Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Back from LA and the SCBWI Conference

So nice to be home again. I missed my tiny house and huge garden; especially the garden. I also missed the creek that runs beyond the park near my house as I am setting a novel there. This morning I wandered along the footpath that runs along the creek taking notes of bird species, particularly wonderful climbing trees, and the playground equipment at the school nearby. These things will all figure into the story which is about a boy who is chronically late for school despite the fact that it is just down the street. Of course, it's never his fault, even when he gives in to the call of the lonely swings, for just one up up up and then jump ride, or when he falls into the creek trying to find the nesting spot of some ducks. But more on that later. For now, let's just say that one of the reasons I was away was to attend a fabulous writer's conference in LA put on by the SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). If you haven't already read one Sara Pennypacker's Clementine books, you'll want to hit the library or bookstore today. She is soooo funny. And, speaking of funny, I got to see the famous Sid Fleshman, who is also fantastically funny. Be sure and read ALL of his books too. There were lots and lots of writers there, some of whom I've admired for years, like Linda Sue Park who wrote A Single Shard. I also got a chance to hear Susan Patron, who wrote the Newbery Award-winning and hotly debated and much banned, The Higher Power of Lucky. But, there were new to me writers that I really enjoyed as well. One of my favourites was John Green. He writes for teens, but boy did I rush out and buy his books. I'm so looking forward to reading them. I saw lots of other really inspiring writers too, and will probably blog about some of their books on my book blog. One of the things I like best about being a kids/teens book writer is reading all these great books by other authors. If you want to be a writer, it all starts with being a reader. So, I'm off to read another great book. Later, Sheryl

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

SCBWI summer conference

Went to the SCBWI annual summer conference which I would recommend to both established and new writers. My week in LA was quite wonderful despite staying at the not very affordable for working writers Hyatt hotel. Actually, you could tell the writers from the aspiring as most of the writers would trek to the grocery store and return with shopping bags--not from Macies or Bloomingdales, but from the grocery store!

So inspiring to hear Linda Sue Park (Newbery Award-winner and author of A Single Shard not to mention lots of other books) discuss her process with her editor. Talks by newish writers like John Green (Looking for Alaska) who totally blew me away and Sara Pennypacker who accepted a humour award for writing the Clementine books which are wildly funny was a treat. Seeing Sid Fleshman and Susan Patron (author of the heavy banned The Higher Power of Lucky) was pretty cool too, although the autograph lines were just too long to wait in. So, I'm back at my friend's desk in Vancouver, pounding away on the keyboard (figuratively of course. Don't worry Dennis, I'm being gentle, honest) and looking forward to bedtime when I get to crack another new book, some of which I will review soon on my book reveiw blog soon.