I will be presenting a program for my local RWA chapter this month about ‘How to Prepare for a Writers Conference’. So I thought I would post about that this month.
To start off this week, I will give you a list of conferences to think about attending. Next week I will get more involved with suggestions to make your experience better.
For now here are some conferences to check out:
March 15-16 – The Tucson Festival of Books, University of Arizona campus, Tucson AZ. Free http:/tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/
March 19-23 – Virginia FEstival of the Book, Carlottesville, VA http://www.vabook.org/index.html/
March 20-22 -The Write Stuff, Allentown, PA – Keynote Speaker Hank Phillipi Ryan http://www.glvwg.org/conference/index.html
March 20-23 – Left Coast Crime Annual Mystery Convention, Monterey, CA http://www.leftcoastcrime.org
March 20-23 – Romfest, Knoxville Airport Hilton, Alcoa, TN – Keynote Speaker Brenda Novak. http://www.romfest.com
April 4-6 – Mad Anthony Writers Conference, Hamilton, OH http://writelikemad.com/
April 10-15 – The Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference http:/www.mounthermon.org/event/212
April 11-13 Missouri Writers Guild Conference, Ramada, downtown St. Louis. http://www.missouriwritersguild org
April 24-26 – Las Vegas Writers Conference, Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. http://lasvegaswritersconference.com/
April 25-26 Chicago Spring Fling Writers Conference. http:/chicagospringfling.com/
April 25-26 – North East Texas Writers 28th Annual Writer’s Round-Up in Mot Pleasant, TX http://www.netwo.org
April 25-27 – Pikes Peak Writers Conference, Colorado Springs, CO http://www.pikespeakwriters.com/ppwc/
May 1-3 The Oklahoma Writers Federation Story Weavers Conference, Oklahoma City, OK. http://www.owfi.org/conference.php
May 2-4 Malice Domestic, Mystery fan convention, Bethesda MD http://www.malicedomestic.org
May 3-4 DAllas-Fort Worth WRiters Conference, Hurst Conference Center DFW Metroplex, TX http://www.dfwcon.org.
May 14-18 Tomantic Times BOok Lovers Convention, New Orleans, LA http:/www.rtconvention.com
May 15-18 – Pennwriters, Lancaster, PA Keynote Speaker: Kami GArcia. http://www.pennwriters.org
May 16-17 Tallahassee Book FEstival and Writers Conference, TAllahassee, FL http://www.twaonline.or
June 6-8, Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, Holiday Inn Historic District, Philadelphia, PA. www.pwcwriters.org
June 7-14, – Santa Barbara Writers Conference, Santa Barbara, CA.http://www.sbwriters.com/
June 13-14, – Mystery Writers Key West Fest, Key West, Florida.www.mysterywriterskeywestfest.com.
June 13-17,– Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference, Lands End Resort, Homer, Alaska. http://writersconference.homer.alaska.edu/
June 13-17, – Southeastern Writers Workshop, St. Simons Island, Georgia.
June 14-16, – Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference, Los Angeles Valley College, L.A., CA. http://www.wcwriters.com/glawc/
June 20-22, – RomCon Romance Convention, Denver, Coloradohttp://www.romcon.com (Jodie is presenting 2 workshops at this one.)
June 24-28, – Western Writers of America convention, Sacramento, Calif.http://www.westernwriters.org/
June 26-28, 2014 – Jackson Hole Writers Conference, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.http://www.jacksonholewritersconference.com/
These are just the ones that sparked my interest. You can google to find many more. I will update this list each month so you can plan what you want to attend. I am planning to go to Chicago’s Spring Fling – hope to see some of you there.
I received a birthday present I would like to return but it isn’t possible. I was diagnosed with diabetes this past week. My first reaction was shock. I have started on some medication and will be meeting with a dietitian soon. I am incapable of waiting and know that most of what I need to do is up to me so I bought a book on the disease and started making my game plan.
I have been losing weight slowly since Christmas so I was already headed in the right direction there. The book and googling American Diabetes Association has me on the right track with my diet and how to eat. I am using an app on my smart phone that I used in the past for weight loss to track calories. I am now tracking carbs. I have added exercise. Trying to get 30 minutes a day at least 6 times a week. Am looking forward to walking around a lake in the area as soon as the weather allows. In the meantime, I am using a stationary bike.
So far I have lost 10 pounds since Christmas but I have a long way to go. I am still a little scared but I trust that if I do what I am supposed to do I can keep this under control.
I am also high risk for cancer and while I was so worried about that, Diabetes sneaked up on me.
Needless to say, my stress level has had as many peaks and valleys the last few days as my glucose level. I can’t describe the sensation but I just feel off sometimes. I don’t know if it is stress or I am more aware of my body than I was. I think I have been dealing with this for a while and didn’t realize what was happening. Everything I have read so far says that once I get the glucose level in my target range I will feel better.
I thought I found it difficult to write before, thinking I didn’t always have enough time. Now I have to fit in exercise and meal planning, and learning how many carbs are in everything I eat. I guess if I can fit that into my daily routine, I can also fit in time to write regularly but not this week.
I do not have a family history of the disease but my favorite past times are reading, writing, and movies. None involve a lot of physical activity. I used to be very active. I worked in a corporate wellness center for five years and I told my boss at that time that it probably lengthened my life. Once I left that job, I guess I didn’t think about it. I figured I was getting older and I deserved to be able to take it a little more easy.
I guess I was wrong. Writers are more prone to being sedentary. Think about your diet and move more. Don’t let this happen to you.
It is not all doom and gloom. With weight loss, I will be able to keep things under control and hopefully prevent complications. It will take me a very long time. At the rate I am going, I will reach the goal weight I want next January, unless my increased activity cuts that down.
All of this has lead to more stress than I ever wanted to deal with but I am. I want to write and to do it, I have to get myself into the right (write) frame of mind and I will, because I want it bad enough.
I will post once in a while about my journey with this dreaded disease but most of my posts will be about what I love, the craft of writing.
Please feel free to share your experiences. How do you deal with stress? Do you fit in regular workouts?
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 840 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.
and a stranger offers you a ride. What happens next?
Need something to write about this week – here is a prompt.
Sometimes thinking up new ideas is like pulling teeth, very painful.
When that happens, I go back to the basics and start brainstorming.
I used to think that brainstorming was something you did before you started writing but the more I write, the more I understand that it is all brainstorming. The story doesn’t come to me full blown. I get a scene in my head and then I think about who might be the person in that scene. I then start developing that character and start making decisions on character goals. What does that character want? What would make that person want that goal and what is keeping that person from achieving it?
After I get a good feel for the character, I start looking at my plot points.
To put all the pieces together, I have to continue brainstorming. I brainstorm scenes to connect the plot points until I have enough for a story. Sometimes I brainstorm with friends but most of the time it is by myself.
Here are some ways to gather ideas:
1. Actual brainstorming: This is where you take a large piece of paper and interconnect circles on paper – start out with the character’s name in the center of the paper. Make other circles around with whatever subject you want to connect to the character like, family, love interest, career, fears. There are no real rules. Do what works for you. Use colored pencils or pens, draw pictures, have fun.
2. Write from prompts. I sometimes do this once I am already writing. I take a prompt and see how I could use it for my story. Again, ‘A Writer’s Book of Days’ is a great resource.
3. Use a book journal. Write down all of your thoughts about your novel. What do you want to have happen? What could happen next. Write down as many ideas as you can and choose the one that might surprise the reader most. Play the what if game.
4. Watch a movie or read a book. Maybe a character will trigger an idea you can use. As an example: Remember that movie -’The Man Without a Face’ with Mel Gibson? I loved that movie but it didn’t go in the direction I wanted it to. I have always wanted to take that character and make a love story. Kind of a modern Beauty and the Beast.
5. Go for a walk, clean the house, or take a shower. Sometimes doing something mindless invites the creative part of your brain to throw out ideas. Just be ready to catch them.
6. Listen to music. Especially the radio in the car. I came up with the title to one article for my column from listening to the radio. It was back in the ’80′s and I wrote a ‘slice of life’ column in the local newspaper. The song was ‘Going Through the Big D and I don’t mean Dallas.’ My article was - ‘Going Through the Big D and I Don’t Mean Dallas or Divorce’. I then went into a humorous anecdote about the other Big D – Driver’s license and what happened with my daughter and her test. That piece got the editor’s attention and me a column.
7. Just write. Words will beget more words until everything clicks and your story unfolds on the page. Set a timer.
Once you’ve got enough ideas to fill in the skeleton of your novel, start writing.
Where do you get your ideas? Do you ever get stuck and don’t know what to write next? What do you do?
Next week, I will share some information about writer’s conferences.
Hope your ideas flow like vanilla bean ice cream covered in bubbly hot fudge.