Thursday, August 18, 2011


First things first! The winner of the DAMNED ARC is Margo! I'll be emailing you with details...
Now, I've had several people ask me to give my thoughts about the conference. I know there is already so much out there about the phenomenal speakers and content. 40 years! Just look at that dessert above from the Golden Kite luncheon. It was truly an amazing time. The sheer number of icons had me absolutely dazzled and in awe. So I'm going to share a few of these people with you and what they mean to me.

  1. Judy Blume. How can I even begin to describe what it was like to be so close to THE Judy Blume? The woman was so gracious, so kind, so intelligent, and so very REAL. The first novel I think I ever read was Are You There God? It's me, Margaret. I remember that special feeling of being entirely wrapped up in Margaret's world. I loved it. I loved it so much that I never stopped reading and seeking new worlds with new characters. Hearing about Judy's process and journey was inspiring beyond belief. 
  2. Norton Juster. The first fantasy book I ever read was The Phantom Tollbooth. It was also the first book I ever read more than once. I had the opportunity to tell Norton Juster that, to which he looked me dead in the face and replied, "Fantasy? That's my life." How can I not love him? How can I not love a book that's remained AMAZING after 50 years, and that my own son loves just as much as I did? I think I might have to go read it again...
  3. Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak. She gave voice to difficult subject matter that may make some uncomfortable, but saves lives on a daily basis. At the conference, she taught me to embrace my creative need for self-expression, and to nurture the "seed" in my soul. 
  4. Donna Jo Napoli. Her speech was possibly my favorite. And that's really saying something as I gave more standing ovations than I have in my life. It was titled: How Writing About Terrible Things Makes Your Reader a Better Person. And she spoke to not just those who need to see others who've gone through similar things, but to the sheltered who benefit from exposure to truths beyond their own. 
  5. Libba Bray. I saved my favorite for last of course. My hero. Her speech was just as amazing as I hoped and so was she. Funny, intelligent, friendly, and talented. Libba - I would have voted you Prom Queen in high school. I'm just sayin'. She let us know that even the super stars go through rough times, and are plagued by self-doubt. 
Okay, have I gushed enough? You asked and now you have received, my friends. My own personal highlights of the conference this year. I could have kept going too! I mean Richard Peck, Gary Paulsen...


  1. Gah, that's awesome! One of these days I want to make it to the NY or LA conference. One day ...

  2. Oh that sounds so cool! And the dessert looks DELICIOUS!

  3. I'm so glad you decided to do a post on this, Lisa. I loved experiencing these fabulous authors from your POV. It's been a couple of years (or more) since I've been to a pure writer's conference, but I felt that same rush and inspiration reading along here! :-)

  4. So cool! I can't wait until I get to go to conferences, but right now school's just too oppressive. Yes, that's my word. Oppressive. :)

  5. That sounds amazing. I'm with Bethany Elizabeth; I can't wait to go to one!

  6. Meredith - at least the Florida regional conferences sound like a lot of fun! I have a good time at ours too.

    Jess - IT WAS, I dipped the berries in the cream inside the book... YUM

    Susan - :D I'm so glad!!

    Bethany - Oppressive! How sad. :( I recall school for the most part being fun. :(

    Kelley - You should! It's a great experience if you can manage it. I know it's pricey though.

  7. You're such a Diva! <3 (loved that story)

    It sounds like the whole event was amazing, inspirational, crazy, fun.....

  8. Wow, that's some lineup! I wish I could have been there with you!

  9. WOWWWW!!! that was one seriously star-studded conference. I am going out today and rectifying a huge lack in my life: the Phantom Tollbooth. It's been on my TBR list for a while, but shame on me for not getting to it yet.

    Excited about winning the book! Thanks for hosting that giveaway!

  10. Julie - YES I too love that story. AHEM. :D

    Heather - Sometime maybe!

    Margo - You can't go wrong by reading Phantom Tollbooth.

  11. Wow, what an amazing time! Just being in a room with all of those incredible writers...the creative energy must have been bursting out of the window cracks :)

  12. Absolutely fantastic.
    Judy Blume and Laurie Halse Anderson under the one roof? I would have exploded with joy.

    Conferences are wonderful. listening to the speakers and attending workshops always sets off lightbulbs in my brain.

  13. Jess - It really did feel that way!

    Dean - you should go sometime.

    Ebony - That would have been messy. :D

  14. I had original planned to go to LA this year, but ended up going to NYC for the RWA. Sounds like I missed a great conference. :(

  15. Sometimes with so many terrific authors it's too hard to write a post on highlights!

  16. It was a constant state of being in the presence of greatness at the conference. The writing bar is raised and inspiration abounds.

  17. I love, love, love that connection with accomplished writers, to see that they struggle just like we do. So inspiring.

    And that DESSERT?? Seriously, I had to stare it a while to realize it was really an edible thing, not just a work of art.

    Sigh. Maybe next year...

  18. Stina - And yet I missed RWA, so I guess we're even!

    Laura - It IS hard, that's why it took so long.

    Leslie - I'll keep jumping, until my knee gives out anyway. Then I'll crawl over and drag a ladder...

    Susan - I KNOW I felt guilty taking a bite of it. The coolest part was that it opened like a book. Do you think the whipped cream inside was a statement about my writing? LOL!

  19. Thanks a bunch for sharing!!! I'm glad I didn't miss this post.
    oh and that desert... :D

  20. So inspiring! I love SCBWI conferences and definitely want to make it out to LA next year.

  21. Wow, just wow. I got to hear Laurie Halse Anderson at my very first conference, before I even knew who she was. Speak is one of my favorite books. I'd love to see her again now that I've read her books. Libba is one of my favorites, too. Sophie was partially inspired by her Gemma Doyle trilogy, actually.

    You must feel so inspired now!