Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Last Week

Last week was extremely busy. It started on Monday with the Jewish Book Network's Meet the Author Day. On Tuesday, my last packet for the semester was due. Wednesday and Thursday were BEA, and Friday was a day of rest. And boy, did I need it!

The Jewish Book Network's Meet the Author Day was more like Meet the Author's Hour. It was in NYC, which for me is only a quick drive away, but, of course, traffic was horrid going over the George Washington Bridge and down the FDR Drive. But being compulsive, I'd left myself enough time and wasn't late. The day consisted of 25 children's book writers who had written Jewish themed books, giving in a 2-minute presentation through which we were to "sell" ourselves and our books to members of the Jewish community who might want to invite us to their synagogues, JCCs, day schools, religious schools, whatever. There were 25 of us and we went in alphabetical order, so . . . you got it, I went last. After an hour of sitting in a hot room with my anxiety climbing the wall, I finally got up to speak, but I had no voice. I then proceeded to have a coughing fit. I was given a drink of water and told that 5 seconds had been added to my time (all in jest of course). I have no memory of what I said after I drank the water. For all I know I spoke in tongues. After the presentations were over, we got to schmooze with the attendees and had some lunch. All of which was quite nice. Then I drove home and, of course, traffic was horrid up the FDR Drive and across the GW bridge.

On Tuesday, I had to send in my last packet of work to my VCFA advisor. I did so with mixed feelings. Part of me was thrilled to be finishing what was a challenging but productive semester, and part of me was sad to be ending my work with Alan Cuymn. Alan had been a demanding advisor. He encouraged me not only to revise the opening of my wip, but to start it over fresh for every single packet (there are five packets). To say that I was sick of the opening of my story after this semester would be false. Alan forced me to slow my writing process down, to really hook the reader in the opening few pages, and to set up the story properly so that most readers would have no problems believing the premise I was creating. Alan's comments and suggestions were right on and with every rewrite the opening got stronger and better. How could I be upset with such an outcome?

Wednesday was Book Expo America. I have never been to one of these before. If you have never been, you should. What an experience! It was held in the Jacob Javits Center. The place was filled with publishers from around the world hawking their wares and thousands of librarians, teachers, writers, editors, publishers, and people who love to read wandering around. It was overwhelming, fascinating, claustrophobic, and thrilling. I meet several fellow VCFA students, including my roommate Kathleen Wilson . We wandered through the booths gathering a stack of ARCs. Yes, the publishers do literally throw books at you as you pass. I gathered a stack of ARCs I am anxious to read (see photo above), the first being Infinite Days by fellow VCFA student Rebecca Maizel. It was a fun and exhausting day. So exhausting that I couldn't go back on Thursday. After everything else going on that week, I was done.

This week is filled with my usual life. And next week we are going on vacation! The whole family - our daughter, her fiance, our son, and his girlfriend. I am hoping it will be relaxing. I'm bringing a stack of books I intend to read just for fun without a highlighter in my hand. Then I'll come home and get to work on all the readings I have to do before the July Residency. No rest for the weary.


  1. The writer's life is incalculably more complex and full than it was when women started writing for children. How would Beatrix Potter have handled the schedule you just described. "Peter Rabbit" might never have been written!

  2. I need a nap after reading about your week! But it's exciting and energizing to be in the thick of the action, isn't it?

  3. I hope I didn't sound like I was complaining. It was a GREAT week and I feel lucky to have had the experiences, exhausting as they might have been.

  4. Meg,

    Wow - what a week ! The BEA sounds great. I attended several years ago with my illustrator of GARDEN STATE. It IS huge, hectic and, as you say, thrilling.


  5. It never ceases to amaze me how life sometimes conspires to squish multiple important and exhausting events into a few days.

    And then there are weeks of dullsville.

  6. I'm looking forward to a week of dullsville!

  7. It sounds absolutely exhausting and amazing all rolled up into one! Hope you have an equally lovely down time.

  8. Nelsa, it was wonderfully exhausting! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. What a whirlwind. It sounds like a lot of fun to me. But then again, so does napping. Doesn't it, J.A.?