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.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Conference Clothing Angst and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City is this week-end. I am so looking forward to the awesome keynotes and the inspirational talks that I so desperately need right now! I don't know if it's the dead of winter or the post-Christmas exhaustion or the fact that I'm jonesing for the beach, but I always need some kind of pick-up right about now. It's the perfect time for a conference excursion. Also, I am participating in a Writers Intensive on Friday, so I am particularly excited about that. It's so encouraging to meet all the other writers out there who, like me, are working in their own caves every day. It could be my imagination, but it does seem that we're all squinting in the bright lights when we come out of our writing holes for these meetings.

Don't laugh, but I always kind of obsess about what to wear at these things. It sounds ridiculous because ask anyone, I am not one to think much about what I'm wearing. I secretly long to be a writer/illustrator with paint on my hands and in my hair, a random piercing or tattoo, and an interesting hat. These are my people, I always think, and I want to dress like them as a show of solidarity, creative expression, and, I don't know, for the spirit of the whole creative process. But if I wore that, I would feel like an imposter. I mean, I'm not as creative/young/hip as THEY are. Then there's this other part of me who feels like I need to look 'professional' and put together, but when I agonize over an outfit like that, I feel so boring and noncreative. Okay, so now you can laugh when you see me because you know the internal struggle of my clothing choices.

I had such a nice week-end. It was the perfect balance of activity and rest, social engagements (a wonderful dinner party with friends I love) and time at home. I have to confess that I particularly enjoyed Downton Abbey last night, the current series on PBS. It helped mend our broken hearts over the Packers going to the Superbowl. You could hear our wailing for miles, I am certain.

Since my girls now attend school out of town, they have a different calendar than my boys. So my girls had to get up and go to school this morning even though the boys are off today and tomorrow. But they were good about it. I am proud of them and their good attitudes about school. They are great girls.

Part of my great week-end is that I read an AWESOME YA novel, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins. I read it because the talented John Greene recommended it, and I pretty much read anything he ever recommends. I just loved this precious story about Anna, an Atlanta teen whose father sends her to boarding school in Paris for her Senior Year. As you can expect, a teen suddenly sent to a new school (much less a new country!) for her senior year is less than happy about it, and surprisingly I felt for her. (I didn't think I would, I mean, Senior Year in Paris? Hello!) It's a precious, well-written coming of age novel that has just soared this talented young novelist to Sara Zarr-like status in my eyes. The characters are exceptionally well-drawn, lovable and the intensity of her relationships absolutely nails the essence of teen angst. It is a must-read for all you YA aficionados, and an inspiring read for all you YA writers. I looked up the writer after completing the book and to my delight, I found she is a NC author! So Stephanie Perkins, you are now officially awesome in every way. I will look forward to her future work.

Have a great week, everyone.

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