Sunday, February 24, 2008

From the Heart

Seriously - where did it go? Ever notice how four day weeks feel four times longer than regular weeks? Between finishing research papers, the Houston SCBWI conference, and a trip to the doctor because of a crazy - how did I get this - spider bite, it's suddenly Sunday and time for another round of it all. And minimal progress made on my latest WIP. But I will attempt to amend that now that I'm no longer spending lots of time going what the heck is that on my leg?

As for the SCBWI local conference, it was inspiring and validating. Got to meet the fabulous Jen Jaeger, who is Michelle's colleague at ABLA. Listened to various Harper Collins folks such as Molly Oneill, editor for the new Bowen Press imprint and Sarah Cloots from Greenwillow, and the very smart Abigail Samoun of Tricycle Press. And for anyone reading this who is just on the starting stages of the adventure that is the road to publication, let me say that they all - in one way or another - reiterate the same message. Revise, revise, revise. We heard of picture books revised 20 times, authors who made deals only after 7 rounds of revisions. And have a thick skin for all the rejection that will come your way and strengthen your work. We also had the pleasure of hearing illustrator Don Tate and amazing author Kimberly Willis Holt, who read from her books and spoke of her journey and generally inspired one and all.

Holt says we should write from the heart. Editors agree. So do I. The WIP I'm waiting to hear about was about as close to my bones as anything I've ever written. And you know, it had a profound effect on me. I hope to be able to speak about all that more at some point when I know what's going to happen with this book to be. But write from the heart is advice I stand by. And when I hear teaching colleagues advise students they're preparing for our state TAKS test to just make something up and it will be okay, I cringe. But that is a topic for another day. Possibly a different blog!

In any case, I came away energized and focused. And that's what was supposed to happen. Made up for those crazy moments when the non-writers in my life tip their heads to the side, give me pitying looks and say, "Oh, you're revising again. I guess you'll learn how to do this eventually." Plus nice lunch and afternoon coffee and cookies, which please me in their own way!

Til next time...

1 comment:

kymbrunner said...

Thanks for the recap - sounds like a great conference. I hope to meet Michelle Andelman herself sometime too! KYM