Friday, April 11, 2008

Bologna revisited

How can I sum up the Bologna experience? The chicken way out is to only recount what I learned from the weekend. I think I’m going to take it.

From Paul Zelinsky, I finally understand why I’m not an illustrator. The intense, almost compulsive (no offence), attention to detail needed to create a final product (in just the right shade) is not something I even imagined, let alone could reproduce. I’m thrilled that there are such talented, devoted individuals out there to illustrate my future books. His excitement was contagious.

Candy Gourlay, as I said below, was incredibly funny and very convincing. Everyone, at the very least, should be on Facebook! And I’m taking those pictures now, before makeup no longer helps me.

Jana Novotny Hunter left me with a feeling of satisfaction. I understood the beauty she was talking about, the way the pictures and words worked flawlessly together. I hope I’m able to create words that an illustrator can bring to life. I really wish I had the art in me.

Susan Fletcher was very helpful. She had terrific writing exercises and more importantly, some reminders about how to add detail and historic facts to manuscripts. Very good tip about grounding your fantasy in reality. Should have already known that one, but it was new to me.

David Saylor likes comic books. Good enough for me!

Kathleen Duey was nothing short of inspirational! Fabulous reviewing tips – for your own work and others. She made me believe that with hard work, I will eventually find success. Don’t worry, I’ll keep on writing while I dream.

Babette Cole was passionate about children and understands them like I do. They love the truth and her books bring them that truth so beautifully. By the end, I was all fired up to save the picture book, the written word and the WORLD!

First Pages was perhaps the most useful session. I guess I never thought one word could make or break you. But, there you go. Big reality check.

Why I loved this book? This was eye opening. Clearly, each editor loved their book for their own reasons. Some for the story, some for the illustrations, some for the combination and some for the concept. It was depressing. It may not be about the quality of my work, but whether I can find a match for it. That may never happen.

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