So I got back last night from a conference called Packaging Your Imagination. It's run by an amazing organization called CANSCAIP and is held every year in Toronto. I went to lectures by several well known Canadian children's writers, and I also got to meet up with children's writers who've become my friends over the years I've been involved with CANSCAIP. And I have afolder-full of interesting notes to share with you, dear blog readers.
One of the people I met up with is Frieda Wishinsky. I've mentioned her here before because she's come to visit us in Montreal. This week is a big week for Frieda. Her new picture book, Please Louise (illustrated by Montrealer Marie-Louise Gay), is up for the TD Children's Book Prize, a major Canadian award. Frieda and I met up for a hot chocolate yesterday morning and we talked a lot about how she makes her magic. (I was actually interviewing her for a profile I'm going to write for the CANSCAIP newsletter.) Frieda says it can take her years to write the text for a picture book. "Endings are the killers for me," she said. But my favourite thing Frieda said about writing picture books, and I think it applies to writing in general, is: "Every good book needs a big idea."
So what's your big idea? Hope you've got a delicous one. (Can you tell it's time for lunch?) Hey guess what? I just checked the mail and there's a contract for Junkyard Dog! Okay, off I go to do some writing. Am working on a story for The National Post about sneakerheads -- young guys who are nuts for sneakers. I'll let you know when the story runs. Bye for now from had-a-great-time-but-happy-to-be-home me!!