Monday, April 12, 2010

Back from Seattle!

We're back from Seattle after another amazing SCBWI conference -- this one was certainly a different experience from all the others, since we had Clementine in tow. I couldn't sit in on workshops (though I could still hear the keynote speeches from the hall), and I was busier than usual, since I delivered my first-ever keynote (yeeee! It went well!), plus a workshop on plotting**, plus doing manuscript critiques. I took barely any pictures -- usually I come home with a full camera card, but not this time. And I retired early each evening to settle Clementine to sleep, so there was much less gossiping socializing :-) Still, it was wonderful, and Clementine was a little perfect pie every single moment. She got her share of attention. How could she not?
My goodness.

She was a little bit of a mini-me on Saturday, with both of us wearing green and pink. Totally unplanned, of course, ha ha. Isn't that cupcake dress great? Thank you, mom, for the awesome Baby Boden stuff! (Do they make that in my size?)

Anyway. Sorry. I can't help it. I talk about Clementine a lot. But the conference was fantastic, as always. The Western Washington chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is AWESOME. You can read a summary of the talks and workshops at their website HERE. I recommend this conference SO HIGHLY. Go next year. Go! Even if you don't live in Western Washington. Make the journey. (Hi to the lovely [shoot! I'm forgetting your name!!! Elizabeth! Yes, Elizabeth??] who came all the way from South Dakota!)

For us, it was a mix of catching up with some of our favorite people, plus meeting new-favorite people. Here's where I would usually do a long post illustrated with oodles of photos, but I have barely any photos! Dagnabbit. I do however, have this one of dinner last night:
An unofficial post-conference affair for some of us who hadn't yet scooted off to the airport or freeway or wherever. That is, to my left: Elizabeth Law (Publisher, Egmont USA), Jay Asher (author NYT bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why), Matt Holm (illustrator, Baby Mouse), Johanna Wright (author/illustrator of picture books), front row r to l: Suzanne Young (author, The Naughty List), Peter Brown (author/illustrator of picture books), Paul Rodine (children's book agent), Jaime Temairik (illustrator), and Jolie Stekly (YA writer).

And here are the ladies in pink, Clementine and me with Suzanne at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Wootinville WA where the faculty dinner was held Saturday. Delish.

Of course, we acquired a stack of new books in the conference bookshop (thanks to Secret Garden Books), by faculty members Peter Brown:

and Mitali Perkins:
(I finished reading this last night and it's wonderful. I couldn't put it down!)

I also picked up this picture book by attendees Steffanie and Richard Lorig, who I did not meet. The book is a super-fun read aloud, complete with monkey sounds :-)

**tomorrow: I will give notes from my workshop on Plotting. I wasn't going to. I spend so much time developing my workshops and talks that I like to hoard them for future use at other conferences and events, but I think this is one I will share. So come back tomorrow for a discussion of Plotting Novels.

Ciao! (Now, one of my best friends had a baby last night in far-off Amsterdam, so I am going to be doing art today for a birth announcement. Welcome to the world, Fletcher! You are beautiful!)


Suzanne Young said...

You not only had an AMAZING keynote, you also had the cutest baby in attendance. And yes, she may have been the only baby, but I'm pretty sure she would have still been the cutest.

BTW, I'm so renting Hamlet 2 tonight just for that scene!

Blazer67 said...

I second your comments about the awesomeness of the conference. It was a pleasure to meet you and see your little Clementine. What a jewel! Your keynote spoke to me in many ways. Thanks for sharing your time with us.

D.J. Morel said...

Your key note speech was fantastic. I thought of it this morning when I had the urge to jump to another story. Then I thought: "Sorry, you guys are gonna have to wait for your turn... and sorry I'm such a slow poke."

Thanks very much of the critique. It was a huge help, much more than I expected.

Molly Hall said...

The conference was wonderful, and both your speeches were terrific. Seeing the famous Clementine in person was beyond a treat. She is too adorable to be believed! Blessings to baby Fletcher and his family. Thanks again for all the inspiration. : )

Elena said...

Ohhh.... Clemetine never ceases to amaze with cute shots. Hope you havd a wonderful time!


Myrna Foster said...

Those books look like fun, and I love Clementine's cupcake outfit!

Myrna Foster said...

I couldn't access your post on plot. Did you change your mind?

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Myrna! No, I just didn't get it together yet. Maybe tomorrow :-)

Elisabeth E said...

Hi Laini! It really was an awesome conference. I am still trying to process all that I heard. Yesterday I found Tim Hallinan's website and have begun reading "Finish Your Novel." Good stuff! Your keynote was terrific--exactly what many of us needed to hear. I have decided that Clementine might be the best baby on the planet--she handled herself beautifully all weekend!

Cuppa Jolie said...

To see you and Jim is always such a treat. I will never forget meeting Jim several years ago and him telling me, "You should meet my wife, I know you'd really get along." But, of course! It was a double treat getting to finally meet Miss Clementine and her sweet baby toes. Hugs to all of you.

Jes said...

(big, big love for all things mini boden. did Clementine get the strawberry shoes, too? :) We had a bunny hat just like Clem's for Clarabella last year, but we put it on backwards and called it her 'aardvark ears.' Um. That was my husband's idea. ;)

Debbie Barr said...

Looks like fun!

And seriously, never apologize for talking about Clementine, because she is awfully cute and fully deserving of all the attention you give her. :D

WV: "grarr" tee hee.