After being engulfed by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 38th Annual Conference for four days, I'm recovering... unfortunately.

I have so much to catch up on. Email's galore. Revisions galore. Submissions galore! YAY! I LOVE MY WORK!

Quick WIP Status:
I'm searching for a home for several manuscripts. I pitched one of my prose picture book (not rhyming) stories this weekend and received a personal invitation to sub to Simon and Schuster (***grinning uncontrollably***). During the conference, I received a very helpful critique on my rhyming piano story from the amazing author/illustrator, Dan Santat. Additionally, I am awaiting a detailed critique of my rhyming nonfiction story about a dessert from the lovely Kristy Dempsey, author of Me With You. I'm looking forward to diving in, polishing, refining, purifying, and then sending my babies out into the BIG WIDE WORLD of publishing houses.

I'm used to being pretty tech savvy, so I went through a few withdrawals this weekend when we realized our laptop didn't work, my cell phone broke, Brian's cell ran out of juice (and the charger was in the valet parked car) and I misplaced a VERY IMPORTANT phone number I needed in order to meet up with one of my heroes, the amazing and talented Kelly DiPucchio. After searching and asking around all weekend, I missed her. I'm still recovering from that lost opportunity.

I filled 60 pages in my 70 page spiral notebook with notes and ideas I gleaned from the keynote speakers, workshops and many friends I've met. Thanks to my new friend Mary Hershey, I'll be tackling a very new, very cute and very serious picture book manuscript about my cat. By the way, go here to see a photo of us at the Golden Kite Luncheon.

My most memorable moments on Friday?

*Sherman Alexie's passion for kids and telling the raw truth
*David Wiesner's "It's Alive!" (on inspiration and ideas) and his flying frogs
*Allyn Johnston's comment that picture book authors need to "Let go!" and let the illustrators do what they do best - illustrate
*Melinda Long said her collaboration with David Shannon on How I Became a Pirate took 6.5 years from signing to publication
*Betty Birney shared that "Getting kid's hooked is what it's all about"
*Meeting my PiBos from National Picture Book Writers Week. You can check out photos of our reunion and a video of us attempting to say NaPiBoWriWee on Paula Yoo's web site.

More memorable moments, coming soon... I promise!!! But for now, I'm back to revisions and fine tuning. Oh, but first I need to go check out more recaps and photos posted on The Official SCBWI Conference Blog. You HAVE to check it out. The SCBWI Team Blog kept busy keeping us all informed and entertained throughout the entire conference.