Friday, February 03, 2006

Fondue Friday #1 - Gettin' Jiggy at SCBWI

Fondue Fridays
- where everyone dips in, and everything comes up cheesy -
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Each year at the SCBWI National Conference in Los Angeles, there's an after-hours theme party--hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, DJs one year, a live band the next, and dancing. Two years ago, the theme was the Glitter Ball. Last year they threw a Beach Bash. We took first place in the costume contests both years (scroll back a couple of days to see what we looked like). Recently, the three of us got together, placed a laptop on a Lazy-Susan, and discussed our experiences at the after-hours parties.
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JAY: Okay, I'll start while the two of you chow down on Domino's. Let's talk about the Glitter Ball where the two of you dressed up like my...well, I think we’d all agree with what you looked like. Do either of you remember when we decided to dress like that?
ROBIN: It wasn't as planned as we thought it was going to be. We all decided to wear glittery glasses, but our outfits were not coordinated until about half an hour before our big "debut." Remember, Jay? You loaned me your wife's halter that Eve was going to wear, then I gave you my pants that Eve gave me and you gave me your pants that, well, I don't know who gave them to you. So basically, that's why my pants were so frickin''re skinny, dude!
JAY: Yeah, where did those pants come from? And Eve, where exactly did you get your get-up?
EVE: Um, well, you see, there's this website, okay it's okay? There. It was the only place I could find good disco-y outfits. So it was a little tight and a lot revealing...whatever works to get me some attention, man!
JAY: I remember freaking out in the elevator on the way down. It took us forever to get dressed so the party was packed by the time we got there and we had no idea how people would react. But immediately people started asking if they could take their pictures with us. And I think that's important to talk about. Do you think dressing up helped in any way other than giving us an excuse to act silly?
EVE: Remember when we made our grand entrance and Robin and I were hanging on your arms and we did the loop around the whole party? That was insane! People were screaming and cheering and clapping. For me, the best part was feeling like a rock star (okay, so most people thought Jay had actually hired, um, "professionals" to escort him, but I felt like a star anyway). So, yeah, the attention was great because we got to meet some famous (and not so famous) children's book people who never would have otherwise given us the time of day.
ROBIN: Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the walk around the party, because I think I blacked out. I do that a lot when I dress inappropriately and parade around in front of a crowd. I did like the fact that Jay was wearing 5-inch platforms and was finally a little taller than me. But the best part was getting to know our now favorite illustrator, David Diaz. What a cool guy, huh?
JAY: Very cool. And so humble. The four of us hung out for hours after the party. Eve and I couldn't believe we were hangin' with a Caldecott medal winning illustrator and, after a long time, Robin finally asked, "So, who are you?" Eve said, “This guy did Smoky Night!” and Robin basically freaked out. And then there's the coolest editor in the world…
EVE: OMG, dude! Can you believe we partied with the most famous and powerful children's editor in the Free World? And took pictures with him that now adorn our desks and probably his desk as well at Scholastic? So cool. See, dressing up and acting crazy REALLY does have its perks, people. I mean, part of this business is selling yourself (okay, maybe not as a hooker) so you gotta let your personality show at these things.
ROBIN: Yes, Mr. Levine (Harry Potter's editor) is the best. But the other perk was me and Eve getting the attention of the women in the ladies' room asking us where we're from. "Oh, we're from Sunset Blvd.," we said. And for some reason they believed us.
JAY: See, Eve thinks I make stuff up, but Mr. Levine asked me to mail him a copy of the picture we took with him. And last year, I swear, he told me it was up in his office. But let's move on to the Beach Bash. We went to a local costume shop to look for mermaid costumes but I ALMOST went as a lobster. That would've been a mistake.
EVE: Yeah, mermaids. Always a winner with the crowds. However, I think some people started to get a little jealous of all the attention we got. Remember when we won First Place again the second year? Someone booed us when we were on the stage.
ROBIN: Actually, I don't remember that because I think I blacked out again. But I'm sure that the suspect boo-er was Stephen Mooser (SCBWI President) who was just jealous after Jay gave him that little kiss but then totally ignored him the rest of the night. I hate when Jay does that.
JAY: Oh yeah. Totally forgot about that. Thanks. But seriously, it was on the cheek as we paraded by the judges and I just thought...nevermind. But we won, so maybe that was the tipping point. Though I do remember having my sequined butt grabbed by an author who shall remain nameless. But she was a published author so I didn't really mind.
EVE: Yeah, there seemed to be a lot of grab-ass goin' on there. Good times. But seriously, I had the time of my life both years. My mom saw the pics on the internet and said, "And this helps your writing career, um, how?" But I don't care. Being famous just for being famous is very much the thing de jour and it sure did get me a lot of editors' business cards. So, yay for me!
JAY: Though I must admit, I’m a little afraid of what they’ll choose as a theme this year. Or maybe we won’t dress-up at all. Yeah, right!
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Fondue Filosophy
When in doubt, take a chance
wear sequined fins and shiny pants
...then dance!

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