I had a lot of fun I must say. What a great way to get inspired and pumped up to keep going in this incredibly competitive, challenging field! First off I had a very positive experience with my one on one portfolio review. My reviewer was Ronni Herman a very knowledgeable, lovely woman who has an agency now after being an art director for 30 years. I was lucky I guess because she had always worked in the children's book industry and wasn't like someone who had experience only in magazine work. I know this can happen too. She gave me a lot of savy advice with regard to making my book dummy work better. I'm so glad I ended up pulling one together at the last minute and slipping it in the back of my portfolio because she ended up giving me a full critique on it in addition to critiquing each of my portfolio pieces. Gina I think you said that happened to you too right? Anyway, she said the layout had to be really overhauled and text incorporated better into the design of the sketches. I kind of new this already but couldn't really tweak extensively like I would have wanted to because of time restrants. I also thought at one point my printer was going to explode! She really thought about half of the sketches from the book dummy were very strong and suggested I pull them out of the dummy and put them in my portfolio at the end as a black and white section. She said art buyers in general love to see this. To make a long story short after my review I went to the ladies lounge and there proceeded to do as she suggested and started rearranging everything and dismanteling my book dummy creating a whole black and white section in my portfolio before I handed it in for viewing in the large display room where art buyers peruse everyone's work! So yes I spent massive amounts of hours this past week putting that book dummy together and then didn't include it for presentation. Crazy hugh? Maybe I am a little but I trusted this woman's knowledge and took her advice. Luckily my book dummy was an acetate notebook I picked up at Staples that you can slip 8 1/2 x11's into and out of with great ease. I'm very glad I pushed myself to come up with all those sketches . Ronni thought they would look stronger in my portfolio by themselves. Anyway, the rest of the day was very entertaining. They had Ed Young going through his process for the creation of his book "Lon Po Po" which is a Chinese version of the "little Red Ridinghood story. Beautiful stuff. Then they had a wonderfully funny, dry kind of humor panel with a literary agent an art director and an editor all moderated by again a very entertaining Robert Sabuda, "the" Pop- up book illustrator. And finally there was Paulette Bogan who wrote many kids books and was there promoting her latest "Goodnight LuLu". She was the most entertaining of al and I guess that's why the kept her as the last speaker. All in all a very informative day. The mixer at the end was a lot of fun too. Met a lot of the people from the SCBWI discussion boards.It was neat connecting faces to names like that. The only thing that I thought was lacking with the conference was the inadequete skills of whoever was in charge of getting the technicalities of the show running. They had difficulties with each presenter's slideshow or lighting needs, mic you name it. Bad microphones and a really terrible set up where they used just an 18" TV kind of low on the stage to show some of the works. I though that was insane with a crowd so big. There were at least a hundred tweny five people in the room. It should of all been displayed on the slide projector they had set for some of the presentations. Anyway that would be my only gripe. It seemed like easy stuff to coordinate that's why it kind of bugged me. I still be there next year though! Actually I just remembered I have to register for my regional conference in Poughkeepsie NY by May 9. Hope I didn't bore you with my newbie conference attendance experience, I got a lot out of it in general. Well worth the effort. Goodnight for now. I'm cooked.