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Monthly Archives: March 2014

How To Get the Most Out of a Writers Conference III

Hopefully you’ve had a wonderful time at the conference and you’re pumped to start writing. That is usually how I feel after several days in that environment. This year, I have scheduled an extra day off work to catch up at home and devote a day to writing before I have to go back to the day job.  It is my treat to me.

Now take a breath, unpack, and do those things you have to do after a few days away from home. Before you settle into writing, take a few minutes to evaluate your experience.

Pull out your goal sheet you prepared before the conference.

  • Did you meet your goals?
  • Were there some that you did not meet?
  • What was the best memory?
  • What did you learn?
  • Do you need to follow up with a pitch session?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • Would you want to attend this conference again?

 

Hopefully you had a wonderful experience networking and plan to keep in touch with some people you met. Might friend them on Facebook. And did you share your blog site so they can start following you there too?

Well this is the last post about conferences. I hope it helped with even one new idea.

I will be attending the Spring Fling in Chicago in April. Hopefully I will see some of you there.

Next week I will list more conferences happening in June to allow you time to sign up.

April will be all about plotting. My local chapter of RWA, Iowa Romance Novelists,  will have a program “Plotting without a Net” with Leigh Michaels speaking. Leigh is a multi-published romance author who has also taught classes at the community college in Ottumwa as well as the Writer’s Workshop in Iowa City. If you live in the Des Moines area and would be interested in checking us out, we meet the third Saturday of every month at the West Des Moines Community Center on the second floor from 10:00 to 1:00. Hope to see you there.

Keep writing forward,

Virginia

 

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Writing Prompt – April Showers

Storm clouds gather. What does your protagonist do?

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Writing Prompt

 

How To Get the Most Out of a Writer’s Conference II

Now that you have set your goals and decided on which conference to attend, You need to get your hands on a brochure. Most conferences will have this information on their website. It will list all of the workshops and programs.

  • Keep your goals in mind and choose workshops that are relevant.
  • Most are Q&A sessions or panels but some conferences will have hourly workshops to help with craft or the business of writing. Should be able to find something for whatever level you are with your work.
  • If you plan to pitch to an agent or editor, try to attend their panels to get to know them better before you meet.
  • At night they sometimes have sessions that are a little more laid back. I attended ‘Love is Murder’ one year and got to listen to true ghost stories from the authors. One of them was Charlaine Harris. Now how awesome is that?
  • If you catch yourself wanting to attend sessions that are scheduled at the same time – pick the one you want to see the most and purchase the recorded sessions, if they are available. Most conferences have started doing this.

Next post we’ll get into what to do before your one-on-one session with an editor or agent.

Hope you are working on something – happy writing.

Virginia

 

 

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Spring Finally!

You’re lying in a field of flowers looking up at the sky. Who are you? What are you thinking? Are you hiding? Are you in trouble?

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2014 in Writing Prompt

 

How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Writers Conference

Before you do anything, take a few minutes to think about what you want to accomplish by attending a writers conference.

  • Do you want to learn more about the business of writing?
  • Are you wanting to become a better writer?
  • Is networking of interest?
  • Are you published and want to promote your work?
  • Do you just want to have some fun?

Any of these are legitimate reasons to think about attending a conference. But as you know if you have done any research, conferences are not cheap. You have your registration fees, travel and hotel expenses, meals, and who can go to a conference without buying some books? So to save yourself from signing up for the wrong conference, you will need to do some research.

Before you do that though, sit down and make some goals for what you want to get out of a conference. What are you looking for? Put it down on paper and be specific. When you get home afterwards what do you want to have achieved?

And then look for a conference that fits your needs. You might start your search online, get recommendations from friends, and if you belong to any national writer’s organizations – check those resources, also magazines like ‘Writer’s Digest’ or ‘Writer’ list information about upcoming workshops and conferences.

If this is your first conference would you feel more comfortable in a smaller more intimate setting or are you ready to jump into one of the mega conferences like RWA’s National or the mystery writer’s Bouchercon.

Just wanted to give you something to think about. I will post later this week about the next step in preparing for a writers conference.

Until then, what do you do specifically to prepare or do you just pack a bag and go? Hopefully I can give you some suggestions that will help make your next conference experience more memorable.

Happy writing,

Virginia

 

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Writing Prompt – What or who is at the end of this bridge?

Write about what is at the end of this bridge.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Writing Prompt

 

Writers Conferences

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

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

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

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

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.
http://southeasternwriters.org/Writers_Workshop.html

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.

Virginia

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2014 in Conferences and workshops

 

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Who Lives Here?

A visual for a writing prompt. Have some fun with it.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Writing Prompt

 

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Dealing with the Dreaded D Word and Writing

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?

Virginia

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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