A New Sprout

All I can hope is that around every dark passage there will be some light and inspiration. Inspiration is fleeting and when you find it, you’ve got to nurture, water, and take it seriously if you really want it to grow because if ignored, it just shrivels up and dies. That’s what I’m reminded of lately, after my week with my family in Hawaii and  here at the SCBWI writer’s conference.My family and I peeled in late last night just in the nick of time for the conference. I have to say, just quickly, that we had an amazing time on some of the most beautiful beaches on the big island I’ve seen but it’s always nice to get home and what better reason why. For anyone wanting to write for children this conference it’s an absolute must. For me the best part is making new friends with folks who share the same obsession and more importantly, seeing my own beautiful and talented critique group from the island. (You’re the best.)

Some of the highlights of today were listening to Laini Taylor, author of Lips Touch and the DreamDark series, talk about how hard she finds the writing process, as well as her relationship with the delete key. Boy, do I understand that. It seems the more I learn about the craft of writing the more my finger twitches over the delete key. Like Laini, I think it might be my main squeeze. In addition to Laini,  Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why, also told his amazing twelve-year journey to publishing, the rejections, crazy costumes, and zillions of manuscripts along the way. He was inspiring, genuine, and down right funny. What a ride he’s had.

One of my highlights of the day was listening to author Sundee Frazier’s talk about how to write believable boy characters. She showed a great clip of author interviews on how they created their believable boys and the general theme was that you create them from the inside out, emphasizing their emotions then letting them express them however they would.  She had us do an exercise where we recalled a childhood event that brought up a certain feeling to help us connect with it. Hey, maybe therapy is really good for writing!

My favorite part of her speech was her quote from Art & Fear, by David Bayles, that struck a deep core with me. “In large measure becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your voice, which makes your work distinctive.”

I LOVE that!!  So with that, let’s get out there and express ourselves!


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