Monday, January 4, 2010

A Rally of Writers

I see the date's been set for the Skaaldic Society of Lansing's A Rally of Writers:
April 10, 2010.
This is a day-long writer conference held at the beautiful and spacious Lansing Community College West Campus.

My writer-husband Charlie and I attended the Rally of Writers ages ago, long before we joined SCBWI. It was great every year, but one year Charlie said we shouldn't return to the Rally until we were published so we'd have something happy to report at it -- you know, that old "I'm not *really* a writer yet, so I shouldn't attend writer events" sort of thinking that those of us with low self confidence wallow in. Plus we had little kids at home; daily life was a challenge.

Getting published took years. We delved into comic strips, satire, self-published mini books. . . and then eventually I joined SCBWI in 2003. A Rally writer kept urging me to join SCBWI earlier but I was bullheaded, impoverished and easily-distracted.
It's disappointing to realize I could have been living my dream much earlier, but I guess every path has value, even the meandering one.
Last year the Rally of Writers folks asked me to present a session on kids' books.
I was happy to do it but didn't expect to find much of use for me, since I have a genre that works for me, and a career, and no desire to branch out.
Boy, was I surprised.
Several of the sessions were of immediate, applicable use. Lev Raphael's memoir talks were particularly fascinating and deeply moving, and I learned a lot about poetry from keynote speaker Gerry LaFemina. If my sketchbook were handy, if I weren't on[line, avoiding a] deadline right now, I'd upload sketches.
Charlie enjoyed it too, and I think it jumpstarted his new writing career.

I'd definitely go back, either to present or to sit in the audience: Two thumbs up for Lansing's Rally of Writers!

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