Ever so slowly, almost imperceptibly, I began to wonder if I was fading into my background, becoming unnoticeable by those who once knew me, shrinking from the three dimensional person that I once was into a thin flat shadow of an existence of my former self. A thin vapor, like a whiff of smoke scattered with the slightest of effort by a quiet breeze, wafted my essence away into eternity, and I longed for the days of my youth where the anticipation of my future danced and glowed in front of me with hope, life and desire. Was the magic in my life gone? Was this the reason that all of my latest endeavors took so long to be accomplished, if ever? Not only did all of the doors of opportunity seem closed, they appeared to have become increasingly scarce and vanished as I wandered through a maze of halls of my life. I felt so lost and wondered if I would ever find success again.
As I reflected upon my life’s path, I realized that my muse is not disingenuous, does not give despair or torment but only goodness. My stories are not meant solely for my entertainment . They are meant to be shared. I feel that I’m much like the reluctant dwarf in the movie “Willow” who finds a human baby and is given the task to find and give the baby girl to a responsible person.
I am reminded that no matter how difficult the process or how tedious, I must forge ahead with my children, my stories and deliver them to their proper audience.
Attending the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (scbwi) winter conference last weekend, Jan. 28 – 29, 2012, was a real treat, definitely a rewarding experience. Of course can one have a bad time spending a weekend in Manhattan?
The keynote speakers addressed an easily amused audience that laughed at every other line. The most intriguing aspect of the conference (for me) was a feeling of goodness and brotherhood that emanated from the audience of over 1,300. Obviously, we were there to learn how best to interface our creations into the publishing world but there seemed a curious air of kindness that floated throughout the room. Perhaps the friendships made there would be more that momentary.
The informative breakout sessions were quite amazing. Cheryl Kline, Executive Editor, Arthur A Levine Books, (Scholastic) intense workshop, based in part on her book, Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, touched on the process revision. It was so intense and informative that I would have expected a weekend seminar necessary to gather the wealth of information she presented.
Ari Lewin, an executive editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, talked about Fantasy Fiction. I found her to be one of the most gifted presenters/teachers that I’ve encountered. Instead of simply lecturing on the possibilities of Young Adult (YA) and middle reader’s approaches to fantasy she lead a hands on approach deciphering YA passages thereby discovering professional writing techniques. Very cool!