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report: scbwi-la-2011

How to boil it all down to one blog post?

I tried to do everything. EVERYTHING.

I went to every keynote, breakout and workshop.

The problem? Didn’t schmooze nearly enough.

I did find myself in a quiet moment before the first keynote, and introduced myself to the shy little lady sitting next to me. We chatted–and I found out it was ANNE ANGEL–who wrote:

She won the 2011 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. FUDGE YEAH! She was wonderful.

And I met the lovely and powerful CHERI WILLIAMS in the flesh!

I am telling you, I am buying an island where we can all live together.

Then below: Cheri, Cindy Pon of  Silver Phoenix fame, and Ellen Oh author of the YA trilogy, The Dragon King Chronicles

Tell me, one of these things is not like the others. Perhaps, MIKE JUNG?

I met Debbi Ohi and Lee Wind and Greg Pincus and oh, all SORTS of people, but didn’t really have a chance to TALK to them. There was always another thing to run to, or I was just exhausted.

Next time, I am taking the Red Bull.

scbwi-la-2011: taking all those notes

Another post in the GETTING READY FOR SCBWI-LA-2011 series

TAKING ALL THOSE NOTES

So in-between meeting the hell out of all of you and passing out business cards at SCBWI-LA-2011, there will be workshops/lectures/talks/salons/confabs. And I will need to take copious notes, as I have used up all my memory brain cells long, long ago in a galaxy far away.

I can’t go the old-fashioned route of pen and paper. My hand cramps. I’m too slow. My handwriting is just this side of an earthquake readout. *whine*

While I love my laptop, it weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. *double whine*

But I recently acquired a leetle gadget that I will already be carrying with me…

But gosh. The keyboard is small. If I were Freckles McYoungest, I would have the fastest thumbs in the West. But since I’m not, I will just make do with:

IS THIS THE SPIFFIEST THING YOU’VE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFE???

It’s a bluetooth mini-keyboard. You can sync it to your iPhone 4 with no need of a dongle. I got this Targus model at RadioShack for 39$$. Cheaper than buying a netbook, for sure.

I downloaded Pages from iTunes for 10$. You can make whole documents on your phone with this thing, then send it to your email in a Word document. (Or PDF, whatever.) OH THE HUMANITY.

That tiny little stand came with my iPhone case. I think I’m going to put some foam weather stripping on the end to keep my phone from sliding off.

Yeah. A Life Hack.

OH WHAT NOW.

BABY.

scbwi-la-2011: the business card

Another post in the GETTING READY FOR SCBWI-LA-2011 series…

THE BUSINESS CARD

I plan to meet the hell out of all of you at the conference.

I want to be able to place your names with your faces, and I sure want my name placed with my face. (I think.)

Yes, yes–I have made the decision that I want my name and face to go together.

So I made the monumental decision to put my picture on the back of my business cards. (OH ICK.)

Now, you realize that this is coming from someone who puts up avatars of cartoon characters and dogs on Twitter.

But it is a terrible necessity, and I hope everybody going to SCBWI-LA-2011 is switching to their ACTUAL REAL FACE

on Twitter and their blog, etc. so we can RECOGNIZE THEM.

End of rant.

Now.

ON YOUR BUSINESS CARD:

  • Name (If you can’t get this far, reconsider whether or not you are a writer.)
  • the genre you write
  • any actual job you have pertaining to writing (Remember–this is just for your writing career.)
  • writers’ groups you belong to–LIKE SCBWI
  • twitter handle
  • blog
  • website
  • MOST PROMINENTLY–YOUR CONTACT INFO: PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL

Agents/editors really only want ONE CONTACT PHONE NUMBER and ONE CONTACT EMAIL.

Make sure the phone number is one that you can really be reached at. Not one that will give the contacter the run-around.

And newbies, here is a fact that my dear, sweet friend Elizabeth Bunce gently told me some years ago: Have a professional email address. Your name dot gmail. Anything else SCREAMS amateur.

You do not need your snail mail address. Your social security number. Your date of birth. Your blood pressure.

I use www.vistaprint.com. They have a lot of templates. A. Lot. Or you can upload your own. You can be as plain or fancy as you like, use one side or both. But be careful to not overcrowd your business card. Make sure it’s readable–the type is large enough and contrasts well with the background colors. Also, use pixie dust.

Oh, by the way. Some people have been asking me: why the blue hair?

Are you kidding?

I hate pink.

What about you guys? You got any tips about business cards I have missed? So I can shake my tiny fists in frustration?

scbwi-la-2011: i whip my hurr back and forth

Thought I’d start letting you guys in on the little things I’m doing to get ready for SCBWI-LA 2011. Today…

THE HAIRCUT

You might be familiar with my previous hairstylist’s method:

But since I have been lucky enough to be chosen to attend SCBWI LA I need to look like the YA WRITER THAT I AM. So you will all, you know, recognize me. Once again I am lucky to live in a happenin’ place. Two neighborhoods over, in Westport:

You want a consultation instead of a haircut? This is where you go. Ask for Stephanie. I told her all about why I needed this ‘do and what I wanted to accomplish with it.

HERE WE ARE.

So this…

Then this.

No. You are not seeing things.

Now, you may think I’ve gotten the cut a bit early for an August convention–BUT NAY! There is a reason. Come back Monday, and you’ll find out why.

*ooo. suspense.*

thank you doesn’t cover it

Since our brand-spankin’-new Regional Adviser Colleen Cook announced it on Twitter, I suppose it’s okay for me to talk about this:

I am blessed to have been awarded a Tribute Fund Scholarship by SCBWI

to attend the 40th Annual Summer Conference in Los Angeles this year.

I KNOW!!!!!!!

The best part of the whole thing is how I got the scholarship. Colleen and former RA Kim Peek submitted a letter explaining why they thought I was a good candidate.

I am touched and honored that Colleen and Kim found me worth spending their limited time on writing such a letter. And thrilled SCBWI agreed with their assessment.

Thank you doesn’t begin to cover what’s in my heart.

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