Another busy week, but one of the highlights was the SCBW&I Holiday Mixer at MAIYA Art Gallery on J Street. What a perfect place for writers and illustrators to meet: When my husband and I moved to Sacramento over 20 years ago, there were only a few art galleries. Now there is a burgeoning of galleries all through Midtown, and MAIYA, relatively new, is a great enhancement to the expanding art community.
It was a lovely gathering Wednesday evening. Members' art was on display, as well as work by Midtown artists. Tables were set up with snacks and wine. I met writers and illustrators like Linda Joy Singleton, author of the Strange Encounter series and the Seer series, who also presented at the May regional conference this year; author/illustrator Rachel Dillon, who wrote and illustrated the remarkable poetry/picture book, Through Endangered Lives; author Connie Epstein, who has published a series of health books for secondary schools and libraries (and is working on three novels! ) and regularly writes articles and market updates for the SCBW&I Bulletin; Erin Dealey and Patricia Newman, co-regional advisors for the California North/Central region; and Genny Heikka, assistant regional advisor, who also reviews children's books for Sacramento Book Review.
I go periodically to the regional conferences and I always get so much out of them. This gathering was smaller and more intimate, and consequently I was able to get to know people a little better than when I get lost in the hubbub of the larger conferences. I'll certainly keep attending the larger conferences, because they are so rich in their own way, and I'm even planning to go to the even bigger L.A. summer conference in 2010. But I hope more "mixers" like Wednesday's are planned for the future.
If so, I'll be there!