Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This weekend is Spinning Tales. The New Zealand Hui/Conference for Children's Writers and Illustrators. I have been sweating bricks helping to get this organised. And it has been a labour of love because in everything I have done I have thought about what the conference goer will get out of it. A few days ago one of the most amazing writers for children, Diana Wynne Jones, passed away. She was prolific but her fans are bereft, their love for her, and their thirst for her work, not quenched. I read Neil Gaiman's thoughts on her passing and once I got past my jealousy over their collective imaginative brain power and an intense desire to have been privy to their conversations and friendship (I mean come on, Neil Gaiman and Diana Wynne Jones? - OMG) I had my customary epiphany. What an incredible friendship it must have been - Neil Gaiman and Diana Wynne Jones. There are other groups of writery friends that I have been green over - Maureen Johnson, Libba Bray, Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfield and others - jeepers can you imagine the conversations they must have? But I don't need to be green because I have my own super-circle of writery friends and my writer friends mean the world to me - literally - because (in addition to my uber-fab SO and my delicious kids) writing is my world. I love all you guys. I love talking shop. I love moaning and groaning about the injustices, sharing excitement over our triumphs, debating the broken bits and how we might fix them. And at Spinning Tales we can be together and have one big fat permission slip to talk nothing but BOOKS!!! This will be the highlight for me. Whether I learn something new or advance my career in some way or not, the true benefit will be the opportunity to hang out with my peers, my writer friends who understand my dilemmas and who share my interests. These are the people who sustain you when the going gets tough. When you need an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to make you laugh or to say just the right thing - you can rely on a writer to find the right words. I will get to see my writer friends from all around the country and maybe even make a few more. I can't wait :) And here is a juicy link on how you can spruce up your manuscript to make an editor happy.

1 comment:

TK Roxborogh said...

You are so 'write' Melinda. We are blessed by being able to nudge against each other. You and I, I'm certain would be BFF if I lived in Auckland because I would make sure we hung out lots and our hubbies would get to be author widowers over a BBQ and feel okay.

Our community is special and, it seems, all over the world, other writer/illustrator groups do the the same thing. We need each other.