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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Traveling We Will Go: Virginia, Washington and NE SCBWI

This past week was action packed. The kids were off for Spring Break so we drove down to the  Virginia/Washington D.C. area to visit family. Remember how painful the drive was last year? The travel gods were with us this year and for the most part granted us a smooth ride. We had only one minor glitch, having to do with the lack of gas when we approached NYC and drove over the George Washington Bridge during lunch-hour traffic in a major downpour. Talk about stress! Though I held it together pretty well and didn't nag or yell at The Husband. No "I told you so's" came out of my mouth. I figured the white-knuckled, wild-eyed look on him was enough. Plus, no need to have the girls freaking out. 

I'm certain The Husband will listen to me next time I suggest filling up for gas.

We had the best time in Virginia. We went into D.C. and hit all the great spots, though the kids loved the National Zoo the best. I took a bunch of pictures. Here's one of the Siberian Tiger. 


We also went to Mount Vernon, which Eldest insisted is the best place ever. If you're into history, this is a fantastic place to visit. Everything from the main house...


to the garden house (Middle One is the leader)...

to the fascinating museum filled with a treasure trove of historic wonders, information packed videos, beautiful grounds along the Potomac River and more. 


If you ever have a chance to go to Mount Vernon, do it!

The kids were sad when we left Virginia on Thursday. I had to get back home so I could drive to New Hampshire on Friday for the NE SCBWI Conference

So, are you all ready for what happened next? Did you skim ahead to get to the good stuff? Have you been ready to yell at me for taking so long to get to the conference part? 

Okay. I'll stop torturing you.

Deep breath.

I had a blast. I was so nervous going in. This was my first conference and even though I knew people who would be at the conference, I didn't have anyone to hang out with and when I'm around a crowd of people, I turn into a wallflower. Which would amuse any of my college buddies and former co-workers, but that's another story.

Okay, so I made it to the conference on Friday afternoon and was just about ready to climb up the walls since I had to wait for my Query Letter critique with an AGENT. I've never sent a query to an agent and wasn't sure what to expect. My heart was racing and I knew I was just going to trip and fall, or drool, or forget about PB, or something pathetic during this moment. 

But, I didn't. Even though I wanted to fall off my chair because the agent had such nice things to say to me. Definitely a BIG moment.

Some other highlights include:
 
1. Cynthia Lord's keynote address: Wow. If you ever have a chance to listen to one of her speeches, you must. And bring tissues. She will bring you to tears and then pick you up with laughter. 

2. Floyd Cooper's luncheon keynote address: Floyd uses a technique called on oil wash on board. He paints a board with oil paint and uses a stretchy eraser to erase the paint to draw his pictures. What an honor to be able to watch his demonstration and hear his story.

3. Great presentations by Jacqueline Davies, Eric Luper, and Jo Knowles.

4. Eric Luper gave me an ARC of his new upcoming book, BUG BOY.


I've just realized this post is getting rather lengthy, so I'm going to stop. I need to finish up some revisions!

22 comments:

beckylevine said...

Yay for a wonderful weekend AND critique. (I'm dying of curiousity about those "nice things." ) And so proud of you for going!

eluper said...

Great to meet you! I hope you enjoy the ARC!

Vivian said...

Thanks, Becky! I'll share more later. :-)

Eric,
It was great meeting you. And your presentation was great! Thanks again for the ARC.

kbaccellia said...

Very cool, Vivian! Sounds like you had a great time!

Vivian said...

I did, Kim! Thanks.

Jeannine said...

Vivian, it was great to meet you and I'm so impressed with your energy -- spring vacation, a conference, and already you're revising. I've, um, just about unpacked and showered. But there's tomorrow...

and I'm with Becky: yay for the "nice" comments. Those always help with revising energy!

Jeannine Atkins

Nowheymama said...

WHAT? What nice things did the agent say to you?? Spill!

Vivian said...

Sarah,
Hee, hee. I must keep the mystery going on for awhile...

Jeannine,
It was great meeting you, too! Thanks for letting me tag along--Middle One read ANNE HUTCHINSON'S WAY a few weeks ago and was thrilled I met you.

PJ Hoover said...

I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time! That's the best!
And I grew up a mile from Mount Vernon! Needless to say, we visited there quite often.

Beth Kephart said...

Overjoyed for you. Overjoyed. May this agent open doors for your novel.

My sister lives down the street from Mount Vernon. It is indeed a wonderful place.

Vivian said...

Thank you, Beth! It's really much too early to know if there is anything, but I now have hope and it is glorious.

Thank, PJ! That would be funny if Beth's sister lives near where you grew up. What a lovely place!

jbknowles said...

Great to meet you, Vivian! I'm glad you had a good time. :-)

Jo

Shelli said...

sounds fun - i love those kind of weekends where all you talk about is writing. congrads on your first agent critique!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I loved visiting Mt. Vernon as a child. It made history feel so real.

And congratulations on the critique. I know how nerve wracking it can be, but kudos to you for taking the plunge.

I can't wait to hear more about it!

Vivian said...

Jo,
It was great meeting you, too! And I must tell you, your new book, JUMPING OFF SWINGS, is fantastic.

Shelli,
Thank you! I hope you have a chance to go to a writing conference soon.

Sherrie,
I read your blog and it sounds like you had a great conference! Congrats!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Wow! Looks like you had two great trips! Sounds like the conference was a good one. So glad you got to attend. SCBWI rocks! : )

MotherReader said...

Glad you enjoyed the conference. Next time you're in the DC area though, drop me a line. I'd love to get together.

Though, of course, you're coming to the KidLitosphere Conference in October in DC - right?

Vivian said...

Suzanne,
Thanks! The conference was great.

Pam,
I'm going to try to make it to the conference. It all depends if I can convince Eldest to celebrate her birthday in D.C. Think I can do it?

Heather Zundel said...

Oh, you are making me miss DC so much. I've been all those places! I've SEEN that tiger! But I'm so glad you had such a fun time with your kids (and they looked positively adorable too!)

Jennifer said...

So glad you had a great time at the conference! And the DC trip too. I;ve been wanting to take the kids there for a while. :-)

Saints and Spinners said...

I'm so glad you had a good time, Vivian. I forget how much fun it can be to visit D.C. and the Metropolitan area because I'd lived there for so long that the shine had come off. But YES, Mount Vernon is a fabulous place to visit. One of the good things about going to grade school in that area was that the world was our oyster when it came to field trips.

The running out of gas story reminds me of so many incidents related to that. I'm impressed that you kept from saying, "I told you so!" It's so hard not to say a variation of that. My husband and I take turns saying, "You're right, you're right, you're right." The thrill of hearing that never gets old. :)

Calliope said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope you'll share more about what you learned.