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Aug. 27th, 2012
P.P.S. One more SCBWI Summer Conference talk to add to my previous post in this "two-part" miniseries.
How crazy was it that Deborah Underwood relied on Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works for part of her keynote, and then had to scramble when the scandal broke out three days before the conference?? (Jonah Lehrer had been caught making up Bob Dylan quotes so his whole book was called into question, and the publisher pulled it from stores everywhere immediately.) I was in the middle of reading it when that happened and had been talking to everyone I know about the content, so hearing Deborah Underwood reveal her dilemma onstage both confirmed and amplified how calamitous this news felt.
Deborah Underwood, "The Power of Quiet" (Photo credit: Rita Crayon Huang, Copyright ©2012.)
Amazingly, Deborah was able to email the scientists behind the studies she was specifically citing and get them to confirm their results so she could still give her talk. She started personally checking the book herself! Another of my friends at the conference was in the middle of reading it, too--just one chapter behind me!--so I know there were lots of us super interested in this. I'm still hoping the substance is true, even if the quotes are fudged. (Why anyone would think it's okay to make up quotes in a high-profile book in this day and age is beyond me. But I was getting annoying that all the people in the book talked the same. I thought maybe this was a function of the author being attracted to a certain style of quote, plus the fact I was listening to the audio version so maybe he was giving everyone the same cadence.)
Obviously I was super interested in Deborah's subject. I've been thinking a lot about the role of quiet and taking breaks in creativity (what Sara calls "magic brain"). But it was so cool that Deborah was able to start verifying the contents of Imagine when the rest of us have been left in the lurch, wondering if anyone was going to. The letter of apology she "quoted" from Jonah Lehrer was super funny.
As I mentioned in "Part I," all of my pictures from the 2012 SCBWI Summer Conference can be viewed on Facebook here and on Flickr here.
"Part II" is still coming up, :)