The weekend of the 24th May was one to remember. A week later, I'm still recovering, and just beginning to sift through all the information and feedback that I can actually remember. These events are such whirlwinds that I often find it hard to recall everything. The first challenge was actually getting there. Kid Lit Vic, as you might suspect, is held in Victoria, in this case in the beautiful Melbourne town hall. So first things first, take a deep breath and get on that plane. Not my favourite past time. Luckily I had Oliver Phommavanh to keep me company, or rather his hilarious book Thai-riffic. I thoroughly recommend it, especially if you have an embarassing family. The flight proved to be very pleasant and I arrived to a beautiful sunny day, in one piece!
I have to admit I was really nervous heading into that classroom. After over a year of online involvement with the amazing Duck Pond community, I was actually going to meet these people for real. Were we all really going to be introverts, only just brave enough to come out from behind our computer screens? Would I actually take in anything from the session with nerves addling my already ADD brain?! And then there was meeting Jen...
Walking in to an Edward Albee quote on the whiteboard, 'Creativity is magic. Don't examine it too closely', my fears, of course, were unfounded. We played who looks like their facebook photo, I met my over-a-year-long critique partner Sharna, and Jen guided us through a fantastic session on what makes a good story, focusing on dramatic need with examples from several texts. We spot wrote with hilarious results. The afternoon was topped off with insights from author/ illustrators Judith Rossell and Lucinda Gifford, (which I personally found very interesting as I know nothing about the journey to illustration), and a hearty panel discussion resulted in more laughter. Jude, your illustration from your school days was priceless. The fun continued into the evening as we shared stories and experiences, but not too late.... we were all ready for a heads down in preparation for the big Kid Lit day itself.
I'm so grateful to have participated in this vibrant masterclass. I'll be revisiting all my notes in the coming weeks to keep on tightening and heightening my work. Thanks Jen for signing your book Clarrie's Pig Day Out for my daughter. It made her day.