So, this past weekend I went to the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI which, incidentally, the people over here in the UK pronounce as “Scooby” which never fails to amuse me in a “if it weren’t for those meddlesome kids!” kind of way) British Isles conference.
I went primarily because I was participating in the Mass Book Launch because my book (Cat Girl’s Day Off — remember that one? have you bought it yet? If not…why not? It’s totally out there waiting for you to discover a TALKING PINK CAT…) came out this year. I also went because writing is this weird solitary occupation wherein you lock yourself inside your head with a bunch of non-existent people and SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE (especially people who do the same thing because they understand that you aren’t, in fact, completely insane).
And I met tons of people. Which was good, since I went in really only knowing one (Tracey Mathias). I made some new writerly friends and actually got to put some faces to names (Ah, Facebook and Twitter).
It was fun. Actually, more fun than I thought it would be. And energizing in that I came away from it with a clearer idea of where I need to go and what I need to do for my career. You know…that thing wherein I want to write books and have people buy & read them. Repeat. That thing. That thing I’ve kind of been avoiding this year.
I’ve got plans now, peeps. And some direction, which I have sorely been lacking. I’m kind of a weird writer…I actually LOVE deadlines. I LOVE revisions, especially editorially directed ones. I haven’t had either thing this year and I’ve missed them. With a vengeance. There’s been other stuff too (health issues which seem to have finally turned a corner, taking the summer off to be with The Max, moving house, etc., etc.)
One of the things I’d already started working on before the conference was getting together a group of writers for at least one day a week for a mass orgy of writing at The British Library. Happy to say that’s progressing along well and I’ve recruited many more willing word-slingers to come along. There’s something about sitting around a table with other people all doing the same thing you are to make you…well, make you not fritter away your time doing “research” on the Internet. It’s also just good to get out of the house sometimes. Now that Max is in full time school things are starting to MOVE.
So perhaps soon some more news, though I’ve got nothing else I can report right now. Other than that:
a) Celia Rees is quite gracious and entertaining;
b) Debi Gliori was unexpectedly funny;
c) and writing conferences have LOTS of cake.