I’m leaving in a few hours for the SCBWI-Southern Breeze fall conference, “Writing and Illustrating for Kids.” I’ll be teaching a workshop on photography this year as well as attending sessions. One consequence is that I have a lot more to pack: workshop materials, easel to display book poster, camera equipment, laptop and projector, etc. I hope I won’t forget my clothes — you laugh, but I’ve done this twice before. Once, years ago, when I went to Oxford, Miss., to cover the re-trial of a landmark case on desegregation in higher education (Ayers v Mississippi) for The Commercial Appeal newspaper. The other was when I went to last year’s Children’s Book Festival in Hattiesburg. Each time I had to go shopping. I don’t love shopping for clothes in the best of circumstances, but when I have to find something and I don’t have the luxury of shopping in resale shops, it’s even worse.
My first SCBWI-Southern Breeze conference was in the spring of 2003. Five years later, I’ll be signing my first book, Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator. I want to thank Southern Breeze for teaching me a lot along the way. I am looking forward to seeing friends and colleagues.