Sunday, July 10, 2011

Restored and Rejuvenated

I did come home restored and rejuvenated from the SCBWI retreat this past weekend in Colorado Springs, even after giving four talks, and twelve 20-minute-long one-on-one manuscript critiques, plus engaging in an evening Q&A session with Linda Ashman, the delightful author who led the picture-book track for the weekend. I felt that my talks went well, and that my critiques were insightful and encouraging, and that the Q&A had some sparkly moments.

I love doing things that I'm good at doing.

So much of my life as a philosophy professor involves doing things that I'm not particularly good at doing. Sometimes I teach material I don't know as well as I wish I did, and I can hear myself explaining it to my students in a way that even I know is confusing. Sometimes I attend a colloquium talk and truly don't understand a word of it. Once I had to serve on a university budget committee where one budget algorithm was explained to us by invoking the quadratic formula - that was a terrible day!

But if there's one thing I do know how to talk about, it's how this particular author goes about writing a children's book. And I think I do have a gift for reading an aspiring writer's manuscript and seeing instantly what works and what doesn't work, and being able to communicate that in a positive, inspirational way.

That's what I did for the past two days. I loved every minute of doing it.


  1. You do have so many gifts, Claudia! And thank you again for sharing them with us! It was indeed a restorative and rejuvenating weekend! - Carol Grannick

  2. Oh, I do wish I could have been there to hear you speak at least once, Claudia! I know I would have been inspired and restored.

  3. Thanks so much to both of you. Carol, I so hope our paths cross again this coming year when I'm in Indiana. And Clara, I love you always!