Post-Conference Blues

I love writing conferences. I have been closely involved with the ANWA Time Out for Writers Conference for the past several years. This year's conference was many things from educational to inspiring, from fun to serious, from agents to editors and best-selling authors. I cannot say enough good things or thank-yous to the people who put it together.

There wasn't one class block that didn't offer a class I wanted to attend. (I think that's a first for me.) The two keynote speakers were Brandon Mull and Regina Sirois. W-O-W! Both inspired and touched me.

The bookstore: I spent more money than I planned. What a great group of authors were represented there. Super excited to read them (as soon as I'm done with the four I have committed to read over the next week--how does time go so quickly? Yikes! I guess I should read a little today).

Thank you Conference Co-Chairs, Janette Rallison and Rebecca Lamoreaux, and your fabulous Conference Committee! Well done.

Write on my friends (and start stashing $15/month so you can attend next year).

Over on Five Pages of Something, a blog where I contribute, we are giving away a copy of Stephen Wilbers' Mastering the Craft of Writing. All you have to do is follow via email (enter your email address on the right hand side...easy peasy). Promotion ends soon, so sign up today.

Conference

As you can see to the left, my countdown widget is almost at zero. Hooray. I love writing conferences and the ANWA Time Out for Writers Conference is always fun and educational. I am able to network with peers and editors and agents as well as learn new things about the craft of writing. Speaking of the craft of writing, if you head over to Five Pages of Something and follow by email, you will be entered to win a copy of Steven Wilbers' Mastering the Craft of Writing--one of my favorite books on improving your craft. Join me at Conference this weekend or over on FPS and let's share this writing journey. Write on my friends.

Helping Hands

"Many hands make light work." They same is true for easing burdens of others. One of the members of our writing community, Lu Ann Staheli underwent surgery last year and it was discovered she had cancer. Her family now has substantial medical bills. Any help you can give will make a difference. You can read more about her story and donate here: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-luann-staheli-cover-the-costs-of-fighting-cancer/303130.

Thank you Heather B. Moore for making us aware of Lu Ann's situation and thank you J. Scott Savage for organizing the fund raising campaign. What an amazing group!

Author's note: Lu Ann Staheli passed away shortly after this post. You can still contribute to help her family cover the costs of her medical bills.

Finding Balance

This is something I have struggled with for many years now. I used to feel like, aside from housework, the things that needed doing got done. Somehow it all unraveled. My accountability partners can attest to this. But this isn't a Debbie Downer Pity Party. It's a How to Get Back on Track party.

What do you do to keep the balance in your life?

In one of the classes in my unfinished Master's program, our teacher talked about the many hats we wear and responsibilities for each. I sometime categorize my life like that. I wear many hats: Wife, Mom, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Primary Secretary at church, Author, HR/Payroll Administrator, Business Owner, ANWA Past-Executive President, not to mention, Cook, Laundress, Vacuumer, Lawn Mower, Closet Organizer, and the list goes on. Obviously some of those "hats" overlap. Most of them are listed them in the order of their importance to me.

One thing that has helped keep some semblance of balance is my Accountability Partners. And maybe by balance I really mean productivity. My APs are my cheering squad and knowing they care about the mundane as well as the exciting is what keeps me going on the rough days.

Something I need to change, though, is the priorities on the list. I'm great at getting to the unimportant things like loading the dishwasher, but not so great at going to the store and buying a birthday present for my husband (I hate shopping, but really, he's the most important person in my life, I should be putting everything aside and putting that at the top of my list. Birthday over, maybe next year).

So, from now on, I'm going to indicate priority on my list with a $. Show me the money baby=I'm making progress in the right direction.

What does this long ramble have to do with writing? My writing time now gets a "$". Write On with me my friends!

Ask For What You Want

Recently I read James A. Owen's trilogy Drawing out the Dragons (also available at Amazon and BN). I had heard the author speak and one of the things that stood out was to have the courage to ask, because we just might get what we ask for. Thank you, Mr. Owen for the wisdom behind that and for inspiring courage because recently something really good happened to me and my writing/critique partners.

It actually started about a year ago. I discovered a craft book, Mastering the Craft of Writing, by Stephen Wilbers. It's a wonderful book divided up into 52 lessons on writing. I asked my writing friends, who are also critique partners, if they wanted to do a 52 week challenge. We started and sputtered and then summer came and it went by the wayside.

We decided late in the year to try again, but to blog about what we did each week as a motivation to keep going. We set out the parameters and blog schedule. But we were concerned about copyright and what we could include on our blog. We decided to ask permission to use excerpts from the book on the blog. Not long after we asked, Mr. Wilbers very kindly granted us permission. I cannot describe how I felt. I think it was a cross between awe in the honor he gave us and sheer joy that he'd said yes. We have started the blog and you can check it out at Five Pages of Something.

It's Almost Here

What's almost here? ANWA's annual Time Out for Writers Conference in sunny Mesa, Arizona. I have participated in this conference several times and always come away with new and usable information.

Conferences are expensive, so choosing one is something to be done with care. No matter where you are in your writing journey, I think you will find something that applies to you. Class descriptions can be found on ANWA's website.

I hope you'll join us, it's going to be another great Conference. If you aren't able to make it, keep learning and Write On my friends!

Creativity Brings Joy

I love the quote by Elder Richard G. Scott, "Attempt to be creative for the joy it brings."

Last week I spent many hours creating. Nothing in the way of the written word, but in the assembly of fabrics. I made two Halloween costumes for my oldest daughter and her friend.

 They wanted to be Christine Daie and Meg Ghiry from The Phantom of the Opera. I took a look at the pictures and went to work. Many trips to the fabric/craft stores, long days, and a couple of late nights all produced fun (and granted, they would never be used on Broadway) but pretty close to the real look costumes. There's something about finishing a huge project that is beyond satisfying. Now, I really need to apply that to my writing.

Let's gear up for a huge project in November: National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for short. When your cramming 50K words into an already busy schedule, who has time to say the whole thing... I'm in. Are you in? Then let's Write On my friends!