I have one word.
SCBWI. or Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. If you're not a member, I highly encourage you to go sign up and become a member now. It's an amazing organization. I just got back from my third conference with them--the LA Summer conference.
Aside from meeting up with 1,234 other authors, you can bump shoulders with agents and editors and do what we love best. Talk "writer talk."
The whole weekend was jam-packed with workshops on how to perfect your craft, key note speakers who were beyond inspiring, and plenty of time to network, schmooze, and learn.
Each conference I go to brings new conversations, connections, insights, and shifts in my own self-perception of what I want to accomplish and who I want to be as a writer. When you meet with other people who have the same passion and drive that you do, and when you're completely drenched in words that overfill the inspiration cup sitting in the middle of your chest, the fire that ignites is enough to carry you for a long while. It's fabulous.
I got to spend time with several writers I've had contact with in the past year--and several of my CP's. And each person was just as I expected them. Amazing. And I only got pictures with some (Jolene Perry, and Nyrae Dawn, WHY didn't we get pics together?!?!?)
But I did get to connect with:
Ryan Dalton and Cortney Pearson: (Ryan who has a fabulous book he's about to query, and Cort who is my number one partner in crime)
Wendy Higgins: (Who is the cutest little person ever! I was bending down in this shot! Plug: Have you picked up her book Sweet Evil yet?)
Liz Briggs and Rachel Searles: (Liz who is probably the smartest person I know and Rachel is just plain cool--and cute Cort again, who was an amazing trooper being dragged around by me 4 months preg!)
Have I convinced you to join? SCBWI. Amazing. Any conferences for you this summer? Any in the future plans?
Red. Head. Out. :D