I was at the New Jersey SCBWI Conference this past weekend, and it's given me a much-needed jolt of energy. I got some positive feedback about my book, as did my friends Michele and Julie about theirs, but that wasn't all. I've been going to this annual conference for years now, but this year, the sense of community really came together for me. I was able to celebrate with Yvonne Ventresca about her new book contract. I met Jennifer Hubbard and asked her if I could at some later point interview her for this blog, and she said yes. I watched Ame Dyckman graciously accept her Crystal Kite Award. I saw and experienced a lot of people doing some very kind things, expecting nothing in return. And, sappy as it sounds, I kind of felt like I was home.
Since I got back on Sunday evening, I've been thinking about the revisions I need to make to IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY?, as brought to my attention by my critiquers, and I've actually gotten a running start on making them.
And one more thing. In past years, the chapter has held fundraising raffles at this conference, and I've gotten in the habit of setting aside excellent YA or MG novels after I've read them during the year, in order to donate them. This year, as it turned out, there was no raffle, and I completely forgot about my bag o' books until I just happened to stumble across it yesterday. Eureka! What a perfect find! I need to get back to blogging, and here's the perfect way to do it. Here and now, I commit to running a book giveaway contest at least once every two weeks until all those books have been placed in loving homes. So, please! Stay tuned to this blog! I'll try to connect each contest question to a theme running through that book, and the person coming up with the best answer will soon have my gently-used copy of said book winging its way to him/her.