Friday, June 18, 2010
Posted by April Halprin Wayland
Happy Poetry Friday! Poem and Writing Workout --how do write affirmations--below.
Today I’m continuing the topic of a writer’s conference I’d recommend…and why.
In the first class I ever took in the UCLA Extension Writers Program in about 1984, my teacher, the late Terry Dunahoo (who I call the Johnny Appleseed of Southern California children's book writers), told us to join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator (SCBWI) and to attend the annual international conference which, luckily for us, was in Los Angeles.
Like a good solider (or a well-trained little sister), I did what my teacher told us to do, and boy, am I glad I did. I swear that the classes I took through the UCLA Extension Writers Program and my membership in SCBWI made me the writer I am today. I've been going every summer since then.
From this West Coaster’s point of view, SCBWI’s annual conference in Century City, California is a fabulous trip-to-New-York-in-a-box. Editors, authors and web gurus that we’d never EVER get an appointment to see if we flew to New York on our own, show up in LA to teach us, inspire us, critique our manuscripts and party with us.
Come if you possibly can. Really. But here’s the great news! If you can’t come to my home state, you can follow conference action on the SCBWI Blog, which has already begun posting preconference interviews.
How cool is that?
Here's a list poem about the conference:
EVERY AUGUST IN LOS ANGELES
by April Halprin Wayland
I join 800, sometimes 900
kith and kin,
blood and family,
clansmen and women
as we sing our
this galaxy, this most amazing writing world
And if you DO come to the conference, please find me and tell me you’re a TeachingAuthors reader! This will be my eighth year of critiquing picture book manuscripts. Is that cool or what?
When I was a marketing manager at Pacific Bell lo, these many long years ago, I was pretty much a round peg in a square hole. I knew the corporate world wasn't the right one for me....but I wasn’t sure where I belonged.
Every once in a while managers were sent to seminars on business and leadership topics. One of these changed my life.
I remember sitting on the floor in this particular one-day workshop taking notes and wearing jeans and shoes that were not high-heels. My feet felt wonderful. This seminar was about goal setting and specifically about the power of affirmations.
We were taught to write three to five affirmations on a 3 x 5 card and keep it in our wallets. Affirmations, we were told, are in the present tense, as if whatever our goal is had already come true. We were told to focus on our affirmations every day in three ways:
1. Say the affirmation aloud.
2. Visualize it as true.
3. Feel it to be true viscerally in our bodies.
Every day as I drove east on the Santa Monica (10) Freeway into downtown Los Angeles, I would say them, see them and feel them.
I said: I am the author of a published children’s book.
I pictured a stack of my published books on the passenger side of my car as I drove.
I let myself feel the joy of being published.
Shortly thereafter I left Pac Bell and began to write children's books and poetry.
One day, perhaps five years after that workshop, I was driving east on the 10 freeway to speak at a school when I glanced over at the passenger side of my car. There sat a stack of my first book , TO RABBITTOWN.
I got chills.
So…what are your hopes, dreams, wishes?
Write out three to five goals—
at least one about your writing or teaching.
At least one about your health.
At least one about adding fun into your life.
Every day, for each affirmation:
1. Say it aloud.
2. Visualize it.
3. Feel your body sensations as if it were already true: close your eyes and feel the blood flowing in your veins, your heart expanding, your breathing slow with a sense of well-being.
And then write. With joy.