Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gearing up to the challenge

I’m taking on a new role: Local Liaison for Southern Breeze, the AL/GA/MS faction of SCBWI. For those of you not in the know, SCBWI stands for the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. Everyone involved in some facet of children book production either is or should be aware of this great organization.

My new duties include keeping members informed of what’s going on within the writing community locally as well as . . . well, from here to infinity! I need to take responsibility for arranging at least one speaker in the next year to lead some sort of workshop—called a schmooze—but I hope to line up more. It’s my goal to encourage people to meet and talk about the art of writing and illustrating by setting up a regular time and place in which to meet and critique each other’s work. I’m researching the possibilities right now.

This is a job that’s good for me. Although some of my friends might dispute this, I’m basically shy. Put me at a cocktail party, and conversation is likely to dry up like yesterday’s bread left outside its plastic bag. But I have great organizational skills, pretty darn good writing skills, and an association in which I believe. That’s a recipe for success.

We writers and artists so often live within our heads because imagination is the key to productivity. Meeting with other writers and artists allows us to get beyond ourselves and make new friends; and, of course, critiquing may shed some light on what’s lacking within our work—why hasn’t it been published? Because, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that it’s the delightful process of putting something on paper that’s important to us, we all want to be recognized.

After all, what’s wrong with craving immortality?  

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