Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Conference snippets, and ducks

As promised, here are gems from the SCBWI-WWA Spring conference (that's the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Western Washington division, in case you wanted to know).
Ducks... in the pool!
That's the way we do conferences in the Pacific Northwest.

Celebrity sightings!
Author-illustrator Dana Sullivan and the wildebeests showed off some of his book magic.
Richard Jesse Watson encouraged us to question our characters:
           What do they do for fun? What do they think about marmalade? Do they like chickens?
           What would they be like in dinosaur times?
Sketch notes.
Maybe perseverance is worth it. - Patricia Hruby Powell

The writing process is really about revision. - Stephanie Pitts
I'm thankful for the reminder this weekend that writers are more aptly called rewriters.

Don't be afraid to do a bad job. Just jump in and do it! - Laurie Ann Thompson 

Sometimes I mire down, stuck so hard looking for the perfect story.  
I love this permission from author Laurie Ann Thompson to loosen up.
I was smitten with Sarah Stewart and David Small, the author and illustrator team behind the books The Gardener, The Library, The Friend, The Journey. Both Sarah and David are so gracious, their words stirring and deep.

Kazu Kibuishi, creator of The Amulet books, got into writing 
because a high school teacher believed in him.
Thanks to a teacher's words- "You can DO this! You can be a writer!"
he got serious about making stories.
It just goes to show you that words
can transform the entire course of a life!
Yay for teachers! Yay for words!

Speaking of encouragement, I got to enter a juried portfolio show.
Gorgeous portfolios!
Stunning illustrations!
And here's one surprise that blew me away:

{quote from the SCBWI WWA Chinook blog:
A jury of faculty judges reviewed all of the portfolios for our 2017 SCBWI Western Washington Juried Portfolio Show.
           Booster Award winner: Faith Pray
           2nd runner up: Margaux Meganck
           1st runner up: Alexander Mostov
           Grand Prize winner: Tracy Subisak    }

What a gift!
I'm so thankful for this honor.

I am thankful to the lovely SCBWI Western Washington circle
of illustrators and authors.

What a dazzle of people!
I'm inspired by their diligence and heart.


The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Bloom by Doreen Cronin, ill. by David Small Digger and Daisy Plant a Garden by Dana J. Sullivan
Be a Changemaker! by Laurie Ann Thompson
Pickle by Kim Baker
Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi

Thursday, April 6, 2017


It's Spring,
and my creative birds of a feather
flock to Seattle
for the SCBWI Western Washington conference.
It's a bright spot in the middle of the rainy season
as authors, illustrators, publishing gurus, 
and friends alight to sharpen, share, bloom,
and cheer.

I'm thrilled to get to learn from the genius of picture book
duo Sarah Stewart and David Small.
Stewart and Small have created some of my favorite books, including
The Gardener, The Library, and The Quiet Place.

Here's a piece I've been working on for a class I'm taking
with Kristine Brogno, design director at Chronicle Books.

It's a windy whirl of a weekend, with so much wisdom to learn and enjoy.
I'll share some nibbles when I get back.
For now, it's time to gather up my portfolio,

get the lights,
keep my eyes and ears peeled,

 make a wish or two,

and soak it up!


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