Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Memorable Moments, continued

In which I wrap up the 95 hours and 58 minutes during which I was not talking to Richard Peck.

Jacqui's Room Goes to SCBWI-NY: Other Memorable Moments

1. I got to see and talk to the editor of my first two books, Richard Jackson, now-retired editorial legend and discoverer of such talents as yours truly (oh, and Judy Blume and Virginia Hamilton). He gave a monumentally inspiring speech, including my two favorite quotes:

On selling books: "It's what they story wants that matters, not the market."

And on text: it is "a sharing between writer and reader through fearfully abstract signals."

Oh, retirement. How I loathe thee.

2. How in love with Bruce Hale am I? A lot. He wears good hats. He gave a great speech, which you can find described here. He invited us to "bring the funny." And he said something that sparked something that poofed a memory into my head that crystallized into this line:

"Rachel Rogan is peeing in my basement."

Which is how my next chapter book will begin. The line, setting, story, main character, and plot fell into my lap with that one spark. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I go to these things.

3. Jack Gantos taking us on a tour of great books from board book to novel with rabid book enthusiasm and laughter. Now, I know writers are not their characters, but between his endearing roughness, mischevious humor and vaguely Jersey accent, well, let's just say Jack Gantos is not UNLIKE Rotten Ralph.

4. On Monday, I had a talk with someone smart and funny who also loves picture books. So often, novels get all the lovin' in the lit world. Monday I got to celebrate the power of a great picture book: 600 carefully chosen words with all the emotion, tension, and story arc of a 200 page book, plus some of the most innovative art around. Yum. You can bet there will be a Respect The Mighty Picture Book moment soon. And before I get to Rachel Rogan and her pee, work has begun in earnest on my next picture book.

5. I would be remiss if I didn't mention all the lovely people whom I saw this weekend, new friends and old friends, many of whose names you see a lot in the comments section here. Thanks for all the smiles and compliments on the blog!


C.R. Evers said...

sounds fabulous!

Colorado Writer said...

OMG. Wish we would have had more time together. I loved looking at your F&G!!!

Jill Corcoran said...

wish i was there with you.
LA here we come.
Thanks for the posts. I am living thru u :)

Tee Brown said...

One day I'll make it to NY. Until then, I live vicariously through recaps. Thanks, Jacqui!


Candace Ryan said...

"Respect the Mighty Picture Book." These could very well be the last words spoken from the clouds on Judgement Day, but it's never too late, people.

sruble said...

What a great recap! When I first started attending SCBWI conferences, PBs got all the love. You barely heard anything about novels. Maybe in the future it will be more evenly split, instead of just one or the other.

BTW, you my day by recognizing me from my cartoon. Thanks! I was in post-conference la la land at the time. Hopefully next time we'll get a chance to talk :)

Ello said...

That sounds awesome! I wish I could have gone! And Rachel Rogan peeing will now be stuck in my head all day long!! Thanks.

Kelly said...

How I would have loved to be there! Love reading about it!
And what a GREAT first line of a book...

Jacqui said...

Glad you enjoyed it, all. I had a great time.

Candace, absolutely. Writers purgatory.

Ello, I'm sorry. But she's stuck in my head now too. And you didn't have to live through it in the 80s!