Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Post-SCBWI Conference Frenergy*

*Frenergy - frenetic energy, as defined by Laurie Halse Anderson, as in the frenzied feeling we all seem to experience at the SCBWI Conference. I like to think it has a dual meaning of energy gleaned from being with friends. Because I certainly absorbed a lot of that kind of frenergy this weekend.

Ah, memories...

Pre-SCBWI Conference Karaoke Night, in which I learned I am best suited for 80s songs sung by male vocalists...

Early evenings spent hanging on the hotel patio with the Circle of Awesome (now featuring: a fire pit!)...

Acting the tap-dancing fool in a homemade tutu at Saturday's Black and White Ball (I'm the one in the captain's hat)...

 Oh yeah, and acting professional and networking and stuff.

Somehow there aren't any photos of that.

Anyway, it's back to real life after 4 days of soaking up inspiration from industry luminaries, hanging out with old and new friends, and, in general, receiving affirmation that I'm in the right place in life. That's right, the SCBWI-LA Annual Conference is over and it's back to cleaning the litter box (read: working from home).

By the way, here's a picture of a unicorn:

No, not a real-life unicorn, though that'd be magical. It's a picture of my postcards, of which I have ONE left, and I guess that's only because I had left it at home to show my husband. As pathetic as I may sound by admitting this, strangers' willingness to pick up a free piece of art is one of the most concrete ways I've been able to measure the success of my images, since we don't receive feedback from the portfolio showcase. So the fact that they were all gone by Saturday evening is quite affirming.

The even better news is, I've already received quite a few emails from people asking me to illustrate a picture book for them. *fist pump*

The not-so-good news is that they aren't editors or agents. To explain, on day one of learning about the kidlit biz, I learned that one of the hard and fast rules is that you don't illustrate a book before you get a book deal unless you're willing to do it just to get paid up front, with no expectation of further momentum. But still, FLATTERY!!

And maybe some of these people have huge platforms and are committed to putting their feet on the pavement to make sales.

And maybe while my other projects are percolating amongst industry professionals, it wouldn't hurt to get a little more practice.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I have so much writing and art of my own that I want to share with the world, (plus that old litter box needs cleaning), I should probably stay the course with my current 5-year plan by finishing my middle grade novel and querying agents with my full range of offerings.

At the end of September, it will officially be five years since I took my very first picture book class at UCLA Extension, and was advised not to query agents until I had a least four projects under my belt. Well, with four completed picture book dummies (none of which I've discussed in any depth on this blog, as I'm superstitious), a slew of other PBs in the works, a YA novel, and a in-progress MG (middle grade) novel, I'm almost at the end of what I hope is the prepublished chapter in my origin story. Heh.

I'm ready to come out of the gate flying!

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