Saturday, November 07, 2009

Posted by Laurel Garver on Saturday, November 07, 2009 2 comments
Last night, we took our small person to meet some favorite authors at kid lit event in Haverford. This place was so packed, we could barely squeeze in the door. This is the sort of scenario I usually avoid like the ebola ward. But to my great delight, one of the first faces I saw was the newest addition to Milestones Critique Circle, Kathye. She gave me a huge hug and promptly marched us directly to her friend, Judy Schachner, author/illustrator of the delightful Skippyjon Jones books. While C. watched in wide-eyed awe, Judy whipped up a quick sketch of her story's protagonist and signed with a flourish. When we pulled out a somewhat dog-eared, well loved older title, Judy graciously did the same. After whispering her thanks, C. nipped into a corner of the store, layed open the custom-signed pages and savored these special drawings made just for her.

Our early success, thanks to Kathye, gave us the extra courage to press through the crowd in search of two-time Caldecott medalist David Weisner. He adorned C.'s copy of Sector 7 with a cute anthropomorphized cloud that greeted her. More wide eyes and wows.

A couple lessons really hit home in this experience. First, exploring the webs of relationships around you will lead to good things. And second, if put yourself out there just a little, the rewards snowball. I got to have this wonderful experience with my kid because I attended a $10 writer's workshop offered by a local magazine last summer (which someone in my church network had alerted me to). There I met the Milestones Critique Circle coordinator, who invited me to visit the group. I nervously went, and found surprising welcome there. Meeting Kathye, and through her, Judy Schachner, is only the beginning of the good things to be found knowing these great women, I'm sure. In time, my webs of relationships may prove useful to them, too.

I know most of us who write are introverts and a bit neurotic. I carry the additional baggage of being the "pesky" youngest of five kids. Believe me when I say putting myself out there to connect with other writers feels like returning to the junior high cafeteria with my shoelaces tied together. It's important to remember that most other writers feel exactly the same. So mumble that hello and see where it leads.
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2 comments:

  1. Now, you're going about the networking in RL. I'm working on it in cyberspace. Seems both approaches are helpful, eh?

    Plus, that sounds like a very nice night with your daughter. Congrats, and here's hoping your networking leads to bigger and better things!

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  2. I agree networking either in person or in cyberspace is the best way to connect with interesting people in our field.
    But the highschool cafeteria analogy couldn't be more true for me too.
    My hope is that it will get easier every time we try.

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