October 28, 2007

A Richness of Writers

A parliament of owls, an ostentation of peafowls, an exaltation of larks, a coalition of cheetahs, a shrewdness of apes. Fascinating and sometimes illogical names for groups of animals. I spent yesterday with a group of writers. No special name for a group like this. Maybe this group can share the name of a group of martens--a richness of martens. (For the record, very few of the writers bore any resemblance to an actual marten, a member of the weasel/wolverine family.)

A richness of writers. Yes. I think that describes the SCBWI Writer's Day crowd gathered at Cal Lutheran yesterday–editors, award-winning writers, newly published writers and desperately-wanting-to-be-published writers sharing information and stories. Lots of inspiration, encouragement and cheerleading. "If you do the verb, you are the noun!" Thrilling to admit to being a writer, even though I was a small whisper during the foot stomping, chanting portion of the event. Every year that I go to Writer's Day I feel less like an impostor.

Later at a post-meeting dinner with Laura and Patty we shared our "take-aways" from the day. Barbara Jean Hicks introduced us to the take-away concept during her speech. A take-away is what the author gives the reader. The thought-provoking response that lingers after the book is closed. I couldn't quite pinpoint my own take-away, but after a night to sleep on it I would say, inspiration and an enhanced desire to write. I aspire to and am inspired by Patty and Laura's intense passion. I can imagine their "Spotlight" presentations at future Writer's Days.

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