Not Unpublished, “Pre-Published”

Posted on 10/08/2012 by

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Yesterday I finally escaped the acid flashback that was Disneyland and California’s hints that it might want to tremble into the sea, and I am now watching the lights of the Vegas strip come on like a neon sunrise.

Looking back from here the SCBWI conference looks like it was a moment of delightful sanity. This is clearly a viewpoint painted with fond nostalgia because I was practically vibrating with the urge to run in six different directions at the time.

This is partly due to the fact that, in what is clearly a bid to encourage imagination, the program isn’t particularly good at explaining what the hell is going on. They toss you a title and a teeny bio on the presenter and you have to figure out what the session might be on from there. With some days running from 0730 to 2130, maybe eight things going on at any one times and fifteen hundred people infesting the conference area a certain live wire freneticism is expected. And that’s without throwing in the borderline insanity that comes with manuscript critiques and portfolio showcases.

I became quite fond of what had originally seemed like an excessive series of keynote addresses. They were beautiful moments were you only had one place to be. And they were awesome. You give a writer some warning and an hour with a microphone and odds on they’ll come up with something entertaining. That’s one of the charms of this kind of conference. But a couple of them really knocked it out of the park. Informative, unexpected, hilarious.

Also, if you ever get the urge to make faces at me for the lengths I go to for my writing or the weird experiments I want to do allow me to direct you to the lady who had herself locked in an ex-Stalinist gulag (prison) in abandoned Latvia where they beat the crap out of her so she’d have an idea of what being imprisoned there had been like. Seriously. I think it’d be interesting to be shot, but I’m not about to pay someone to do it.

I really love the SCBWI community. Not just because they put my own personal insanity in perspective, although that is nice. But for people who most of the time work alone it’s lovely to feel like a part of something. I went to a panel one evening which turned into this giant round table discussion with everyone sharing what they were working on and what questions they had. And they refer to unpublished people are ‘pre-published’. Which is kind of hilarious. But also lovely.

 

Posted in: Kandace, Research