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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Top Ten Cool Things about the SCBWI Conference, Part Deux

Ok, so to continue where I left off...the rest of the top ten cool things at the SCBWI 2008 LA conference...

6. I was recognized by none other than the fabulous Tina Ferraro, who sent me a copy of her Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress last year for posting about my fantasy prom dress (white with glow-in-the-dark stars, if you must know), and who just gave readergirlz a fresh copy of How to Hook a Hottie, and incidentally very generously gave me permission to use that title for my agent talk at SCBWI WWA next April. Thank you, Tina! You rock!

7. Finally meeting savvy and prolific writer and Poised at the Edge YA reviewer, Melissa! Pictured: Jolie Stekly, Melissa J, Martha Brockenbrough, me, Little Willow, and Justina Chen Headley:

Melissa has personally encouraged me in many ways, and it was extremely cool to get to meet her in person!

8. Wearing the breathtaking red and gold wedding sari my husband's family gifted me when we went to India a few years ago at the Paint the Town Red Gala. Even though I brought printed instructions (thanks, Mitali!!), I was pretty much convinced I would have myself looking like a pig in a blanket. Then, as auspiciousness would have it, I met the most lovely - and patient - fellow YA writer and bona fide Indian woman quite by chance in the elevator (Me: "omg, this is fate. can you help me? i need to put on a sari in a few hours." Her: "uh...ok."), soon to be known throughout the YA universe, Swati Avasthi. I ended up wrapping myself - something about a last minute jaunt to Sephora, help for the eyeliner-challenged - and the aforementioned Martha Brockenbrough helped wrap me (Yay, Martha!) until I looked, not like a pig in a blanket, but a very respectable red and gold mummy. So respectable that another stunning Indian woman, Simi Singh Juneja, actually complimented me! Though we later realized I was inside-out. Shhh, no one else will never notice... Then, at the Red Gala, I got to hang out with two friends met at the NYC Writer's Intensives, Edith Cohn and Bridget Casey - two gorgeous ladies who have a lot to say to YA audiences!

9. Confessing to Bruce Coville, awesome author, charming person, and terrific speaker, that I had a "literary crush" on him. But it could only be a literary crush, because of #10, which is truly #1 in my book, because it is (anticipation, folks! anticipation!)...

10. My husband, Shiraz. The most awesome husband in the universe, I might add. Who sent me a dozen three foot-high roses...

...with the message, "DO EXCEED!" (I think something was lost in the translation?) I couldn't take them home to Seattle, so I gave them to Steve Mooser and Sally Crock, unsung heroes of the conference, and Lin Oliver announced to the whole crowd that the flowers out front were to celebrate my book deal and that the men in the audience (ratio, 9:1) could get good-husband tips from my husband. Here's a reposting of me and Jolie, taken by the very lovely Alice Pope, who is not at all blue in person:

Then, as if that were not enough, husband smuggled a case of champagne down to the family reunion where he announced and toasted. Sigh. The best part of that conference highlight was that I got to come home to him. Hottie, indeed!


  1. Shiraz, is the best, what a guy! I'm still so elated for you and selfishly wish I could have gone too so I could hang out with you, miss you always.

  2. I adored hanging out with you at the conference...you rock, too, my dear! :)