I went to the 2019 Spring Conference for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators of Oklahoma this weekend. Originally I was planning to not go. I hadn’t even updated my membership, even though I was still doing some publicity work for the group. I was very blah about the whole thing, and I couldn’t seem to get anything published. Writing was at a stall. I wasn’t even going to my SCBWI Oklahoma meetings, even though I’d always enjoyed them. I went to critique group, but it was a big challenge to go.
So I had a dream, and out of that dream came the idea for the novel I am about to begin writing. I was trying to feel more enthusiastic and writers-ly, so I invited the best writer friend I’ve got, Kim, over to talk publishing and stuff. So we hung out and talked, and she invited me to stay with her during the conference (it was in Tulsa). So I went and registered.
And then she texted me that night, super apologetic, that I couldn’t stay with her after all (for a really good reason so it was all good, but I didn’t know what to do then). Rooms were really high, and the idea of driving to Tulsa sounded so gross. Plus, my family were headed into their weekend crisis time, with one child needed rides to one place and another needed to go other places, and the eldest (who can drive) at work so she couldn’t always be there. Plus I had to get stuff ready for the theater in town by Saturday and I had a whole church lesson to get ready for my children’s church class. And there was a ladies lunch after church and I needed to bring food for that and suddenly going seemed a WHOLE LOT HARDER than staying and so I decided to stay home.
I had told our regional advisor that I would work the registration table, like I always do, and so I needed to text her and bow out gracefully. She immediately asked if it was about the hotel cost and I said kinda, but there was the other stuff too, and then she invited me to share a room with her and the ARA. For nothing. Just couchsurf with them. And even though the other stuff was still looming over head I said yes.
And it was great. I rode with Kim and stayed with the leaders. I helped a lot and the couch turned into a pullout and they invited me to eat with them several times and we got a free breakfast and I spent so little money but came away with a lot. The speakers were lovely and so fun to talk to and I got that delicious sense of camaraderie and creativity that descends on one during writing events.
So now I’m gearing up to start the new novel. I’ve been jotting down ideas in a notebook and I’m getting closer to beginning. Usually I have that perfect first line before I begin, and I’m not quite there yet, but I can feel it getting closer. I don’t have the names of the characters yet but hopefully soon.
Anyway, I got busy talking to my mom and looking at social media tools, so I’m going to get done and take care of that. And then I’m going to keep doing my plotting/planning.