For a refresher of my first 6 favorite moments from SCBWI L.A. click here. Seriously, click there if you haven't read it. The "belly boobs" story is totally worth it.
So on with the favorite moments:
7. Getting to meet up with other Utah writers and authors at the conference. The Utah/Southern Idaho region really represented this year with 16 participants. We even got to get together in the hospitality room for a little social (but for some reason we were relegated to sitting on the floor).
Me and Matt Kirby (THE CLOCKWORK THREE coming Fall 2010 from Scholastic)Okay, so the last three moments are dedicated to the awesomeness that is Emily Wing Smith: BFF and cohort in crime. Here's the deal, I met Em a little about 9 years ago in a Y.A. writing class at BYU, then we met again at a writing conference at BYU about 5 years ago and decided to form a critique group. Our friendship has grown over the last few years, and we all championed Emily when she became the first in our little group to publish a book (THE WAY HE LIVED) and over the last couple of years, I think we've become pretty close friends . . . but I think I learned more about Emily Wing Smith in the few days we spent together in L.A. than I have in the almost decade since I met her. And let me tell you, that girl is one hilarious and amazing person with some serious cojones.
8. First of all: Emily is the queen of the "sidle." That girl has more guts and charisma than I could ever have when it came to sidling up to famous people at the Blue Moon Ball (of Belly Boobs fame) and striking up conversations. Thanks to Emily, we got to talk to Richard Peck (RICHARD PECK!!) for a good 30 minutes (30 MINUTES!!). Richard was so kind and wonderful and genuinely nice to us, and I would have never have had the guts to talk to him with Emily's sidling skillz.
Brodi Ashton, Richard Peck, and me
She also got us a picture with Jay Asher.
And here's a couple of us at the ball with other author friends that we love.
Brodi, Me, Emily, and Sydney Salter (MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS)
Sydney, Matt Kirby, Brodi, Me, Emily9. This might sound a bit insensitive but my next favorite moment was when Emily Wing Smith almost lost an eye . . .
Yeah, so we woke up Monday morning to discover that the TV show LIE TO ME was being filmed right outside our hotel room window. Brodi, Emily, and I stood out on the balcony and watched the hubbub for a few minutes. Then Emily went into the bathroom to clean her contacts so she could see better, and just as Brodi and I were calling to her to see if we could use her camera to take a few pics on the film crew . . . we heard Emily shriek in pain.
Brodi and I went running to the bathroom to see what was the matter and found Emily cupping her eye and trying not to scream. Apparently, she had grabbed Brodi's contact solution instead of her's, only Brodi's is the kind that you have to soak your contacts in for 6 HOURS! before you can put them back in your eyes. So basically, Emily had just put ACID in her eye. . . and she was so embarrassed about having used Brodi's contact solution without asking, she wouldn't tell us what had happened.
Luckily, Brodi and I figured it out . . . and I basically had to sit on top of Emily on the bed while Brodi sprayed a pint of saline solution directly into Emily's eye. But here's the truly funny part, the whole time Brodi and I were scrambling to save Emily's eye . . . she was more concerned about trying to tell us where her camera was so we could get a picture of the film set.
The whole situation is really quite funny in retrospect . . . but I'm sure Emily's eyeball would disagree.
10. When Emily Wing Smith tried to con her way onto a television show.
So Emily has always (okay for like 2 months now) had the dream of being an extra on a TV show, and is writing a novel about a girl who gets to be one. She even researched how to be an extra (become hot) and contemplated trying to find a show to be an extra on while we were in L.A.. Unfortunately, she realized the idea wouldn't realistically pan out . . . until we woke up to the TV show being filmed right outside our hotel. This is when Emily hatched her brilliant plan: she going to be an extra on that film set! At first Brodi and I thought she was kidding. I mean, nobody really has the guts to walk right onto a film set and try to be one of the actors, right?
Yeah, you don't know Emily.
We studied the background actors for a bit from our balcony: hot women in swanky dresses. Unfortunately, because Emily had FRIED one of her eyes, she had to wear her glasses, so we decided to go with the "sexy librarian" look. We got Em all dressed up, reapplied the makeup on the right side of her face that had gotten washed off when we doused her with saline solution, and Brodi pulled Em's hair into a cute little chignon. And them Brodi and I watched in utter amazement as Emily sidled her way past security and straight on to the film set as if she were one of the hired background actors. Seriously, I was freaking out the entire time!!
Hard to see, but that's Emily past security. When I started taking pictures of her, other people came rushing up to see if she was a famous person. Which she totally should be . . .
Emily was *this close* to convincing a head honcho (by bribing him with a sandwich) to let her be on the set, before someone else kicked her out. But did that deter our Emily? No. She turned around and tried again at a different entrance to the set. Alas, ultimately she didn't make it in as an extra, but we did get to watch for a bit while they filmed. And I didn't mind one teensy bit about missing the morning sessions of the conference in order to watch Emily try to fulfill a dream.
Perhaps someday we'll be able to go back to L.A. with her and really participate in a shoot. I wouldn't miss that for all the world!
Okay, that's it. All my fave moments from the conference. Like I've said before, I'm giving away the books I picked up while I was there. All you have to do if leave a comment on this post (or one of the other L.A. posts) in order to be entered into a drawing to win 1 of the following signed books:
THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie
BREATHING by Cheryl Renee Herbsman
KING DORK by Frank Portman
The contest ends Monday, September 7th at noon. I'll post winners later that day.
Thanks for reading!!