Monday, April 03, 2006

Pocono? Pocoyes!

(Forgive the subject line; my brain's a little scattered.)

Home now from the Eastern Pennsylvania SCBWI conference in the Pocono Mountains, tired but pleased by a weekend well spent. I met many nice writers (including some who have posted comments here -- hi Kelly, Mindy, and Pamela!) and twice gave my talk "Muddles, Morals, and Making It Through; or, Plots and Popularity," which features lots of thinking about outsiders and survival alongside my hilariously awkward fifth-grade school picture.

Suzanne Fisher Staples gave an amazing keynote speech Saturday morning. Besides being the author of Shabanu and Under the Persimmon Tree, among other fine novels, she served as a UPI reporter in Asia for ten years and took the first pictures of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan! Jose Aruego had us all laughing in the afternoon with his clever and surprising cartoons. Mary Lee Donovan of Candlewick, Mark McVeigh from Dutton, Julie Romeis from Bloomsbury, and Heather Delabre from an educational publisher rounded out the presenters; we all did individual presentations on Saturday, and joined together for a First Pages panel and Q&A Sunday.

I came back with a renewed determination to get stuff up on the website, so watch out for the "Morals, Muddles" talk, a "What I'm Looking For," revised submission guidelines, and maybe even that long-promised FAQ in the next few weeks. (I know I still need to post my Aristotle plot talk from Asilomar, but I'm going to be giving it again in Kansas City at the end of April, so I don't think I'll put it up till I incorporate the revisions I'm sure to make there.)

Lastly, on a purely hedonistic note, we were staying at a pretty, old-fashioned resort called the Sterling Inn. Thus my weekend included massive quantities of delicious food, "Love and Death" on cable, Scrabble with three very kind writers (I won, but barely), and soaking in a Jacuzzi while sipping wine (the wine courtesy of the generous Ms. Fineman). All the traveling and socializing left me a little tired, so I took a long restorative walk through Prospect Park after my return to Brooklyn this afternoon. Only at the end did I realize the irony: I spent the entire weekend in the Poconos, and then went for a nature walk in New York City!


  1. It was a fun time, and great meeting you. I mentioned on my blog that you may or may not have announced a willingness to thrash people at Scrabble, in case Lisa says something about it to you. Cheers!

  2. It was so nice to finally meet you at brunch on Sunday. Unfortunately our interesting chat ended too soon... as did a great weekend.
    Here's hoping that I get to see you again at another conference real soon!

  3. I had a wonderful time this weekend and really enjoyed meeting you. I'm glad you were able to go for a walk, even if it was in New York. There really wasn't much free time to explore the trails during the daytime. I flew in Thursday, so I was able to explore the Poconos on Friday morning.

    I hope we'll get the chance to talk again soon. Will you be attending Rutgers this year?

  4. Pocono? Pocoyes! Pokemon!

    Thanks in advance for posting your notes. I can’t wait to read them.

    The Sterling Inn looks comfortably elegant, and blew away my presupposition that every hotel in the Poconos had a champagne glass hot tub in every room.

    Best thoughts,


  5. Yay! We get the Aristotle!

    I keep trying to read the Poetics, but I keep getting attacked by either the four-year-old or the cat. Go figure.

    See ya in KC.

  6. Hi Cheryl,

    I have a bit of a mental block against posting on blogs but I've been a lurker for too long, so - I'm just gonna do it. Hi! I love your posts and am eagerly awaiting the posted talks too.

    Yay and rock on!
    Joan Paquette

  7. Glad you made it back! And what kind of wild animals did you encounter on your nature walk? :-) I've heard there are some vicious ones out there in the wilds of NY.

    One of these days I'm going to save up enough money to attend a conference. :-) I eagerly (adverb alert) await the posting of your talks.