Posted by: jeannineatkins | April 25, 2009

Friends at NESCBWI

Just before I left for the children’s writing-illustrating conference , my husband said, “I hope your LJ friends are as nice in person as they are online.”

And they are! Just checking in I was so happy to meet Amy historymaven who offered to help with my luggage – and, true researcher, was peering into my heavy canvas bag of books with the kind of shine my eyes sometimes take on in bookstores. At dinner I sat near Linda lurban and Loree lgburns, and heard the story of how they met. I was talking with Kate kmessner when someone joined us and looked shocked when we said we’d met five minutes ago. It didn’t seem like that at all. I was heading toward the elevator when someone, said, “Jeannine!” I stared until Laura artistq put her hands in a square frame around her face, which she held still, and said Artist Q! Of course. “It’s like we all stepped out of our computers for the night,” she said.

I spent time with others, of course, even people I didn’t meet online. One woman said she’d heard me about ten years ago at one of the first conferences I spoke at. We’d ended up exchanging phone numbers, having a few conversations, which I can only vaguely recall; but they stood out in her memory, and she told someone, “Her words were so encouraging at a time when I really need that.” She laughed. “Actually I could use that now.”

Who couldn’t use an encouraging word? And that’s what it felt like. Besides Cindy’s cynthialord moving keynote and wonderful workshops, there were hallways filled with hands stretched across rough water, hugs, laugher, and short stories of struggle and triumph. Okay the stories of struggle were longer and more numerous, but that’s why the hugs were appreciated.

Now I just have to remember to get out my camera.



  1. I love that image of Amy’s gleaming eyes! Glad you’re having a great time. 🙂

  2. Sounds incredible! 🙂

  3. It is so great seeing you in real life!! So 3-D!

  4. 3-D and, you know, bigger than a one inch square! My eyes have to refocus.

  5. Maybe she was really hoping I’d managed to smuggle you through time and space in that bag. Not that talented, sadly.

  6. There just wouldn’t be room with all the books! 🙂

  7. Authors, illustrators, lots of books and book talk! What’s not to love?

  8. Thank you so much for introducing yourself to me, Jeannine! You are so gracious and warm and I so appreciated your kindness.

  9. That’s most excellent meeting online friends in person. I’ve met Laura before, too! Sounds as if you’re all having a grand time. If I remember correctly, you’re giving a talk tomorrow, so best wishes headed your way for that…

  10. Looking forward to tomorrow!

  11. Oh, sounds so wonderful! Keep having a marvelous time!

  12. Sounds wonderfully inspiring to be around all these talented writers. And isn’t it fun to meet online friends! I’m so glad you’re filling us in on the details–hope that camera makes it out.

  13. meeting online friends
    I’ve often thought it would be a good idea, at events like this, for people to have name tags which would include their online “handles”. — PL

  14. In the elevator…
    It was great to see you again — ever so briefly, unfortunately.

  15. Oh it was wonderful to meet you! I’m glad we got to see summer arrive out my the fountain with the geese! I hope the conference met some of your expectations — personally, I’m exhausted at the moment, but know there are glimmers in my notebooks to work with tomorrow.

  16. Thanks, Tracy — my husband asked me about the workshop, and I said I think it went okay, “but when I told that to Ellen W. (who I was driving home with) she said, ‘No it was fantastic!” I guess I’d rate it somewhere in the middle.
    I appreciate your good wishes.
    Now… sleep and back to work…

  17. It was nice to have lunch!

  18. It was fun! And I thought of you, and the gorgeous pictures you posted, when I heard several very talented smart people rave about the Highlights Foundation retreats.

  19. Thanks, Lorraine — I’m exhausted now and many things to catch up on tomorrow, but did get some pictures I’ll try to post in a day or two.
    It really was fun. My husband asked if any of my online friends disappointed me when I met them in person. Not a one. It was just something good made even better.

  20. Re: In the elevator…
    It was brief but there is something about seeing two huge smiles that has got to make your day.

  21. Glad your workshop was fantastic (which I’m sure it was!)

  22. Maybe she was really hoping I’d managed to smuggle you through time and space in that bag.
    So I was! It would’ve been so lovely to have had you there, Becky.
    (But even as it was, seeing that bag was like getting a glimpse into Aladdin’s cave!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: