Thursday, September 3, 2009

Final Favorite SCBWI L.A. Moments--Finally! Also, Win Free Autographed Books!!

So I've been promising to finish up sharing my final favorite moments from the national SCBWI conference in L.A. for quite some time now--and give away the signed books I picked up while I was there. And, YAY, I'm finally gonna do it!

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).
Some Utah writing peeps . . . with "air quotes"

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.
Emily Wing Smith and Richard Peck (sporting a blue satin track suit)

Brodi Ashton, Richard Peck, and me

She also got us a picture with Jay Asher.

(Yes, that is Jay in the Austin Powers costume)

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, Emily

9. 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:


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!!


Amanda from Novel Addiction said...

Tossing my name into the hat! It really sounds like you had a great/exciting time!

Morning Glow
ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

Tez Miller said...

Emily is the queen of the "sidle."
I totally misread that, and thought Emily was queen of the sidhe. What? She can be a faerie queen ;-)

Dani. said...

Seems like you had alot of fun! :)


sharon54220 said...

I'm jealous, LOL!! Sounds like you had a fantastic time.

I would love to be entered. All the books sound great. I would really love the Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. I'm Indian that's why.

Thanks for the chance.

Pam said...

I've put the wrong contact solution in my eyes and I've put in my contacts when they hadn't soaked in that acid solution long enough before. Ouchie!

melacan at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Wow sounds like you had a good time. Thanks for sharing it with us.

foltzsfantasticbooks at

Anonymous said...

I'd love to be entered in your draw!
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Kim Woodruff said...

Wow, that girl has guts! I hope she got some good research for her book, anyway.

WordVore Prod said...

Thanks for sharing such great anecdotes with us! It was so much fun reading them:)
And enter me in the contest, please:)

Sarah Steele said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Steele said...

I want to be like you when I grow up. Seriously. I also want to win one of those books. The power of positive thinking....

Kelsey said...

Please enter me. This is a great contest!


ReggieWrites said...

Great Contest! Count me in! It sounds AMAZING!

Reggie :-)

DeNiSe said...

Its looks like so much FUn


Please enter me

Llehn said...

I wished I had been there!

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Oh, ouch with the contacts. But I really admire anyone who can worry about something else when they're in that kind of pain. It's definitely passion, lol!

And please enter me for the contest! Those books sound great, thank you. (:

Kim Reid said...

Even though I've heard these stories, I loved reading about them again. :)

btw, I stalked the library reshelving cart for three days and emerged triumphant. Almost finished with 13 REASONS WHY!

Next on my list--Sherman Alexie. Hint hint.

Van P. said...

I love books! Please enter me into the contest.

Sheere said...

Please enter me for the contest! Those books sound great!

Paradox said...

Ooh! Signed books! Enter me please!

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

Yamile said...

Pick me! Pick me!

D said...

Wow! What a blast (except for the whole acid in the eye)! I love the show Lie to Me- I'm sad she didn't make it on as an extra.