20, and the SCBWI conference started Sept. 19. Oh heartbreak, I thought. I am going to miss signing my book at an SCBWI conference by a hair and I will have to wait a whole year. But then I began to think of the “what ifs” like authors tend to do. What if the book arrives early, and I can somehow get it here in time for the Saturday night signing? What if I start bugging SCBWI on this end, and Eerdmans on that end to see if things can’t be adjusted just a wee bit to accommodate my little heart’s desire? What if it IS in the warehouse but FedEx can’t get it here in time and I hire a drone to pick up and deliver it like lickety-split, voila, at your service ma’am?
Well, long story short, I didn’t have to hire a drone. It was in the warehouse on the 19th and Eerdmans was able to get it to my house by 4:00 pm on Friday afternoon
and SCBWI was kind enough to let me slip it in just ten minutes before the book store closed (after a speed-breaking ride to the hotel). Whew! My thanks to Jenny Holt at SCBWI and Vicki at Quail Ridge Books for making it all happen.
And part of the fun was celebrating this event with my long-time writing buddy Carol Baldwin who rightfully calls herself the “Aunt” of the book, since it was her idea to turn twenty poems into a novel way back when.
And then there was the signing. House guest and good friend Gloria Glenn bought the first copy,
and Kami Kinard, author of THE BOY PROJECT and THE BOY PROBLEM, sat next to me and graciously shared the mysterious wisdom of signings while I tried to ignore the fact that her line was longer than mine! (No problem, Kami, I will credit you with toughening my skin early on, ha!)
And then Emma Dryden, THE Emma Dryden of Dryden Books, whose Master Class I was enrolled in and who happens to be one of the people in the book industry whom I most admire, showed up in my line. Needless to say, my first signing exceeded all expectations.
And about the other story, that is, the Master Class that I was enrolled in–I have nothing but wonderful praise. First, to SCBWI for realizing, after all these years, that published authors have a different set of needs on the learning curve than do those who are just starting out. And to Emma, who helped us build worlds we never imagined, characters who yearn to be interviewed, and stories that demand to be revised in unique and refreshing ways.
Carrie Ryan‘s closing keynote just hit the nail on the head. Her presentation chronicling her own writing history was snappy, funny, and totally relevant. But what I loved most was the cadenced repetition woven into her spiel: writers write. Sounds simple enough, but boy, on days like today when you are re-entering reality after a weekend of hard work on the craft, it’s a tall order.
Now, if you’ll excuse me……
Hey READERS, I would love to hear from you.
Is your MIND FULL of old thoughts or new?