There is nothing like a conference to bring people from around the world together, and Sydney’s SCBWI Conference in two weeks is no different. While some will come from countries where they are still shovelling snow in 6degC or 42F the rest of us down-under are enjoying soaking in 26degC or 78F at the beach while fires rage in some areas near houses where vegetation is timber dry in both Australia and New Zealand.
As the weeks quickly slip by, packing fever kicks in. What to wear? Casual or smart? Will it be cold or hot? Dress up or down? One or two pairs of shoes? Will it rain or not? Umm… well, all of those. The trick is to take as less as possible. Your day wear could become your nightwear so make sure it doesn’t crease easily… no one will notice…*cough* that much. I’m packing only for three days but my dear friend Vivian, is packing for a month long trip and I chuckled to myself when she mentioned she had been watching Youtube videos on how to pack an overnight bag to last a month. Her suitcase wouldn’t shut, so having to redo it again for the, oh… umpteenth time. Been there done that! Good tip especially beneficial if travelling to countries of differing temperatures… Line your suitcase with a huge flattened paper bag big enough so you can roll your unwanted clothes in and post home to yourself on the day you fly onward, Ie .. shorts, swimsuits and goggles post home if heading on to colder climate or snow gear post home if going on to warmer climate… you get the picture?
Vivian is arriving a few days earlier and will have time to sightsee in Sydney, I on the other hand will be wringing my hands during my three hour afternoon flight, wandering through customs and hailing a taxi. I’m hoping someone I know will be at the hotel when I arrive. It’s nice to see a friendly face when you arrive after travelling alone.
Knowing how loved and respected Vivian is in the wider Kidlit community I have promised – hand on heart– to post videos , photos and comments of the fun and adventures she has while down under, here on the patiendreamer.com blog which will then be linked to facebook, twitter and Vivian’s blog. So know that you will be along for the ride. You have about two weeks to prepare… clean those reading glasses, organise your comfy chair, chips, dip and coffee or, if you’re Vivian, plenty of popcorn kernels at the ready…oh and hot chocolate of course.
You probably wonder why all the hype, why so special. The truth is we don’t often get many overseas authors down in New Zealand very often. Sure they may go to Australia but not often do they come further down. So when Vivian said she would come on down to see me I was blown away. Jumping on the bed, screaming excited! And when Vivian said she would be happy to speak or read one of her books to kids if ever the opportunity arise I quickly asked our Kiwi SCBWI rep Frances if she would like Vivian to speak at our next meeting. “Of course we would love it” was the reply. Although I have a number of libraries within a 10 minute drive from my home it was while waiting for my husband to finish work one day that I popped in to the small library next door and shyly asked if they would like a visiting American author to read to some kids. They beamed from ear to ear.
The lovely librarian not only is having Vivian in the library on a day she doesn’t normally work but quickly proceeded to get flyers printed for the library and delivered some to local schools as well as putting notices in not one but two local community mags of Vivian’s impending visit. Posters have gone up in windows around the library and entrance of the library and a huge poster is being erected inside the library in the children’s section along with big pictures of Vivian’s books, “ Pippa’s Passover Plate,” “Four Otters Tobogganing,” “Sweet Dreams Sarah” and “Show Me How.” WOW!
As the librarian said to me…two things are most important for Vivian’s visit. Raising awareness and creating atmosphere. Hmm well she is doing a great job raising awareness. Now creating atmosphere I can help with. She has already made some easy to do masks of otters, mice and other creatures for the kids craft so I got on to props…
Four Otters rose from my dining table and watched while I proceeded to create the ten butterflies from one of Vivian’s books.
Here they have arrived in the library much to the delight of the librarian.
Waiting for Vivian!
Under the heading of “Vivian’s Adventures Down Under” on this blog you can follow
Vivian through videos and pictures of her adventures from the 27th of February. Links will be found on twitter, Facebook and Vivian’s blog. Also the following…
On Friday 8th March will be an exclusive video of Vivian reading Pippa’s Passover, interview and review.
On Friday 15th March is a Birthday special of Four Otters Tobogganing. Zoom in and join us for some celebrating in a live video with Vivian reading this book, interview, review and of course there has to be cake!
On Friday 22nd March will be an interesting video of Vivian reading Sweet Dreams Sarah and interview and review. Although Vivian will have already flown on to Switzerland (not if I can help it), this will be a pre-taped recording on this blog. So don’t forget to tune in.
Now back to thinking about my packing…. hmm