Woke up 5 AM this morning for some reason, so I did some reading then took a look-see around Chautauqua to test drive the new digital camera.
Met more friendly fellow writers over brunch and after an hour and a half fighting my intermittent wifi connection/trying to post, I gave up and caught the bus to the BBQ out at Highlights chairman Kent Brown's brother Garry's house.
At the BBQ, husband and wife authors Eileen and Jerry Spinelli interviewed each other. Some highlights: Jerry:Write about what you care about. Readers respond to what touches them. If it doesn't touch you, it won't touch them.
Write down 10 things you care about. You'll get 10 ideas for books.
Your memory is like an orange. You just squeeze it to get the juice.
Ideas are like mosquitoes. They bite you.
Eileen: I grew up years ago, before they'd heard of this thing called "self-esteem".
Her 2nd grade teacher Miss Campbell assigned a "food story", Eileen was convinced the teacher would love her story of a prince and princess eating her favorite foods like mac and cheese, etc. The teacher announces she's gonna read two; the best and worst stories...Miss Campell announces Eileen's as the worst.
"I've been writing ever since... bring on the rejection. I can take it" (spoken just like the fearless character "Stargirl", who Jerry modeled after her)
Finally, The best part of writing? Jerry: Getting a check is good, but...
getting a letter from a teacher in Georgia, who was reading your story to her class before lunch, and had to stop, but the kids protested to the point they skipped lunch to let her finish -- that's better than the check.
Here I am with Mr. Spinelli.
And we end the day with a gorgeous sunset sky over Chautauqua.