Hey all! It’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything, and I thought it’s only fair that I give you an update regarding the blog’s status.

Last fall I announced I’d be attending the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators Winter Conference. Though I intended cranking out all the Rankin-Bass reviews in November so I’d have more time to ready my portfolio and book dummy, they kind of spilled over into December (plus I edited Krimson Rogue’s review of Die Hard which you should go and watch right now). Regardless of the shift in schedule, I traced, drew, cut, copied, colored, printed and pasted until the very last minute leading up to the con date (not exaggerating).

Did the high expectations and heavy workload I charged myself with affect my experience? I’ve been to the conference once before in 2018, and though I was a bundle of introverted newbie nerves then, I managed to come away from it with some fond memories and sound advice from the field. Without that first-time pressure and with the knowledge gained from that past experience, though, I was able to enjoy it much more the second time around. People responded well to my work, I made some new friends, caught up with former professors and colleagues, gained some very good advice and feedback from the best in the business, and even got to meet some of them (Brett Helquist drew Sunny Baudelaire in one of my sketchbooks and now I feel the urge to put it on a shrine and surround it with booby traps ala Raiders of the Lost Ark). It was a three-day sunup to past sundown whirlwind of lectures, sketching, writing, laughing, learning and connecting and I can hardly remember the last time I came away from something so exhausted and yet so happy.

As for my own book, well, I don’t want to get my hopes too high, but I’ll just say it looks like all the work I put into it is beginning to pay off. That’s a big part of it, too. Fingers most definitely crossed.

So now the conference is done, and my schedule’s looking a bit clearer. I promise the Fantasia 2000 review will be up in another week or two, with the Sleeping Beauty review shortly after, once I get my energy back to complete them both. Before I finally allow myself to collapse and remain comatose until noon, I’ll leave you with a quick laugh. There was a joke contest running throughout the conference that everyone could submit to; the theme was gossip overheard about children’s book characters on the red carpet. Here are my humble submissions, the last two being the ones that won me gift certificates to the conference book store:

Goldilocks has had a rocky career: her first film was too long, her second film was too short, but this film is just right.

Did you see the Little Mermaid when she won? She was speechless!

Did you see Snape slither in?

Did you hear someone blabbed about who would win? Don’t worry, Harry caught the snitch.

I heard Milo’s running late. He’s held up by the Phantom Tollbooth.

I couldn’t get into Captain Hook’s movie. It was rated AAARRGH.

Did you see Wilbur at the buffet? Some pig!