Monday, February 5, 2018

Seven Inspiration Highs from #NY18SCBWI

Me (left) at the blogging table with Jolie Stekly, Martha Brockenbrough, and Jaime Temairik (photo by Paul O. Zelinsky - thanks, Paul!)

So I'm back from the SCBWI Winter Conference, and I want to share a few moments that are still resonating for me:

Angie Thomas making the distinction about writing "not issue books, but great books with issues." ...And her awesome rant about how "diversity is not a trend." YES!

Learning the Latin word Anima from Cheryl Klein's masterclass. It means animating principle, breath, vital force, soul, spirit—and thinking about how to best have that Anima come through in my creative work.

Figuring out, with help from Tiffany Liao in her masterclass, what wasn't working in my current YA work-in-progress: the gap in time between the internal climax and the external climax.

After having let it rest for seven months, finally solving the puzzle of a picture book manuscript during Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple's masterclass—it cracked open, and I could see how to reduce it down to its essential moments, and the rest just fell away. (For those of you who write picture books, you'll get the level of hugeness of this when I tell you it went from 903 words down to 543.)

Connecting with so many dear friends...

Hosting the LGBTQ + Allies Social (which feels as important as ever!)

And then, walking out of the conference's Autograph Party, the last person I met stopped me to share something so cool... I don't know her, but Sanne Dufft is an author/illustrator who lives in Germany, and she's been reading the serialization of Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill on this blog—and she's really enjoying it! I asked Sanne if she would let me record her saying it again on video, so I could capture the moment of someone I don't know coming up to me as an author, and thanking me for writing this story...

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,


AHAviews said...

Thanks for these uplifting snippets!

emma d dryden said...

FANTASTIC insights, ah-ha moments, and validation! Cheers to you, Lee.

Ishta Mercurio said...

"Great books with issues" -- YES!!!! Angie Thomas is THE BOMB. And congrats on paring your picture book down, Lee! That's huge! Finding the heart of each emotional beat is such a key element. Way to go!

Thekla Richter said...

Thanks for hosting the LGBT social, Lee. As a first-time attendee at the conference it was one of the highlights for me, too.