I'm sure most people (who are members) already know this, but the Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is awesome!
The Western WA region of SCBWI put on a great conference this past weekend and I was so happy to be able to attend. It was a hard weekend for me to miss with my family but I think good things will come from my experiences there.
First, I met a lot of nice people. My roomie was perfect and while she did snore it was in a very unassuming and soothing way. The only thing that woke me up at night were my nerves.
I met another nice lady (who was named after a character in Lord of the Rings - I wanted to do this with my daughter but was vetoed by my husband) and we sat with eachother at most of the general sessions. This was the perfect situation for me because generally I am very shy and having a "buddy" was a huge relief. I did ditch her at lunch on Saturday, because I was wearing tan pants and didn't want to sit on the curb, which turned out to be a good thing because I sat next to agent Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency! I've been told I use too many exclamation points but that deserved one. Let me repeat myself.
I HAD LUNCH WITH JENNY BENT!
She was very nice, and when she recognized my book from the simple statement "I am working on a middle grade, realistic fiction chapter book along the lines of Judy Moody and Clementine," I was shocked. She wanted to know the title and when I told her she said she had read my query and was using parts of it (in a good way) during her breakout session the next day. And then she said she wanted to see my manuscript! OK, another exclamation point, but WOW!
At this point I had two things I felt I needed to confess to Jenny. #1 - I didn't know you could send a sample in for the Query Workshop until I saw a reminder the night before so my query was written rather quickly. #2 - My mauscript isn't finished. She laughed at the first and said you might not want to tell anyone that. She also said sometimes it works better if you just get it out and don't overthink. Good advice. I may use that theory on writing the rest of my book - LOL. She sais "No problem" on the second and to take my time. Phew.
I also sat with two other ladies at lunch, one who I was quite sure I knew from somewhere. She said I looked familiar as well. Turns out she lives 30 minutes from me and we had talked briefly at Barnes and Noble while chasing after our one-year-olds several weeks ago. Small world! She has a very cool blog called The Green Bathtub. She is so sweet to have signed up as the first follower of my blog. I have a small case of blog envy... I love the fonts she has used, her frequent posts, and that she has lots of followers and comments. I don't know where she finds the time, as she has the one-year-old, plus four more!
Baby is up... more to come.