writer’s conferences

Some people go to conferences and workshops and take notes; I see blogging opportunities, so being me, I blogged the whole experience … on paper. I will treat you all to it when I get back from holiday. But only in parts! I really have a lot to do as I explained the other day and won’t be online much.


  • I am smarter than I realized.
  • I don’t like cities much.
  • People are far too quick to self-publish.
  • There are many professional writers who don’t know as much as they should about online promotion or social media.
  • I should have pitched the memoir already. IT’s NON-FIC!! Big “duh”.
  • I have a kick ass fiction query.
  • I need to polish a short piece to send to On Spec. I am sure now that if I pitch them the right thing, they will publish me.
  • I rock.

No packing is done the day before we leave as our per usual. We are outta here for a goodly amount of time and completely off-line, but there will be posts so look for them and comment if you feel inclined to entertain the others in my absence.

Love ya! Miss ya.

I finished the six day yoga cleanse this morning. Yogina was easy on us because we were all a bit sore and tired. She explained that yoga should be a six day a week habit with sessions of varying intensity (honoring our bodies as they present themselves every day is a HUGE theme), and that women should not practice yoga on the first three days of their periods. It’s called a “ladies’ holiday” , and it’s good to know.

Despite waking up with a sore right leg (I have uber tight hamstrings that play hell up and down my right side), I still managed a good swift walk after lunch and then sat down to write my very first query letter for my novel in progress.


A good question as the novel is still a work in progress and only the likes of Stephen King and J.K. Rawling are able to pitch unfinished work, but the answer is that I am attending my first ever writers’ conference tomorrow and I boldly signed up for “pitch camp”.

Pitch camps allow writers to run novel ideas past industry people like agents and publishers in a no pressure atmosphere. The writer is simply looking for feedback and suggestions. Nathan Bradsford wrote a really nice piece on pitch sessions at conferences recently that I am taking to heart.  He also supplied a good link about what not to do when pitching.

Truthfully I expect little and am approaching the whole conference as a learning experience and a chance to meet new people.

The woman who called to set up my pitch session and mentor camp times was very helpful. She suggested I have a query written for feedback’s sake and to q and a the agent and the mentor. In my case, one is an editor of a local fantasy magazine – the one that gave a pass on my short story recently after requesting a rewrite – and the other is a publisher. I am pleased on both counts. It’s a nothing but net situation because they are women who know things that I need to learn.

The query I used as an example I got from a writer’s blog, Ask Allison. She is a published novelist and probably one of the better writers who blog because she interacts with those who read. I really liked the format she used. I also read Chapter 16 of Elizabeth Lyon’s Manuscript Makeover, very helpful. And just as a complete OT aside, I love her business card. I need a card like that soon because I am cardless for tomorrow. I don’t even have a Blackberry-ish thing to exchange “geek bits” as Daisyfae would say. I am thinking that as a nobody, however, this won’t be much of an issue.

In other news, our holiday looms and I will be offline (though I have blogged ahead) this next week and mostly offline for the next month. Forgive me then if I am not responding to comments or commenting at your sites. I have set a deadline for June to complete the novel and finish the outline for the second novel (and yes, yes, the memoir is on tap for late summer as I finally twisted Rob’s arm enough that he has agreed to write his half of the story – my husband just rocks, doesn’t he?).

Spring is sprung up here at last and I am internally whistle slick and externally ready to roll.



The second day of the new school year and I am enjoying a quiet breakfast while catching up on my blog reading and commenting. BabyD is at school. Rob is at work. And as soon as the harsh rays of morning light pass, MidKid will emerge and finish packing for her move back to the city.

BabyD did not get her preferred teacher for grade one but assures me that as long as Mr.S doesn’t raise his voice to her specifically, she is fine with the outcome. It’s funny but, in a way, she is living her own life now that she is in school all day. Hundreds of things will happen in her life now on a daily basis that I will never know anything about. Amazing how quickly we become individual entities.

After I dropped her at school yesterday, I did a quick workout and then raced back home to spend some snuggle time with Rob. He stayed home yesterday morning with a bad headache but was sufficiently well enough for snuggling. Later I told him he will have to take the first morning of school off every year. A nice rite of passage for us to look forward to as we commence countdown to the day BabyD heads off to university.

I didn’t get any writing done yesterday between first day of school duties, snuggling and a hair appointment in the afternoon. A much needed appointment. My previous hairdresser was not to my personal liking. There was just no rapport. But between traveling and camp and mothering and reno work, I haven’t had the time this summer to search out a new salon.

The young lady who did my hair yesterday convinced me to go with brown lowlights and I think the results turned out quite well.



Not the best photo but good enough for illustration purposes.

Not the best photo but good enough for illustration purposes.


Yes, the curl is natural. I am actually a red-head but went blond at 18 and stayed that way for the most part since.

However, I am too old to do the bleach-blonde look now. When you first get grays, going lighter is a good way to hide them. Eventually you just start to look haggard and Madonna cartoonish and something has to be  done.

On a writing note, I read my Kumari story at writing group last night and they loved it. I received the best compliment on my writing I have ever received too when someone (Nate I think) said,

“I never have to work at suspending my disbelief with your stories.”

That sentiment was echoed and I was giddy. I just love reading my work and hearing the reaction.

I was invited to tag along to a writers’ conference in Surrey at the end of October. Though it sounds like fun and could be a great opportunity for meet/greet with agents/publisher’s, I don’t have anything really ready for that yet and the drive is nightmarish. And would be with people I only know through the group. 16ish hours in a car with people I only see once or twice a month? Plus sharing a hotel room?

Yeah, I am a bit too faint of heart for that despite the people in question being very good and dedicated writers.

My plan is to do writing conferences in the coming year and spend the rest of this one finishing up projects and preparing a portfolio of work and querying a few agents via email or letter.

Today, I have lunch in town with Rob after stopping by school to pay fees and hitting the post office – need to get some subscriptions sent off for work related journals. Then a nice workout and home to finish Kumari. I think I might submit it to Apex, but I am not sure if it is dark enough for them. They like their sci-fi/fantasy dark. Says so in their guidelines. But maybe I will let them be the judge of that, eh?

My t-shirt Friday post is still generating a lot of traffic. Perhaps tee’s should be a Friday theme? I don’t want to steal Nurse Myra’s idea out from under though she only does it on the last Friday of the month. I will await reader feedback (and Myra’s thoughts) before deciding.

No hump day hmmm. Julie was busy at the convention in Denver. Perhaps next week.