So Completely Back

I’m back from the SCBWI conference. It was a whirlwind few days but I got to meet a bunch of my Apocalypsies pals, take some great workshops and hear some LEGENDARY people speak about their life and work.

John Green was supposed to be one of them, and he had to cancel at the last moment for a health emergency, which was a bummer. But his replacement was Judy Blume (!). Hearing her talk during an interview session with Lin Oliver was life-changing, tear-jerking and awe-inspiring. You see, not only do I (along with practically every kid-lit writer of my generation) regard her as an early and important influence, but I also wrote a biography about her. So I feel this connection to her without ever having met her. And it’s Judy freaking Blume! I mean, she’s a giant of the genre. A very petite, funny, friendly-seeming giant with excellent shoes.

Everyone (well, my mom and my sister at least) wanted to know why I didn’t get to meet her, but there were 1,300 adoring fans at this conference and I just didn’t run into her at the Starbucks line as I was hoping. But it doesn’t matter, because I am newly inspired and energized from the experience. Sometimes, an almost-sort-of brush with greatness is good enough.

(Also in L.A., I got to eat salt and pepper ice cream. The weather was amazing. They really do serve avocados on everything and there really are people talking about movies everywhere you go. Plus, they have an entire radio station devoted to old-school hip-hop.)

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