After a long, hot summer, it was refreshing to attend the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles, where I met up with fellow potato Edie Hemingway. We listened to the author of Crank, a book that tells the heartbreaking story of the loss of the author's daughter to crystal meth. She gave an enlightening talk about what it takes to be successful - talent, perserverance, and luck, and gave hilarious examples of how much of each was involved in different authors rise to fame.
Usually I take copious notes, but this year I let myself sit back and take it all in. In looking through my folder, I see that I did write down three quotes. One was from Eve Bunting - "I always ask myself (about each story idea), is it worth saying?" The second was from Karen Cushman, author of The Midwife's Apprentice -"I wrote because I could not dance." And I don't remember who said this third quote, but it was borrowed from Toni Morrison -"The purpose of freedom is to free someone else."
It is good for the writer's soul to meet with other writers and share stories, heartbreaks, and inspirations. It puts fuel back in the tank for the long winding road that sits before us.