I enjoyed all my sessions at the conference, but I'd like to focus my second post on the social side of things. Let's face it: a very cool aspect of conferences is just hanging out with so many like-minded people.
I roomed with my buddy Brenda Olson. We roomed together last year, too, and we had a blast both times! We met a while back--when I don't even know--volunteering for a writers' community, Field's End. Brenda is awesome. She's a wonderful friend.
Nancy Coffelt came, and it was so special seeing her again. While we'd kept in touch via email, I hadn't seen her since we met in 2007. Nancy is an amazing artist, illustrator, and author. I love her blog--the art and the words.
Nancy and I together; Nancy's book LISTEN
Here is a group of us at the wine and cheese reception during the Juried Art Portfolio Show.
From left to right: me, Stasia Kehoe, Sara Nickerson, and Jolie Stekly.
Suzanne Selfors was also there. She writes middle grade and YA, and she's a total sweetheart. I wish we'd taken a picture together! Darn it! Oh, well. Instead, I'll show you the adorable cover of her book SMELLS LIKE DOG.
I was extremely excited to meet Molly Hall in person for the very first time. Molly and I are blog soul sisters. When I had my first blog contest, Molly's name was drawn and I asked her to email me her address. I was super surprised to see she lives in the Pacific Northwest. We exchanged a few emails and found we had a ton of stuff in common. It was cool because, even though we'd never met in person, I just knew I'd really like her!
Fast forward to last weekend. When someone called my name at the KidLit Drink Night, I turned around and there was Molly! It was so fun, you guys! We talked and I got to meet some of her friends. We continued bumping into each other and even sat together in one of the sessions. Then guess what happened?! On Sunday they announced the names of a group of people some of the faculty members felt had the most promising works-in-progress. Molly's name was called! Yay, Molly! Congratulations!
Here Molly and I are the night we met:
If you haven't already, check out Molly's blog. It's like reading sunshine. :)
I met another bloggy friend for the first time last weekend: Ben Watson! He was one of my very first followers! When I was just starting my blog, he'd come and comment, which made me feel like someone was listening. Thanks, Ben! After we met at the conference, we kept seeing each other. We meant to take a picture together, but we never got around to it. Bummer. Next time, Ben!
Seeing writer friends, new and old, was one of my favorite parts of the conference. I'll have to take more pictures at the next one!