Tuesday, July 1, 2014

21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference

What a lovely morning!
When I first started writing, my native language was COBOL.  I know that because recently I revised an article that I had written nearly a decade ago.  It was a really nice article, but lordy, it needed work.  Back in those early days of writing, I was a logical, orderly thinker because of my experience designing, coding and testing computer programs.  Given my thought process in those days, if I had known I was such a train wreck, I know I would not have pursued this challenging, competitive field.     

A male mallard duck waddled by the pond
At the 21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference, I heard over and over that back matter matters.  I first heard it from Jason Wells of ABRAMS.  Then I heard it at a lecture by bookstore owner, Jackie Kellachan and Amie Wright, New York City librarian.   I heard it again, when author, Stephen Swinburne spoke.  So, after returning, I spent a great deal of time plumping up the back matter in three picture book manuscripts.  
Ducks were sitting along the edge of the pond.  A turtle, the size of dinner plate, scurried in the water before I could snap a picture.
Saturday morning while I was at the conference, I made my way to the Student Union.  As I walked across the bridge between the ponds, the sun was out and the songbirds were singing in the brush.  Oh, how I wanted to go for a walk, but taking a walk was going to cost me.  It would cut social time and would likely fatigue my freshly sprained ankle.  I looked at the building, then at the ponds, then at the building again.  Thinking.  Pondering.  Deciding.  Was it worth the risk?

Sunday morning, I spotted this great blue heron on my way to the Student Union.


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