Win - Win Situation

 No! Really! It was! My entry for the poster showcase at the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference last weekend in Fitchburg, MA won TWICE! Not once but TWICE! Excuse me for bragging, but you got to celebrate these things. Cynthia Leitich Smith (keynote speaker) said so. Celebrate everyday! So I am. Goodness knows you need something to keep you going when you look in the rejection drawer.

So what I won was - 2nd place in the People's Choice, and 3rd Place in the published category. (Beaten to 1st place twice by the gorgeous and very talented Robert Squire and Jennifer E. Morris. So how cool is that??

Anyway, here is said poster (yet again, I am sure everyone is sick of it by now!) Prints available - email me!

Alright, enough of the bragging already.

It was a great weekend, with lots of laughs and learning and knowledge shared. I got to sit and chat in the Quiet Room with Cynthia Leitich Smith, Toni Buzzeo and the beautiful and funny Jennifer Ward. How awesome was that! (I know I am becoming more Americanized by the minute. Well it can't be helped.)

Saturday night was a riot, dinner with several illustrator/authors including AJ Smith, Melinda Beavers, Jennifer Meyer, Teri Weidner, Jennifer E. Morris. Got to say things got a little noisy (hey, you think I incited it??). I practiced signing arms (you can't start too early) and was famous in my own mind for at least 5 minutes. I was famous on Twitter for an evening too. And I don't even Tweet!

Seriously (and now and again I am), the workshops were excellent. Cynthia Leitich Smith gave two great keynote speeches. I attended Marlee Frazee's workshop ... such beautiful work and an inspiration. She and Allyn Johnston gave a great lecture also.

Sunday was Illustrator's Academy - a small workshop with 24 attendees ... lead by David Costello, Matt Phelan, Yolanda Scott and Ann Scott. Lot's of good info on how art directors and author/illustrators work together, a portfolio review and dummy review. Excellent. To say nothing of the song and dance act ... REALLY with a ukelele and Kazoo.

So that is enough name dropping. I came back to the attic with much inspiration-o and determination to do good things.

Meanwhile, still have not finished Share the Bear ... SOOOOOOOON! (Note to self: Must do better.)

And as if I haven't had enough jollity and fun this week today we are off to Quebec City for a few days break. The sun is shining and blue skies so it will be nice to have some R&R. Camera and sketchbook are going along. I even have hopes of roughing out an MG synopsis. Depends on the wine consumption I expect.

I did get some more work done on the Owl book ... here's a moonlit scene ... only 5 more after this spread.

Right! I have to pack and take doggies to kennels and organize 'im indoors.

aka The Wacky Brit.

PS. Favorite conversation on the week. On returning items to Walmart:
"What do you have?" asks little old man who has to give me extremely important label to stick on items.
"Shirt and sweater," says I.
"Shirt?" he says. Pause."What was that second one now?"
"Sweater." I repeat. He looks at me blankly.
"Nope." and shakes his head.
"Jumper?" I offer hopefully. He looks at me with a startled glance. This was a mistake, and I remember I am in an alien culture and must speak in the native tongue.
"Cardigan!" Now we are really in trouble. He looks at me warily. (It really IS a cardigan!)
He moistens his lips. 'Is it a sweatshirt?'
Sigh, I give a 'kind of' nod.
"I know!" he says brightly, 'I'll just put down TWO shirts and we'll call it good!"