Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Did Ya Miss Me?

Photograph by Kevin Dooley
I've been out of town at a conference. The Writing for Life Conference, to be exact. Hosted by the San Diego Christian Writers Guild.

I hadn't planned on attending and then decided at the very last minute to go. Literally, the last minute. I had to call them to ask if I could still submit a pre-aproval form they require before meeting with the faculty.  They let me...so I was very pleased.

The conference was in Rancho Bernardo which is just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live, but I still opted for the hotel room because of the multiple days involved.  The Radisson offered a deal to attendees and I gotta say...the hotel rocked! Best red velvet cake EVER!

Friday night featured a "Round Table" with dessert. Who can pass that up? It turned out to be more of a panel Q and A.  I got so much out of that session, let me tell you! The first panel was editors and agents. They answered questions pre-submitted and asked on the spot. They were funny and encouraging while giving non-sugar coated answers.  Thank You!

The second panel consisted of published professionals. Non-fiction, fiction, newspaper, screen play, and magazine. Some great discussions went on about budgeting time. Realistic economic goals for the writer, and the dawn of the e-book and what it might mean to the mid-list and debut author.  Very informative and, again, encouraging.

The next day was filled with workshops and general sessions. Barbara-Nicolosi Harrington, if you haven't heard her speak before, is a powerhouse of wry humor and thought-provoking commentary on the industry as a whole.

The workshops were a-plenty. I opted for the "Crafting A Page-Turer" two-part series given by author Susan Meissner. She illustrated character layering, tension, and plot twists in such a fun and applicable manner, that I felt like running out of the classroom and finding the nearest computer. I was that inspired...thanks Susan!

The workshop on Lyrical Writing and Paradox in the Plot was illuminating and made me take a second look at some areas in my writing that could use some work. 

General session was quite interesting as we got to interview the collaborator of Sarah Palin's Biography; Going Rogue and her agent. Quite a ride doing biographies, especially with the dynamic and the powerful.  Some of her other works included a biography of the creator of the Delta Force and the book Same Kind of Different As Me.

To top things off, I reconnected with an old critique group that I'd lost contact with after a move. They are still going strong and I'm excited to start attending once again.

If you haven't been to a conference in the past few years, I encourage you to go. For the growth, friendship, and encouragement...if not to get away from it all and have a silent hotel room in which to write.

Until next time...Go Write!