Surviving a weekend

So I managed to survive the SCBWI conference in Gettysburg over the weekend. Gettysburg is such a fantastic place. I’d never been there, and can’t wait to go back. The history is heart-wrenching. I went on a ghost tour. I bought a bullet. I found a picture book in the same shop as the bullet only to see that it had been illustrated by someone I’ve admired for years. And then I met that very illustrator at the conference (more on him in another post). I cried during E.B. Lewis‘ keynote speech. An agent saw my portfolio and asked to meet me. What a whirlwind. So many new people, so many new friends, so much to think about.

And so much more to do.

As you can probably tell, I survived my manuscript critique with Jordan Brown (see my misgivings here in an earlier post). He was, despite my fears, terribly helpful and encouraging. I only wish I could have had a recording of everything he said because, of course, I didn’t take notes. He was excited and hopeful about my book idea, which made me excited and hopeful about my book idea.

Now the uphill climb begins.

Turns out I tend to make friends easier with editors at these conferences than I do art directors and agents. Not sure why that is. The problem with that is that editors want me to write stuff (ugh!). Pictures aren’t good enough; they aren’t happy until they’ve pushed me over that ugly, word-laden hill.

So I guess I’m heading toward the next step in my children’s book career. Thanks to Jordan Brown, my next move will be at my computer keyboard writing a novel.

Yes, a novel.

Apparently short stories don’t have enough words. Now I have even more of those steep, torturous word-hills to climb.

Did I mention “ugh!”?

I can do this. Nobody’s ever croaked from writing a novel, have they?

Someone please tell me I can do this.