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Posts Tagged ‘middle grade fiction’

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

This weekend I attended my first ever SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) regional conference in Houston. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was nervous. I thought maybe I was jumping into a place I would not belong, a pond made only for big fish. My fears were relieved almost immediately when I met Caroline walking across the street to the Westin. She told me how scared she was the first time, so she decided she would always find a new person and be welcoming. How great for me. We found a place at a table together, and everyone started chatting and exchanging cards.

I was asked, “Are you an author or an illustrator?”
“Uh, well…”
I said with confidence, “I am an author.”
Then I giggled. “Yes, this is my first time.”

Our first presenter was the illustrator Kelly Light. I fell in love with her. She put us all at ease with her humor and her very real story about her struggle to find herself and live her dream. I was moved to tears by the end. Her first book is adorable, Louise Loves Art.

LOUISEJACKET030

At her signing, she gave out stickers. I wore my favorite sticker on Sunday to have some courage to “Be Fierce…So Feline…So Fantastic!”

Fierce feline sticker on my journal with my fierce feline, Mimi.

Fierce feline sticker on my journal with my fierce feline, Mimi.

Amidst the inspiring speakers and the chatting with new friends, I had an editor’s critique of my middle grade work in progress. My palms were sweaty and my stomach was churning, but I walked in bravely. The editor was calm and respectful. She did not treat me as a total idiotic-what-do-you-think-you-are-doing writer. However, I have a lot of work to do. I have hard decisions to make. Revisions to write. But my work is viable. This work is doable. I will not be sending in a manuscript any time soon. I know I am not ready; however, I am a fish in the pond. I can swim freely alongside the other fish. I am one of them. I am an author.

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