Monday, October 03, 2005

A wonderful day of books...

"Books invite all, constrain none."

Saturday was a day and a half. I went to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Editor’s Day. It was scream into your pillow cool! I met so many interesting people that I don’t know where to begin… It was one of those days where I think the World looked down on me and thought, “Let’s see how many clever people and wonderful ideas we can expose Marilyn to before she implodes into a happy drooling puddle of bliss.”

There was Nina Hess who is the senior editor for Mirrorstone. They put out a fantasy series for young readers called Dragonlance. I was very excited because I’m sure the boy will kick them back like shots of root beer. She was also lots of fun to talk to... I get very gleeful when people are making boy stuff. They do Pokemon cards, D and D. I wish schools would realize how good these "games" are for imagination, math skills, interaction and a hundred other things. (more ranting about this later...)

Another speaker was Ben Shrank. He is the editorial director for Alloy Entertainment. They put out “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” as well as other teen girl books. He gave some good suggestions on “voice” vs. “story” so now I’m hopped up ready to write more Toymaker’s stories.

Rachel Griffiths from Arthur A. Levine Books read us some amazing children’s books. Really funny ones, blow milk out your nose funny, not the “little teardrop that cried” sort of thing that gets sent home in plastic baggies for the boy to read for homework. (They also publish those Harry Potter books that you may have heard of… something I didn’t realize until I got home.) Rachel gave some really helpful suggestions on children’s book writing, which I am hoping to put to good use in the upcoming hospital/mouse book that I’m working on.

Janet Sweet was another children’s book guru that had the scoop on writing books for real kids, not the ones that you sort of remember from Spielberg movies. The three words that she said that would get the attention of every emergent reader are… (Drum roll)

1. Underwear
2. Fart
3. And the ever popular… poop

And the cool people kept on coming! A very nice man named Mark from Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop read a short little story about a monkey’s birthday party from this book.

If you like sick and twisted stories with a junior high level of “sick” and a genius level of “twisted” then stop reading now and go to Amazon and BUY THIS BOOK. Each little story is sour and biting. You will thank me.

Roxyanne Young gave a bucket of tips on Internet marketing, which is fast becoming my hobby. She was great! Her website is Lots of good stuff there.

I also got to sit at the artist table at lunch and got a pile of good ideas from the other artists.

And because my brain wasn’t full enough yesterday I went to the Orange County Book Fair. It’s small and free and involves kids on a stage dancing, storytellers and cotton candy for a buck but I did buy a couple books. I’m excited about reading this one….

There was more and it will take me days to sort through it all. Dissolving into puddle now.


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