Saturday, August 13, 2011

Comedy of Errors # 3 - parts 1 & 2

It's been a while since I've written about something stupid I've done - here's my latest.

Part 1: I was making my way down the aisle of the airplane, on my way home from the LA conference.  I was behind this really tall guy and, when we got to my row, he stopped and I said to him, "Oh good, I hoped you were sitting near me."  It was all over his face - "this lady is trying to pick me up!"  I quickly told him I just wanted him to put my bag in the overhead bin - that's it!  It was awkward, but at least I didn't have to talk to him anymore.

Part 2:  Wrong!  As luck would have it, his seat was next to mine and, after a few uneasy minutes, we began talking.   As a matter of fact, my friend Meg and I talked to him during the whole flight.  It turned out he was a semi-pro hockey player who was born in Spain, grew up in Canada, played hockey in France and currently lives in LA.  He was very knowledgeable, sweet and funny - plus he was really cute!  During our conversation, he mentioned how Meg's green eyes reminded him of his mother's and how rare green eyes are.  Then I butted in with, "My eyes were green until my late twenties, when they miraculously turned blue."  As soon as the words left my mouth, I wished I could have taken them back!  I sounded just like Kristen Wiig's character, Penelope, on Saturday Night Live!  Then I tried to add more details so it didn't sound like I was lying just to get attention.  The guy, Sergio, said, "Yea, I can see how they could have been green - they're pretty."  He was clearly afraid I'd have some sort of psychotic episode!  I stopped trying to convince them - I was only making things worse.  I was SO embarrassed, mostly because Meg and Sergio were trying so hard to make it seem as if it was a normal thing to say!

In case you don't know who Penelope is, or if you just want to see a hilarious skit, here's an example:

And, just to prove I am not a Penelope - here's a picture of me in 7th grade and you can clearly see my eyes are green!  You know I must be desperate to prove I'm not a psychotic one-upper, if I'm willing to share this picture :-)

Anyone else want to confess a Penelope moment?  Please!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2011 SCBWI LA Conference

Last week, Aug. 5 - 8, I attended the 40th annual SCBWI Summer Conference in LA.  The event was hosted by SCBWI founders Linn Oliver and Steve Mooser and they did an outstanding job!  The lineup of speakers was unbelievable and more than 1,350 people attended!  Here's a list of the keynote speakers (in the order of their appearances): Bruce Coville, Jerry Pinkney, Libba Bray, Emma Dryden, Donna Jo Napoli, David Small, Judy Bloom (surprise special guest), John Scieszka, Norton Juster, Mary Pope Osborne, Gary Paulsen and Laurie Halse Anderson.  Can you believe it?

The annual Saturday night pool party was a slumber party in honor of the 40th anniversary (40 winks).  Here are some pics from the party.

Here I am with my fabulous and hysterical roommates
Meg Flemming, Jenni Bielicki, and Heather Zenzen!
Just a handful of my fellow Illinois authors
(I don't know how Heather got in there)!

I finally met Shellie Braeuner, the first winner of the Cheerios New Author contest, in person.  She's so sweet!  We kept trying to get a picture with our books and a box of Cheerios but we could never coordinate it.  Here's a picture of us at the Friday night PAL book sale.

I had the opportunity to hang out with my agent, Jamie Weiss Chilton, on Saturday night at the gathering she hosted in the hotel bar and again on Monday at the end of the conference.  It's always nice to talk with her in person (I forgot to take a picture with her)!   Jamie and I discussed the great feedback I received from Andrea Welch, editor at Beach Lane Books and Steven Malk, agent at Writer's House - I'm so excited to be working on revisions!

There was a great write-up about the conference on Publishers Weekly - much better than I could have done - so I've linked it for you to read there.