Sweet relief after the #NESCBWI18 conference

I always get all worked up before going to a conference but as usual, it went great. This was the second time I went to the NESCBWI conference. I wouldn’t have been quite as panicked if I hadn’t had to spend far too much time working on an illustration challenge (because I stupidly signed up for it). The theme was Fairy Tale Mash-up, and I combined The Little (Asian) Mermaid and The Steadfast Tin Soldier.


A long-time friend and critique partner went with me this time. It’s always fun to travel with someone. We got to listen to terrific speakers like my mentor, Jane Yolen:


Rita Williams-Garcia:


and Matthew Winner:


And I also won some swag:


and got to hang out with my tribe…people who are as happy to talk books as I am! But it is nice to be back home in peace and quiet, with only the birds to keep me company.


The subject line of this post also refers to the fact that I’ve decided to give up on pursuing illustrations for a while. It takes time away from the writing and things are going the way of digital art these days (I’m not about to drop big money on a Cintiq or Photoshop program). I’ll just do art for my own enjoyment, but the pressure to get noticed or to get work in that area is off.

I’ll share some other of my recent illustrations that I did for NESCBWI in later posts.

Hope your week is off to a great start!