It feels like Monday to me since I've been out of town for a few days. I attended the SCBWI Carolinas conference in Charlotte this week-end. My best writing pal, Jody, joined me there from Ohio, so it was a fun AND work time. My husband stayed at home with the four children which turned out to be a particularly exciting week-end for him and everyone else involved. One major paper, two soccer games (one travel game), a tire blowout, sleepover with ten ten-year-olds,shuttling everyone everywhere from football games, red box, church, youth group and six stitches later, I came home from the conference owing my husband big time.
Alan Gratz, author of BROOKLYN NINE, SOMETHING WICKED (contemporary retelling of Macbeth), SOMETHING ROTTEN (contemporary retelling of Hamlet), SAMURAI SHORTSTOP, and his upcoming FANTASY BASEBALL (looks incredible!) gave one of the best writer talks I've ever heard. It's also encouraging to hear someone else go through the agony of draft after draft of a novel until you figure out just what's not working. And the inspirational part is his final result is always outstanding. Laurent Linn, the art director at Simon and Schuster, gave two great presentation with lots of fascinating visuals about the process of illustrating and cover design that gave me new appreciation for all those art directors out there. Alvina Ling, senior editor at Little, Brown, spoke on literary and commercial fiction and the process of acquisitions at her publishing house. Liz Winiewski, editor at Dial, spoke about the top ten questions editors ask themselves when considering an author. Candice Ransom, author of 114 books for children, spoke about the Chapter Book market. I could go on and on... but one presentation that really inspired me was a presentation by marketing specialist Shelli-Johannes-Wells. She spoke about the importance of branding and then websites in particular. Many attendees gave raving reviews about the ease in which they had created their own websites, suggesting particular resources online, books, etc. So I thought, I'm not a complete idiot, I'm reasonably computer-savvy, I actually already own my domain through godaddy. Maybe it's time I bit the bullet and got my website up. So on the way home from the conference, I picked up the Website for Dummies book that someone recommended to me. (and I wasn't offended, really) I gathered all my information and last night once the kids were in bed and my DH was watching football, I snuggled up in bed with my computer and an organized tool kit. I was ready to start the process. Now no part of me expected to really DO anything last night, but I wanted to check it out, start the process, figure out where to go and what to do on this site, etc.
Long story short. Turns out I will need to take a class or something to even start Websites for Dummies. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say the evening ended with me googling prices for website designers AND a ChitChat facelift. So that's something.
In all my driving this week-end, I heard this one annoying commercial over and over and over again on XM radio. It is driving me crazy, especially in light of all this WAITING FOR SUPERMAN school stuff (more on that soon). So here's the commercial, tell me if you've heard it. It's for My Baby Can REad or something like that. The mom giving the testimonial in the commercial said she just put the video in and plopped her baby in front of the television. She really didn't even think about it. AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH.
Okay, HELLO, people! You plop your baby in front of something (BTW< The plop just drives me crazy. You 'plop' mashed potatoes on a plate, you don't 'plop' a baby!) At any rate, even if she settled the baby---she put this child in front of the television AND it was something she didn't even think about??? At a time in the child's life when he or she is like a sponge, ready to absorb all the lovely things in our world like NATURE (hello--outside!) and other children (hello--socialization!) and loving attention (hello--caregiver affection!) and books (reading in the lap is such a precious time...). Do children learn to read from an emotion-less television screen or because they associate reading with snuggle time with mom?
Deep cleansing yoga breaths. In. Out. In. Out.
Needless to say, I hope I never hear that damn commercial again. It's making me crazy.
Hope you all have a wonderful day. ALL the new picture books I posted are awesome reads for you and your family. Please do NOT 'plop' anyone down with these books, pull those sweet children into your lap, kiss an ear, tickle a tummy and share the wonder of books in an interactive way. Reading is delicious pleasure that your child can enjoy his or her entire life with memories of your loving affection.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.