I’m sitting here at St. Edward’s university during a small break at the SCBWI conference. I have listened to panels of agents and writers talk about the children’s book industry and the creative process. A few minutes ago, I walked over to thank one writer for delivering the most intelligent and compassionate talks about censorship that I have ever heard. In the middle of my “thank you,” and while telling her why her speech was so important to me, I started crying. Shocked and embarrassed, I scrambled to wipe away my tears and compose myself.
She stood up and embraced me. I had another moment of shock and awe. This woman, Donna Jo Napoli, ended up giving me more than I had expected from the entire conference. (And there are many talented and otherwise amazing people here among me.)
Thank you, Donna, for your empathy and your humanity. You helped me realize not only what I need to write, but also why.
I had an epiphany today. That makes today a beautiful day.
Tomorrow: YA conference with Lisa Yee.