I’ve been a SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) member since 2009 and this year I’m going to experience the full benefits of this. Finally!
It’s not easy to pay full membership and not being able to attend any conference, because you live so far, far away, on an island somewhere in the Caribbean Sea nobody ever heard of. Okay, that’s not true. A lot of people know where Aruba is nowadays, but that’s not the point.
The 40th SCBWI Summer Conference! That’s just a few weeks from now, 6 to be exact. I’m excited, and nervous, but most of all grateful. Yes, very grateful. I could never have pulled this off without the support of my family. Do you have any idea what an air ticket Aruba – Los Angeles costs? 1/2 new kitchen? One full family vacation. Those singing classes for my… Never mind. I won’t make myself crazy anymore, I’ve made up my mind and I can’t go back.
The ticket is right here, staring at me and reminding me that I’m investing two book advances in a better chance to succeed as a writer. And because I believe in what I’m doing, I can soothe myself with the idea that no matter what happens in L.A., it won’t stay in L.A. I’ll bring as much as I can back with me. I owe it to the ones I love, the ones who believe in me; to my husband (who will be celebrating his birthday on August 6th – while I’m having a Winks Ball in pajamas!), my eight year old daughter and nine year old son, who will have to miss me for a whole summer vacation week.
I owe this to myself, for all those years of not giving up on dreaming while enjoying the process of writing. Okay, ta basta! I don’t want to get all mushy now. I’m almost ready: early registration CHECK, airplane ticket CHECK, hotel reservations CHECK, writer intensive registration CHECK, manuscript consultation submission CHECK, business cards CHECK.
Will I be mentally prepared for the unknown? Will I be able to absorb it all and digest it properly? Will I be able to translate my words fast enough to impress my future agent or publisher? Will I meet her or him at all? Or, will I stay on that waiting list forever? I don’t know. While reading all those ‘What to do’ and ‘How to prepare for SCBWI Summer Conference’ posts, watching important interviews with Keynote guests, following members… I still don’t know what to expect. I only hope I have a lot of wonderful experiences to share with you when I return from this adventure. So stay put, and wish me luck!
>> Update! Watch my interview with the very talented and sweet writer and blogger Lee Wind at the SCBWI Conference 2011 (beware of the ‘morning-intensives-puffy-eyes-syndrome’ ;p)
Wonderful memories, colleagues, friends and teachers:
Thank you all for an unforgettable journey <3