Mona Pease: Travelin’ Down The Highway

From: Mona Meanders
http://monapease.blogspot.com/2012/10/travelin-down-highway.html
October 14, 2012 at 05:31PM

     Travelled to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University One on One Children’s Literature Conference. To my writer friends, you know what an honor this is to be accepted to this event. For my other friends, I think the best way to explain is to say it’s like a juried show. People submit their best work to fill a number of slots-it’s either accepted or not! Mine was.
   My peep, Joyce Shor Johnson did the driving that I didn’t dare do….I did well to get to her house 4 hours away. Well anyway, what’s that old saying, don’t let fear stand in your way? Oh yes I will…I still can’t “throw back my shoulders” and drive there but…

I can sit back and take the pictures!
        First thing, after checking into the Sheraton, I called one of my dear online critique buddies who’s from Georgia. We immediately recognized each other from online pictures.

   Okay, so she’s cute and I look like I just got out of the car from a 9 hour drive!!!! What fun it is to meet up with someone you only ever “talk” to on here. Didn’t see her after the conference so now we must do some more of the email kind of chitter chatting.
  Speaking of meeting the ghosts of the internet, here’s another person I’ve only “spoken” to with my keyboard…I almost covered up my glo bracelet that Tara gave us. We had a “glow” all day!

TaDaaaaaaaa… presenting    Tara Lazar .  It was such a pleasure! Besides our finally getting together, Tara was the keynote speaker at the conference. She started out incognito, wearing a full beard and puffing on her pipe! I didn’t get that shot.  But I did get this.

   Everyone  listened intently as Tara spoke from her heart and took us on her writing journey. She was  inspirational. I will think of Tara more than she will know, as I strive for more in my own (longer) journey.    wait up…I just got permission to ‘borrow’ this…

   Then there were a five! Five on five roundtable discussions. Mine was full of energy and fact. Our group of professionals- Vivian Gray, founder of the conference, Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gault Agency,   Marc Aronson, professor, editor, author, Jim Murphy, Author, and Lyn Sirota, author. Now that I’m typing their names, I’m feeling the power, all over again,  of their knowledge and interest in education, children’s authors and everything children…wow!!!!  They really feel that the non-fiction market is on the upswing.
      Later, there was one on one sessions. My personal mentor was the well published, non fiction author, Lyn Sirota, also member of the RUCCL council.  Sorry, I didn’t get her photo, but click on her link.
   and…panel discussion keeping with the theme of the day-“Keeping it Creative in the Digital Age. Eve Adler moderated the panelists, Janet Wong, author, Mallory Kass, Editor, Scholastic, Samantha Streger, Assistant Editor, Open Road Media, each having their own ideas and examples concerning digital publishing.
     Closing children’s author and speaker of the day was Bruce Coville . What a fun and funny man he is. Gave us sound advice…and not a boring word was spoken!!!! Butt joke and all.  A wonderful way to end a successful event. I need to stop right here and publicly thank the council members and all mentors and who made this such a successful event. And kudos to us, the mentees too! Yay! Yay!
    Would I apply again? Most definitely (if Joyce will drive!). Now I must look over “the list” and do a bit of polishing, editing and sending.
    Happy traveling to you this week.

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