Frankly, it's been a little relieving to not have to think about art or what I "need" to be doing. This summer was a mental break I took full advantage of. It's also a break that's coming to an end, because I can feel the gears starting to turn, and the urge to create is creeping back.
This past weekend I attended a Picture Book writing workshop with Kathi Appelt. It was hosted by the local SCBWI chapter. It was also one of the best workshops I've been to in a long while. I wish we could have had more than one day with Kathi. She teaches a PB writing class up in College Station, and I just know her class must be filled to the brim. She is a wonderful teacher and if I weren't already passionate about being in the children's literature, she would change my mind for me.
I wish I could share with you all of the incredible wisdom Kathi shared with us on Saturday, but you know, copyright infringement and all-it's serious business. Suffice it to say that she helped to clarify so much for me. When I headed home after the workshop I finally felt ready to take the steps necessary to get those stories circling in my head out.
I hung out after the workshop, and was able to have her sign her novel. (*spoilers*) I can't wait to cozy up with it. I already have one of her PBs but didn't realize it until after I got home-doh!
From what I saw at the meeting, they are a very active group, and try to provide as many opportunities as possible to their members. Unlike Austin, this chapter is mostly writers with a few illustrators. (I hope to take advantage of the writer's critique group soon-by year's end at least.) I made a few connections with the handful of members interested in illustrating after the meeting.
The only downside is that these monthly meetings are about 40+ miles away - I will have to be very motivated in order to attend. The upside is that there is a local critique group that meets on a biweekly basis, so I won't have to drive all the way into town to get feedback on my (future) writing. All in all, I'm glad I went.