Thursday, January 29, 2009


One more day until I'm off to this year's SCBWI Conference in NYC. The economy has certainly had its effect on that small circle of writing friends of mine. Lots of tough choices out there. This year, however, I am so very proud of my two good friends, Ann Haywood Leal whose Also Known As Harper (Henry Holt) will be available in May (mine's on order) and Jame Richards' Three Rivers Rising (Knopf) will follow shortly thereafter in 2010. Yippee! Two more babies over the hump and into the marketplace. 
Ann and Jame are truly magnificent writers, and to my good fortune friends of mine through Pat Giff's writing class. I do believe we own our seats there in the Dinosaur's Paw in Fairfield, CT. (There are only 20 seats in all!) We're dedicated to Pat and to her belief in us along with her knowledge of what works and what doesn't work on the page. There's a pattern and rhythm to her thoughts and ideas and if you stay long enough, you tend to infuse all those little understandings into the fabric of your work. Listening to Jame and Ann's work read aloud by Patricia Reilly Giff has been a little slice of heaven in my writing life.
Every year when the conference rolls around again, whether I'm attending or not, I get that sense of...okay, where am I in all of this? It has not been until recently that I have begun to market my work, and to feel that sense of urgency in doing so. Prior to that, I think I must've thought it'd get out there through osmosis, or even perhaps through the behind the scenes work of some all-knowing book fairy! Now, I've gotten that 'slap in the face' realism, in part, because of the state of the market, but also because I'm surrounded by a great group of friends in writing. We are each other's cheerleaders riding this shaky raft together.  The conference bolsters me through those very cold mornings when it's just me and that blue light of the computer screen. It gives me a hope, a belief  and a connection, which to a writer is everything and much more! For children's book writers and illustrators, this marks our New Year! (And for those who won't be there...it's dinner at Centro, that's for sure!)

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

Have a great time, Gael-- can't wait to hear all about it!

Jame said...

Thanks Gael. I'm truly honored.

I'll be thinking of you guys in NYC while I recuperate from a nasty cold. Have a great time and see you next week at the Paw.

gael lynch said...

Feel better, Jame! I'll try to do us proud...somehow it won't be half as fun as it's been. I will be sure to report in, Jen! I've got my trusty camera packed if anything noteworthy crops up!

Penny said...

Hope you're having fun RIGHT NOW! I wish I could be there with you; stupid stupid money! I'm already saving for next year!

gael lynch said...

We were all together in spirit! I'll share all, don't worry!
It was fun to watch Ann with her 2K9ers!

ann said...

Thanks so much, Gael! You're the best! I can't wait for Saturday!

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