Ripples…One Year Later

Last year I heard the amazing, Bruce Coville speak at my very first SCBWI 2012 Summer Conference. Here are a few quotes from his keynote “Ripples in the Pond: Why What We Do Matters…and Matters…and Continues to Matter”:

“Start ripples throughout the world” and “You cannot know how you’ve affected the world; make ripples anyway.”

Powerful words, right? Every time I hear them, I my heart melts.

I threw my tiny rock in the pond in 2010. That’s when I attended my first ever writing conference, the Central Coast Writing Conference at Cuesta College. I met Children’s Book Author, Merrily Kutner, who told our class that the best thing we could do for our career was to join SCBWI. So I did…

Fast forward to July 2011. My little pebble sat in the pond, stagnant. I longed to make a connection. I gathered up some courage and emailed another local SCBWIer I’d found online and invited her to coffee. I was nervous to meet someone this way, but I took the plunge anyway. We connected instantly. We attended the summer conference as buddies and enjoyed every breathtaking keynote together. One ripple.

A few weeks after the conference, feeling more inspired than ever, I stalked the SCBWI Critique Connections board, anxious to find a critique group in my area. As luck would have it, a new one was forming. One more ripple and then after a SCBWI Schmooze — two more.

This summer I attended the Summer Conference again. This time I had made a few connections. But it didn’t stop there. This year I found my courage. My courage to write. My courage to look inside my heart and will my true self out, the one I’d suppressed for many years.  I spoke with agents and authors who inspired me, hugged me, and nodded my way with eyes filled with a ‘way-to-go’ like shine. It was magical. I met other writers from across the nation. This time, I can’t even count the ripples, and as Bruce said, I can’t even imagine what kind of affect they will have on the world. I felt blessed to have attended this year. My true writing voice is ready to ooze out of my fingertips onto the page. I hope to continue sending ripples outward, that all started with a tiny, stationary pebble.

Picture Book Review: A Balloon for Isabel

Sometimes there are books that touch my heart so much, I can’t help but review them. A Balloon for Isabel  by Deborah Underwood is one of these books. Here are a few reasons why I love this book.

1) It has a clever, witty plot and is an all around fun read.
2) The main character is an adorable little girl named, Isabel. She also happens to be a porcupine who wants a balloon, and for obvious reasons can’t have one. Brilliant.
3) It’s filled with vibrant, colorful illustrations.
4) Isabel’s best friend is Walter. His Dad owns a candy shop. But what does Walter love? Broccoli, of course. What a wonderfully fun detail.
5) It’s filled with ingenious ideas, like the pop-stopper, that will tickle the reader’s delight.

I hope I’ve peeked your interest enough to check out this book. Happy Reading!

(I was fortunate enough to meet the author, the lovely Deborah Underwood, at the LA SCBWI Summer Conference. She is pictured below with goofy ol’ me.)