How often, do you suppose, have you fallen into a rut? Even when trying to be creative, do you find yourself slipping into familiar routines and say, meh, the writing or artwork is good enough?
Whoa boy, let me tell you. If you were feeling that way before the SCBWI-WI Fall Retreat, you left feeling like a new person. Superhero-ish even. There’s no way any uninspired, humdrum, or worse, corrosive thoughts could creep into your creative sphere that weekend. And if you haven’t yet made it a part of your creative journey to connect with others at a conference, I’d highly suggest you do.
Wisconsin’s Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Fall Retreat was meant to be an antidote to stifling routine. This years theme was “experiment and play,” and what a great thing to do to help us create. I was incredibly honored to give three presentations: how to slant the truth through an unreliable narrator; how to bring back the thrill of creating (in case the joy’s become a grind); and using art as inspiration.
Anyone who knows my writing knows that I love a good unreliable narrator. I could talk about that all day. I didn’t, though, to allow attendees time to work on their writing prompts. See? Proof.
And we had an open, dynamic talk on how to banish the blahs. Author Melissa Gorzelanczek not only inspired everyone during her talks, but she came up with the idea of Journey Stones weeks ahead of our workshop. I designed a hundred.
YES to your journey! YES to challenges! YES to bravery! I think the attendees liked them. 🙂
My final presentation really revved my engines. Author Valerie Biel and I talked about the gazillion ways we creative types use other art for our inspiration. I’m talking literature, visual arts, music, theater, or dance. I’m big into the visual arts, and there’s no shortage of it referencing mythology, so I was absolutely in my element. Here are a few pictures I shared: me hanging out with Cupid at the Milwaukee Art Museum and then imitating Bacchus, the god of theatre and wine, at the Louvre. We’re buds, ya know.
Silvia with Cupid and Bacchus
And again I made a little memento: crocheted bookworms. I hope they crawled their way into someone’s heart. 🙂
Silvia’s Bookworm Bookmarks
Others got artistic, too. Check out these handmade bags for the faculty, made by the “Freakin’ Happiness Fairy,” Author M.J. Diem. And can she rawk a tutu or what?
M.J. Diem and that *gasp* gorgeous bookbag
Oh, and the talks. And the amazing guest faculty (Lin Oliver, Mary Amato, Carol Hinz, I’m looking at you!). The cruise. The book title contest. Yes, yes, yes, and yes!
Keith Pitsch, me, and Valerie Biel