I am so very tired, and so very inspired.
This whole weekend has been a whirlwind of information and networking, but if I had one word I could use to describe the entire thing, it would be relationships.
It was the highlight of the illustrators intensive, working on empathy in our stories and pictures, making that deep emotional connection. But it did not end there.
I used to live in the city, but I am a small town gal now, and I was soooo nervous about going to New York, even though I was among friends. I thought it would be cold, fast, impersonal... But I could not have been more wrong.
I LOVE New York. People look at you and make eye contact. Strangers always willing to help. Weddings in grand central station. People greeting, hugging, kissing, saying hello and goodbye, smiling... So much smiling. Grand central was amazing. I walked around by myself a few times and just watched... So many people sharing a small small space and it works.
Something else I noticed... New Yorkers are REALLY good at their jobs. All the service was wonderful, engaging, prompt and professional. There seems to be a real pride in doing a good job that permeates all, from the porters, hot dog vendors, servers... Everyone seems to enjoy what they do, even if they don't really. This is not something you see in Canada everywhere... When people don't like their jobs, most want you to know it.
Another thing, walking downtown, I hardly saw ANYONE texting or talking on their phones. When people were sitting together, they were not sitting around on phones, they were sitting and talking together... Maybe it is risky to text and walk in NY, no doubt it is, but it was so refreshing. I have been assured that it is not always like that, but as far as my take of it. This meant something to me. I loved it.
SCBWI is an incredible organization, they put on a awesome conference, with lots of chances to network, party and most of all, learn, hone and celebrate the craft of children's books.
Spending the weekend meeting people I have known online for years, meeting new people and travelling with my friends has been amazing. The energy that exists in a room with over a thousand people that love kids books is... Incredible.
I met Tomie Depaola, Gordon Korman, Kelly light, E.B. Lewis, Roxie Monroe, I SAW Oliver Jeffers, Jon s. And so many other people on a start studded Friday night...
If you haven't joined yet, you should.