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This must be the year of the conference for me. SCBWI-NYC, WISCON, ALA and now (drumroll, please!) the SCBWI-Wisconsin Fall Retreat.

Let me say up front that, while I am completely prejudiced in favor of the Wisc. SCBWI chapter, this was one of the best events I've ever gone to. With editorial faculty like:
 


(L to R) Abigail Samoun of Tricycle Press, Krista Marino of Delacorte, Lauren Hodge of Little Brown



and  Karen Kohn of Carus



 PLUS the so-side-splitting Lisa Yee (and her traveling companion Peepy), the chicken chick herself, Tammi Sauer,



and the smart-and-sassy Marsha Qualey, how could it be anything but brilliant?



And, of course, with the Dynamo Divas themselves--Miss Pam Beres (left) and Miss Judy Bryan--at the helm, you know you're in for a wild ride (one with plenty of wine and chocolate).

Other people far more coherent than I have posted about the actual contents of the retreat elsewhere, so I will go my own way and post the top 10 things I learned. A-hem:

10. Tammi Sauer does not walk around in that chicken hat. Can you believe it? That was a complete surprise to me. I mean, who wouldn't walk about in that lovely headgear as much as humanly possible? It's so, well, chick.



9. Lisa Yee's Peepy needs a pair of stilettos. Badly. Note how Lisa has to cover Peepy's bare little piggies with a hand (below). I plan to rectify this sad stiletto gap ASAP.



8. Feed a Peep some Wisconsin cheese (or make her wear it on her head, as above), and she will make every attempt to remain here in the Dairy State. And, if caught, she'll lie about it and insist that the ARA of the Wisconsin chapter tried to kidnap her. For shame, Peepy. You know Judy Bryan would NEVER do that. Right?

7. It is very easy to spot a writer who just experienced a positive critique from an editor or published writer. They bob along about 3 feet above the floor with an angelic grin plastered on their face. And then they drink a boatload of wine. (And yes, Thelma, I'm talkin' about you.)

6. Never take just one of Roxanne's homemade gingersnaps from the bag on the snack table. They will be long gone when your body starts screaming for more. It's worse than heroin withdrawal. I mean it.

5. Editors have a life outside of publishing. "WHAT?" you screech. It's true. For example, Abigail Samoun keeps bees. Yup. It's a fact.

4. It's important to follow M.J. Diem around as soon as she arrives because that big cardboard box clutched to her chest contains CHOCOLATE! And not just any chocs. This year, she made chocolate-covered caramel-crisps sprinkled with flavored salt. On second thought, it's probably an even better idea to lie in wait in the parking lot until M.J. arrives and just make off with the box yourself. More for you. (Her photo's below for easy skulking and identification.)



3. Writers name the oddest things. Such as belts. Belts named Sheldon (see below).



Why, Lisl, why?

2. Even if an editor says in her Friday-night talk that she is tired of werewolves, it doesn't mean she won't love YOUR werewolf book. She might even tell you to put the swears back in. Hee, hee, hee....

1. Writers have a real thing about shoes. You'd think it would be gloves, wouldn't you? But no. And they really, really like the person with the camera to take photos of their shoes. Lots of photos.

So, in honor of our shoe fetish, I offer the latest addition to the Bridget Zinn Honorary (note the name change) Cool Retreat Shoes Gallery. Enjoy! These shoes represent some of the strangest, funniest and greatest people I know.

And now--on to stuffing the swears back into my werewolf novel!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
tamarak
Oct. 8th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
Dang! I can't believe I never met Sheldon.......
judybryan
Oct. 8th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
LOL! V. funny, Georgia! Now I"m off to view that shoe gallery . . .
(Deleted comment)
mjdiem
Oct. 8th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
Yes and those puppies don't come out of the house except for the lovely Georgia! I'm a vair, vair bad ballerina, but I do love being on pointe. Maybe it's because I'm so frigging short.
(Deleted comment)
gbeaverson
Oct. 9th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
mjdiem
Oct. 8th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC)
I'm totally weeping with specialness over making it onto your rocking LiveJournal. Ab-fab post, as always. I must send you some chocolate....
gbeaverson
Oct. 9th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
Squee! Really? Cuz that lovely new invention you brought to the retreat was mega delish! What kind of salt was that on top?
mjdiem
Oct. 29th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
Oops, forgot to post it! Chardonay Smoked Sea Salt from Williams-Sonoma. I had to test those A LOT before they were good enough for you....
annangelwriter
Oct. 8th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
It was a great weekend! Lots of food fun and insights.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )