I have a piece in the 3rd annual SCBWI-NM Enchantment show this month. This is not the first time I’ve participated in the Enchantment show, but it is the first time I was able to make it to the opening reception/reading (it took place last Saturday, on July 9).
The Enchantment show is a fun concept: participating illustrators come up with a piece inspired by a theme (this year’s was “Warm and Fuzzy). Participating authors are assigned one of these illustrations at random, and have to come up with a single-page written piece to accompany the illustration. I am really not a short-form writer, so I began doing this because I thought it would be good practice.
I was right, it turns out: it is good practice, and it’s taken my writing down paths I never would have anticipated. (Poetry???) In addition, the pressure of the “show” aspect (these pieces are hung in the Los Griegos library for all to see) means that I work harder on these pieces than I ever would for a writing exercise meant only for me, which is also good.
And this year, I read my piece at the reception – a brand-new experience and one again, good practice. I like reading aloud (I read my writing aloud while I’m writing it, anyway), I’m a practiced public speaker (even if not about my fiction writing), and this was a small and friendly crowd. I therefore didn’t expect to be nervous. Foolish of me! Reading in front of the illustrator (this year I got a terrific illustration from the fabulous Lois Bradley, an accomplished author-illustrator) made my knees shake as they had in my very early days of giving talks.
Despite my nerves, though, I had fun. Lois spoke a bit about her illustration, I said a few words about mine (titled “The Prickle Runs Amok”), and then read – and then it was over, and I could relax and enjoy the other readings.
Thank you for the wonderful inspiration, Lois – it was an honor to write to your illustration!
The Enchantment show hangs from July 1 – 31 at the Los Griegos branch of the Albuquerque Public Library. If you are in the Albuquerque area, I highly recommend stopping by before it closes!