Ice Cream in Nevada

From my last post, you see that I just got back from Nevada. While I have oodles of things to share from the last few weeks (more inspiration from my recent trip to Spain, info on a cool exhibit in Seattle, and a giveaway I promise I haven't forgotten), indulge me in the moment first.

I had an awesome time in Nevada at the SCBWI conference and the beginning to the mentor program in Virginia city. And not just because of the WILD HORSES (!).

I knew my weekend in Nevada was off to a sweet start when I ate the yummy delight pictured above at Swenson's Ice Cream Parlor near the Reno airport. But the whole weekend turned out to be sweet. The conference took place here:And Here:With views like this one in the background:
Can you believe it? More like a retreat, no?

I learned a lot. Met lots of new people. Chatted kid's books with passionate people. Listened to some amazing writers and illustrators.

Like Yuyi Morales! I could listen to her speak all day for many days. Her presentations are like poetry. Plus she makes puppets. If you are an artist, go to her website and click on "Senor Tlalocan's Prayers," then enjoy.

I left the weekend with dozens of ideas for new illustration samples. I also filled up my camera collecting quirky pictures that may or may not lend to future textures in illustrations. Like this one:And this one:
Everywhere I looked I saw potential settings. Wouldn't this place be fun to illustrate in collage?
Or what about an old-looking train?
But mostly the whole town made me want to draw cowboys.
Did you know that the Virginia City High School is home of the "Muckers?"
I heart Virginia City. I'm bringing my family back when I go in October. It's a cool place. Here's the sunrise I caught on Monday morning, my last day there:Thank you so much to Suzanne Morgan Williams and Ellen Hopkins, SCBWI Nevada's Co-Regional Advisors, for putting on such a great conference!