Posts Tagged ‘Jon Scieszka’




SCBWI LA 40th Anniversary Conference-Part 9

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Conferences, SCBWI

This is it!  I’m ready to finish this up and move on.  Fasten your seat belts and get ready for your final SCBWI LA Conference installment!

This is not John Green.  Not a single one.

Nova Ren Suma, Julie Strauss-Gabel and Michael Bourret fill in for the missing John Green. (unable to make it due to medical issues)  I was seriously bummed not to get to meet one of my favorite authors, but so happy for my friend Nova (author of IMAGINARY GIRLS) to get this opportunity.  

I wasnt the only Nova fan!  Every crowd should have an enthusiastic Mike Jung in the back LOL!  (If you’re lucky)
Some highlights from their discussion…
*Nova-When something really scares you, its probably the right thing to explore.  I picked Michael as an agent because he pushed me to grow as a writer.
*Michael-I know that I’ve lost out on clients because I’ve been honest about what my expectations were.
From my own experience, I can’t agree more.  A great fit with your agent is the foundation you need and it will increase the chances that you’ll find an editor who is also an amazing match.
Time for the 2011 Golden Kite Awards Luncheon
We had a wonderful slide show, looking back over 40 years.  It was amazing.  Wish it was posted some place so that I could share it with you

This was dessert.  Everything about this made me smile.

Listening to the speeches of the Golden Kite recipients.  They were fantastic–so proud of them.

A special keynote from the impeccable Richard Peck.  I adore this man.  

Hanging with the Apocalypsies…Emily, Kim, Tamara and Mike.

This is when that big lunch and dessert became a problem.  Navigating the halls in a chocolate coma, I didn’t get to Bruce Coville’s workshop in time to get a seat or a piece of rug.  This picture was taken from the door with my hands up over my head.  The good news was that I could hear him just fine.

GAHHH!!!! Every word out of this man’s mouth is genius.  I’ll try to pick the best ones to share with you…
*Stories happen when a character is forced to make a difficult choice.  NEED DRIVES THE ACTION.
*Use yourself, steal from everyone around you.  Cast the book as if you are writing a play.
*Characters should have…
     -an agenda (theirs, not yours)
     -some inconsistencies (do you know anyone who doesn’t?)
*Plot is what happens when desire meets obstacle.
*If there is no chance to crash if you have not jumped.
Because the universe is fair, and wanted to make up for my inability to even cross the threshold of Bruce’s workshop, I was able to snag front row seats for the final keynote of the conference.  *squee*  While we waited for…drum roll…Laurie Halse Anderson.  We decided to take some pictures.  Guess who joined us?  Linda Sue Park!!!!!

Jodi, Laura, Edna, Amy N., Linda Sue Park, Kim and Amy S.

Then Linda switched out with our buddy Jeff so he could get in the picture too!
Laurie Halse Anderson-DARING THE UNIVERSE
Laurie, means so much to me.  I can’t put into words the effect that she has had on my life, the impact she has made.  The places I’ve dared to go because I knew I had a friend along for the journey.  Yes, because of her I have become someone who dares to disturb the universe.  I love that, I love her and I want a T-shirt that says it!  

Here is what you just can’t miss…
*Art disturbs the universe.  When we create it we make our neighbors nervous and our politicians fret.  
*We gather here to collect our courage.
*Revolutions of the soul are a scary thing.
*If you don’t jump, the wings never come.
*To write is to terrorize yourself.
*When things get bad, just remember, BABY…YOU’RE GOING TO DIE.  Puts it in perspective. Ha!
*It is your obligation to disturb the universe the best that you can.
*In 20 years, you will be more disappointed in the things you didn’t do than the ones you did.
*In children’s literature, we are not competitors, we are co-conspirators.
And here are the best co-conspirators that any of us could possibly have.  *sniff* 
Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser taking a bow after 40 years of love, dedication and brilliance.  <3

Dan Santat signing a book for the boys.

Kim and Dan giving K.L. Going the thumbs up.  (Dan is illustrating her new picture book)
The amazing author/illustrator Marla Frazee.  I adore her picture books.  *heart squish*

No one can blame me for sneaking Jon Scieszka the bunny ears.  He’s just mad because he didn’t think of it first. LOL!

No need to get teary about the end of the conference–yet.  It’s off to KidLit Night at the Pink Taco!!!!

What you don’t know is that we’re hungry enough to eat the table!  (Can you see me leaning in?)

Apocalypsies!!!!  Gretchen, Kim, Emily and Debra.  I love these gals!!!!

We ate.  We hung out.  A few of us even did the Pitch Slam with Mary Kole. 
 It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone.  The conference was amazing, but it was time to go home to the other people we love, to return to our writing, to once again sleep more than 4 consecutive hours and to begin to dream about going again next year.  Ummm and to do laundry.  *head thunk*
I know that these recaps have been endless.  I hope I was able to capture a little bit of the magic of the experience and share it with you.  Because honestly, I wish you’d been there too.  If you have any recommendations for things you’d like to see in future conference blogs–let me know and I’ll see if I can make it happen.  Hope to see you at a conference soon.  :o)

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SCBWI LA 40th Anniversary Conference-Part 6

Filed under: Conferences


That’s pretty much all you heard in the ballroom at this point.  We were all a little bit a whopping load of excited.

Lin Oliver and Judy Blume

I vacillated between trying to jot down every syllable she uttered and just wanting to just sit there and take in the moment.  It was remarkable to hear Judy Blume speak.  This is a tough one to convey properly, it was once in a lifetime experience.  I’ll try to give you a little pice of the wonderful…

*We start the book on the day that something different happens.

*We write children’s books because it is what comes naturally to us.  Right now EVERYBODY wants to write for children–we are so hot.  We went from…”Judy, when are you going to write a REAL book?” To being the moneymakers for the publishers.

*In her 20’s (the early 60’s) she had two kids and a traditional husband who wanted her to be home and perfect.  “The expectations for my life were very disappointing to me.”

*Her life made her physically sick and when she changed it, all her illnesses disappeared.

*Writing not only changed my life, it saved my life.

*Don’t listed to anyone else, don’t worry about who your audience is, because if it’s good–your book will find one.

*(In response to a question) I don’t think about my legacy.  If I thought about all of you when I write, I would be too scared to write anything.  When I die, I’d like a little stone that says…Are you there God?  It’s me, Judy.

*heart squish*

Next up, a workshop.  How can anyone in the world interesting after listening to Judy Blume?  You find some wonderful folks to make you laugh.


Libba gave excellent advice and I’ll give you a few awesome tidbits, but as I’m reading over my notes, I can’t help but be disappointed because I couldn’t capture her wit on paper.  So be warned, Libba in person is unlike anyone you’ve ever met before and I mean that in the very best of ways.

*Read as far and wide as you possibly can.

*Feel free to read the mediocre and the bad–it will make you feel better and it’s instructive.

*Writing should cost you something.

*Question the assumptions, stereotypes and pop-culture.

*Revision is my only extreme sport.  :o)

Now we must follow funny with more funny…


Oh, I have not laughed this hard in a very long time.  Seriously.  And once again, I can not support the high level of hilarity with my notes.  As I look over my scribbles, I’ve realized that after the first comment, they are practically illegible.  Just funny, little tidbits that relate to a well, crafted humorous stories.  I’ll prove it to you…

*I got a masters in fiction writing, which qualified my to paint apartments. Ha! (Swear, this is the only one that will make sense.)

*Writing skinny books with cool covers.

*Tipping hat to Frog and Toad. Cowboy and Octopus–two weirdest best friends ever.

*Slaughter Ball.  Boys-“Yeah!”  Girls-“Why would you do that?”

*Oh, sorry mom–I think we broke Greg.

*3yo-Alzheimers patients on acid.  Everything is a little freaky and then it starts all over again.

*This stuff is not rocket science folks!

Trust me–just laugh.  I know what I’m talking about.

If you’re back on Wednesday…Norton Juster.  You don’t want to miss it.  Just sayin’.

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