Philip Stanton, one of the illustrators we met in Bologna, drew me and Scott while I delivered my keynote about “Regional Voice” for The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Before Bologna conference. (Scott was up front with me to do the American and Scottish readings; I don’t do accents.)
It’s lovely to have this keepsake of the SCBWI conference (thanks, Philip!). It was my first time teaching creative writing (we taught a workshop on writing synopses) and it turns out that I really enjoy it. I had my doubts because I had to teach back when I was an academic and, well, there are things I have loved more in this life (like fourteen-hour flights in cattle class, for example). Turns out that teaching a roomfull of people who are keen, interested and really want to be there is an enjoyable and inspiring experience. I swear I learned new stuff about writing synopses from all the smart questions we were asked. Thanks for inviting us, Lawrence and Erzsi!
Giving the keynote was also fun. I’d already been thinking a lot about how you write different accents because my Magic or Madness trilogy has Australian and USian characters, but giving the lecture forced me to put my thoughts in some kind of order. It also gave me an excuse to mess about with writing stuff phoenetically. I started by writing how I think I pronounce “can’t”:
How Scott thinks I pronounce it:
And how I reckon many USians (particularly Midwesterners and Californians) say it:
The lecture also gave me an excuse to phoenetically render the Queen of England speaking of her spouse and herself:
- Mah hoosbahnd ahnd Ah
I have always wanted to share that with the world at large. I can die happy now.