February's Inspirational Quote

"One Hour at a Time"
~ Laurie Wallmark.

Dear Laurie,
You might not recall saying this and perhaps I won't remember the specifics but you are our inspiration for the rest of February and maybe even March.

You and I were on the phone and talking about how hard it is to write a novel and as usual I was whining and feeling sorry for my long-a$$ journey. And you told me about how you were working and how busy you were so you wrote your novel one hour at a time. Astounded I said, "You wrote your novel one hour at a time?" And you said, "Yup." And I thought, "Wow... ... ..."

Often times we think we need - or I think I need - huge chunks of time set aside so I can write. Do you do that too? What if we gave ourselves one hour of each day? If it turns into two, well then fine, but if not, at least you still had your One Hour at a Time. So that is the motto of the month, thanks to ours truly, Laurie Wallmark.

We love you, Laurie!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Still Reeling from the NJ SCBWI Conference???

NJ SCBWI RA, Kathy Temean with Jerry Spinelli and his Stargirl, Eileen Spinelli

It was so wonderful to see so many of you representing HCCWIG at the June conference this year (we've added the I to our name for all our Illustrators out there, btw) .

I thought it would be really fun to open up a session at a time to discuss here in the comments section. After I feel we've had a scintillating enough discussion, we will move on to another session, etc.

So please, DO NOT FEEL SHY. We want to hear about your experience conference-goers.

So let's start with Friday - Jerry and Eileen Spinelli. What an adorable writing duo and so down to earth and not full of themselves one bit. They could have said, "We're gardeners," with the same amount of non-egotism then we are multiple award winning authors...
For me my top three take-aways were...
  • when Jerry said he doesn't do rewrites. He begins each day by reading yesterday's pages and then writes forward and repeats until the end. And only then will he read the whole thing. I loved this because it validated for me my process - well at least the reading of yesterday's pages and then writing forward. I have read and re-written my story countless times and I still haven't reached the end. But hey, maybe I'm a Spinelli in the making...

  • when Jerry said, it is a different market now. Writers today are smarter about their craft so it is harder to break in. (I don't know if that made me feel relieved or like throwing up!)

  • and when Eileen read her book aloud to us. I was moved to tears!
  • Oh and (I know I said three, but...) the fact that I probably have one of the coolest end-of-school-year gifts to give to my daughters' teachers - autographed Jerry Spinelli books. How cool a gift is that for a teacher?!

So what about you? What was your take-away from that session?


Jeanne said...

I agree - they were just the most wonderful couple. I, too, loved Eileen reading that story aloud and was very touched. I also was amazed when they shared the number of rejections they'd each received on specific projects. That Eileen received so many rejections on one book after being published so many times gives us pause ... even if you're famous your story may still not be what a particular house is looking for at a particular time.
I loved hearing how they shared their works in progress with one another - what a team! They were a really terrific pair to have as speakers.

PJ Hoover said...

Oh, I wish I could have been there! It sounds like you guys have an amazing conference!!!!! Wow!

So I guess I have nothing to comment since I wasn't there, but I'll second the sentiment that it is so nice to meet down-to-earth people!

Sheri said...

I agree Jeanne.

I know PJ - you have to come to our conference next year!

Pat Koelmel said...

I, too, enjoyed the opening session with Jerry and Eileen. It was fascinating to hear their story ... how they met and how they began their careers. I was spellbound. It was also encouraging to hear how both Jerry and Eileen faced rejection at one time or another. I believe for Eileen it was Hero Cat ... rejected 19 times before it was finally accepted. And Kathy Temean facilitated this session beautifully.

Sheri said...

I agree Pat and to hear that Eileen still gets rejection slips even at her stage... Very interesting and promising...