Childish Nonsense

Exploring Children's Literature

Thankful for November

on November 1, 2013

Robbie415087Thank goodness I’ve surrounded myself with wonderful and inspiring people. Writing really is such lonely business that we often forget there are thousands (millions?) of other people going through the same struggles we are.

Once again, I’m participating in Picture Book Idea Month, the brain child of Tara Lazar (www.taralazar.com/piboidmo) I know for a fact that Tara had no idea (get it?) what she was getting into when she decided to challenge her fellow writers to come up with at least thirty picture book ideas during the month of November. She regularly mentions how surprised she is at the number of responses to various posts on her blog. Face it, Tara. This is a GOOD idea. You have fans!

So, I’m off with a bang. Four ideas in my notebook so far and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Meantime, I’m still working on that middle grade novel and that nonfiction project too. Yay!

Last Saturday, I attended the annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic region of the SCBWI. Many thanks to Ellen Braaf and the other wonderful Virginians and Washingtonians.

I attend an awful lot of conferences and they often blur together in my mind, but there were several things about this conference that made it memorable. This conference regularly sells out, so there was no surprise that the room was packed. There were three main “talks.”

Editor Frances Gilbert from Doubleday reminded everyone that you have to tell your story. And remember that the current trend does little for the author whose book won’t be in print for at least several months. But I learned from her that Doubleday is currently revitalizing its children’s market. Very, very good news.

Author and all-around good pirate Mary Quattlebaum talked about character and how it affects story arc, motivation, and scenes. Her exercises involving motivation gave me some insight into a character I’ve been working with for years. One finds inspiration in the strangest places and at the strangest times. Latch onto it when it hits!

Keynoter, author Cynthia Lord, talked about how her award-winning book, Rules, got published.  I’ve heard some of this before, but it was well-worth hearing her current take on it. Like a fourth grader, my favorite part was where she passed around her Newbury Honors plaque for all to make a wish on. See, her wish was to BE a Newbury author. Now she can share the magic with others. Thanks, Cindy!

The editors and agents were also great. Good job, Mid-Atlantic!

So, on to the task of writing good literature and stuff.  🙂

P.S. Why post the picture of my cairn terrier, Robbie? Just because I can.

 

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