A Writing Blog About Playing Around with a Story Line in Different Literary Genres and Categories
Writing Leap #36
Close your eyes and think of an event in your life. A visit with a friend, an outing, a dream or a daydream. If you focus on your highlights of the event, the moments that rush at you to be remembered, you may discover small gems that will inspire your writing. A feeling, a detail, a setting, a snippet of dialogue can all show up, transformed or not, in your writing projects.
So writers, if you like, list your highlights and let them set off some creative ideas.
The Story Line is: Moments that Stick
My highlights are from an SCBWI writing conference I attended this past weekend in New York. SCBWI is short for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the international professional organization for writers and illustrators of children’s literature. I’m listing five highlights but I could have listed twenty-five.
1. Big Highlight. Co-founder of SCBWI Lin Oliver’s warmth. What is it about Lin’s heartfelt persona that creates an atmosphere where 1000 writers and illustrators can each feel encouraged, delighted and so happy to be sitting where they are? In a ballroom laughing (she’s very humorous) feeling grateful for her passion for our craft. Inside the cocoon of her savvy know-how I floated happily from author to illustrator, sharing writerly thoughts and experiences with my “writing tribe” as Lin calls us.
2. Little Highlight. The big nine inch square shower head in the hotel. Lovely, long delicious waterfall showers where I first imagined this blog post.
3. Big Highlight. Writer and speaker Kate Messner’s keynote. Oh the writer’s angst. “I’m not good enough. Everybody else is getting it right. Too many manuscript rejections. Failure.” No, No, she said. Showing up to write is an act of courage. “Fail fast” and dance on. Savor that private moment to celebrate finishing a sentence, a paragraph. I found myself wiping tears off my cheeks. Don’t be so emotional Cynthia. But to the left of me, the right of me, in front and behind me many creative souls were wiping tears too. Kate Messner touched a deep chord.
4. A Little Highlight but memorable. Mashed potatoes served in a martini glass. Who could resist that? Lots of toppings; gravy, bacon bits, cheese, something green. Like a mashed potato candy store. Would it be piggy of me to go back for seconds to try more toppings?
5. Near Disaster. Little Highlight but really Big. “Uuum, uh,” a fellow writer glanced at my dinner plate from the buffet. She looked at my decent sized scoop of brown rice next to my sliced turkey. “Do you realize that is hot, spicy mustard?” I saw myself sinking to the hotel lobby floor gasping for my life.
Happy Writing Everyone,
LINKING THE ARTS
Another Highlight: The SCBWI Bookstore, tables piled high with books from members and presenters. Exciting browsing time. Scanning titles, flipping pages. Buying way too many books.
Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver and illustrated by the treasure Tomie de Paolo
by Nikki Grimes
A daydreaming child destined to be a writer. In verse.
A Great Word
Belonging: As in feeling connected to those with the same passion.
An Illustration that, to me, evokes belonging.
Dusan Kallay, Slovak Children’s Books, Bratislava, 2008