This weekend, I attended a writer’s conference put on by the Oklahoma chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). It wasn’t my first time, and it won’t be my last.
It had been a long week for me, and to be honest, although I am fiercely passionate about my writing, as a busy journalist and adjunct professor, as well as a mother of two young kiddos, I wasn’t certain I had the energy–mentally and physically–to devote to that passion this weekend.
But of course, as with many SCBWI events, the conference was everything I needed–and more.
The best part? I took my mom.
You see, writing for me has always been a family thing. My family are story-tellers by nature (my brother can make it difficult to breath, the stories he tells make me laugh so hard, and my sister always provokes deep thoughts with her essays). But it’s my mother, more than anyone, who has always enjoyed the pacing and delivery of storytelling, and I know it has had a mighty impact on my own writing.
But that’s not all. Mom has devoted countless hours to reading, critiquing, and proofing my work. It takes a lot of trust to give someone your early draft, and she is “it” for me. While my husband and many friends are constant cheerleaders whom I couldn’t do without, no one has quite devoted herself to helping me as much as Kay McAndrew.
So while the speakers were extraordinary (informative, engaging, and funny), and the fellowship of other writers was like a breath of fresh air, I’m still thrilled that I got to spend an entire Saturday sharing my passion with the person who helped pass it down to me.
Thanks, Mom. Every step forward is because of you.