I was worried about this year's SCBWI conference, I really was. Last year, so many of us were able to head down to NYC, and stay overnight there. Little did we know, that the days of luxurious spending like that might be behind us. Not to worry, I'm not going to add any more of the bleak thoughts on the economy to your day. I got a little worried, though, when Claudia
Gabel, my very first break-out speaker was half-way through her presentation and announced that we could not send our work to her, because she'd just lost her job. I began to wonder what my day would be like. There were many questions about what lies ahead, both spoken and unspoken, as we shuffled en masse toward the door.
Next-up: Jennifer Greene from Clarion. Therein lies the hope. Jennifer spoke for nearly forty minutes about books, elements of good writing, and then...the future. "Everyone knows during these tight economic times, consumers will buy two things: a ten dollar tube of lipstick and books for their kids." Keep sending, she said, keep sending. I had the good fortune of crossing paths with Lin Oliver, whom I love! She brings such fun and laughter to these gatherings. We had a momentary conversation about the mood and tone of so many of the people there. She was worried, I think, about the tone. Lots of pessimism out there.
Me? I'm going with the lipstick factor. I'm not going to be unrealistic. But it doesn't matter. There's nothing we, the little guys and girlies, can do about this big monster they call THE ECONOMY. I've decided...yeah, there was a monster in my closet, and now he's out in the living room. But you know what? No one took away my computer, my ability to eject the words out of my brain, and to play on the page! Jane Yolen herself showed up on the screen...as did Tomie dePaola, The Blue Rose Girls and a whole array of others, but Jane said, "Just get your Butt In
the Chair," and so...I shall. Just this moment, Tommy Lee Jones, in the movie In the Valley of Ella came on the screen and said to Charlese Theron's little boy, "That's how you fight monsters. You draw 'em in closer. You lure 'em in. And you smack 'em down." I'm smackin' that monster down too. I'm using a little hope, a lot of determination...and a big comfy chair, so my butt, and my brain, will stay put.