Hello Monday!

Sep 12, 2011

I know yesterday was tough for many people. I wondered how to honor the day without giving in to gloom. Mostly, I thought about human strength and resilience. I contemplated how to be a more compassionate citizen (and less of a mole in a hole). I avoided TV as much as possible.

I also thought good thoughts about kidlit writers. 🙂 You see, on Saturday I attended The SCBWI Oklahoma fall conference. Such a great group of people! I always leave these events cheerful and inspired.

It was a special honor to see Kathi Appelt speak. Her presentation on emotion was so unique and engaging — I’m still thinking about the songs and images she shared. She’s a wonderful lady, warm and generous, and I owe her thanks for the use of her projector during my own presentation. (She helped me get set up and everything!)

It also was an honor to sign a copy of The Revenant for her. I mean, WOW! That was a nice feeling.

There was a bad feeling, too, because I’d forgotten to bring my copy of The Underneath for her to sign. In all the craziness of packing up my stuff, it somehow didn’t make it in my bag. I thought about explaining this to her, but it sounded lame –as if I hadn’t bought it yet and was just making excuses.

But I DO have it, Kathi! See:

However, I have another confession about this book. I am TERRIFIED to read it. You know how it’s so hard to read a book or watch a film in which children are in peril? Well, for me, stories of animals in peril are 1000 times harder. But I’ll be brave and read it. I just have to work up my courage. (Dude, it’s a Newbery Honor book and National Book Award finalist.)

One thing that Kathi talked about on Saturday was the power of endowed objects — personal items that have a special power or emotional resonance. (Not necessarily a magical object — the power is more related to memory.) She suggested that, in fiction, it was effective to express emotion through these objects. On Wednesday I’m going to talk a little more about endowed objects. And I’m going to do a GIVEAWAY.

Stay tuned!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

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