I participated in risky behavior this past weekend. Because I live cupped in a valley between lots of mountains, I see more sheep than people in a day. But, I want to publish a children’s book and I’ve discovered that one of the realities in the publishing world is the necessity for networking. So this past weekend, I pulled on my big girl panties and travelled to the Society of Children’s Book Writers Mid-Atlantic conference in Arlington, VA. I saw more people on Friday than I have seen in the past six years and that was just the ones I passed on the interstate during rush hour.
Then on Saturday, I spent the day with 300 other aspiring and some “yeehaw I’ve made it!” authors. They were all lovely people. I heard Lisa Yee (a highly published and popular author) speak and listened to agents and editors talk about how to make it in this business. I had my first ever face to face meeting with a delightful agent, who although she wasn’t interested in my book, still made me feel hopeful. I had lunch with a new found friend who gave me the name of her editor at a magazine I’ve been trying to crack. I collected artist’s cards and studied portfolios so I could spiff mine up. I ate homemade pizza on an urban front porch with good friends and watched what appeared to be UFO’s fizzling across the sky. It was truly a great weekend. And, I moved outside of my comfort zone for a while.
As I grow older, I want to be sure to break out of my rut, even though it’s a beautiful one, every once in a while. My grandmother, Nana, was always forward looking and eager for a new adventure. She lived to be 102 and even though she went to heaven to give God some pointers a while ago, I still feel her lively curiosity. Nana quoted Shakespeare to me every chance she got, which guaranteed that I was sometimes a little big for my britches. I’m embarrassed to admit that at ten years of age, I could be heard saying things like, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Nana was also dogged and passionate when she wanted to make something happen and I am trying to channel that confidence. So, Nana, even though my trip wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, I’m not giving up. The world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.
Readers, what have you done lately that caused your heart to beat a little faster?