I grew up as an Air Force Brat and have lived all over the place. But in all my travels, as a kid and as an adult, I had never been to the Pacific Northwest.
That changed a few weeks ago when I flew to Redmond, Washington for the SCBWI Western Washington Conference.
The main reason I wanted to go was to meet my critique partners Elise Murphy and Michele Thornton. We've talked on the phone and Skyped several times but had yet to meet in person.
It was a great trip. When people saw that my name tag read Maryland they did a double-take. That's a pretty long trip. Six hours. Oofa. But it was worth it.
A few of the highlights:
Jay Asher's keynote speech: How to Sell a Book in Twelve Years... or Less!
I missed this at the NYC SCBWI a year ago so I was glad to finally hear it.
Mitali Perkin's speech about moving to America from India, a stranger in a strange land, and how her love of reading allowed her to find her own place in the world. (With a lot of funny anecdotes along the way. Her slide-show was hilarious.)
Laini Taylor's speech on Plot. Brilliant. That is one talented woman.
Agent Edward Necarsulmer's speech about his role as an agent. By the time he was finished, everyone in the room was talking about how great he would be to have on their side.
And what was REALLY cool, my crit partner, Elise Murphy, along with a few other writers, was called out and given recognition for...drumroll...The Most-Promising Works-in-Progress category!
How cool is that?
It was a great time. I didn't have a chance to see much other than Redmond, no down-time at all, but it was a great conference.
Now I just need to get them to come to the one in DC!
Uh, I'm serious.