Friday Five: Out of Town

As you read this, or shortly after, I’ll be on the road (or many roads) on my way to the SCBWI Spring Spirit conference in Rocklin, California. For us non-geography experts, that’s right up in/near Sacramento. To get there, I head out of my mountains, through the heart of Silicon Valley, up into some lovely green hills (really green, this week!), and over toward the tip of the Central Valley. Not a long drive, but long enough that I’m taking an extra day, rather than rushing up and back the same day.

Road Trip!

Here are a few things I expect to do this weekend:

1. Drink “my” drink: Nonfat, decaf, light caramel macchiato. Just so you know. Yes, I do get that all out at the order station, and, yes, it’s worth the embarrassment. I’m not a big coffee drinker in every day life, but there’s something about sipping hot coffee from behind the wheel of a car that seems to work. And don’t push me to get the “hard” stuff–you don’t want me driving around on a full-caffeine hit!

2. Stop at the California Automobile Museum to do research for my WIP. I’m (hopefully) going to see a 1908 Model T, a 1911 Pierce-Arrow (think back to the car the dad bought in Cheaper by the Dozen), and a lot more. I’m going to figure out how you accelerated a car back in those days, which (if not all) had cranks to get things going, and–most important–what you might possibly bang your head against…hard!

(Note: I’ll be there on April 1st. I’m SO tempted to walk in, say, “Which one do I get to drive?!”, watch their faces fall, and then shout “April Fools!” Honestly, though, no chance I’ll have the courage.)

3. Hang out with kidlit writers and illustrators.

4. Meet Bruce Coville. Wait, let me say that again. MEET BRUCE COVILLE!!!!  He’s the keynote speaker at the conference, and I pretty much think he is brilliant in his ability to understand what makes kids laugh and what gives them the perfect world of fantasy to escape into.

5. Get back a critique from some professional (not sure who yet) on my picture book. Stick the still-sealed envelope in my bag and don’t open it until I’m somewhere quiet and safe? Tear it open upon receipt and block everybody else in the registration line until I’ve read it? Sneak a peak at lunch? What would you do?

Can you tell I’m ready to go? Have a great weekend, everybody!


  1. Julie says:

    Lucky lucky you! Both for the SCBWI event and for meeting Bruce Coville. I met him last September at our regional conference, and he is every bit as amazing as you expect him to be. If you want to compare notes after, here is the post I wrote on my blog after his keynote:


  2. Sounds like it couldn’t get more wonderful!

    You’ll know what to do with that envelope. I’d probably tell myself to wait for the quiet, safe place, but would I listen? I don’t know…

    Just have fun!


    • beckylevine says:

      They were so sneaky, I didn’t get the envelope till the end of the conference. Quick skim to see it all made sense, and that, yes, I still have work to do. Then I’ll consolidate it with a few other notes and send everything off to my critique group for brainstorming. 🙂


  3. Have fun at the museum while you sip your macchiato 🙂 I hope you’ll share about the conference next week. Sounds like a good one. I mean, if Bruce Colville’s there, obviously it’s a good one!


    • beckylevine says:

      Thanks, Sherrie. It was a fun conference–I’m going to try and blog about it later this week.


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