Category Archives: Writing Conference

How I Survived Writer’s Block

Recently I was stuck. Not sure why. I could have been scared or had writer’s block. Who knows? The thing is I pulled out of it and I’m going to share how it happened.

A colleague asked for a proofreader. I volunteered. I do this often, so remember that if you need someone to read for you. Anyway, as I’m reading this lovely story about dragons, I felt inspired to revisit my project.

I landed up hopping between both projects. A bit for her and a bit for me. Turned out I’d get tired trying to revise my work for several hours at a time without a break.

a change is as good as a rest.

― Winston S. Churchill

I’m almost at the point to shout out for beta readers. Yep, here I go again asking if anyone is interested in reading. Symbiotic Slip will be ready in January. If you like to give it a go sign up below:



The Impact of SiWC16

I believe every event in my life changes me slightly. After listening to all the workshops and talking with so many new people, I know I’ll never be the same.

Am I a better writer?

I don’t know. Only time will tell.

Am I a better person?

Hell, yeah!

I’m still a bit overwhelmed and have only been back a day. Although I mean to share what I’ve learned I need a bit of time to think it through. So what I’m saying in my roundabout way is that I plan to share the golden nuggets I discovered in other posts.

Until then, the best part about going is…

Meeting new writers. Being in awe or blinded by hero worship while the masters lead the many workshops. Learning how to let fear drive a story. Hearing clearly for the first time during a keynote about diversity. At every turn words touched on digging deeper to fill the pages with authentic emotion, action and heart.

It blew me away.

I’m already wishing I could go again. In fact, I think everyone should go and put the doubts of being a writer behind them.

Apparently, if we pick up a pencil, have paper in a typewriter, or a document on our computer screen and put words down, we’re writers.

Do you have any specific questions I can answer today? I’ll give it my best shot. 🙂

My First Writing Conference is Days Away

Do I have big plans or what?

On the 20th someone you know and love will drive away from lovely Grand Forks and head to Surrey, BC for the SiWC16. I’m torn between a little scared and extremely happy to be hitting my first conference.


I’ll be attending one Masterclass—Seven Techniques of Fiction Mastery—with Donald Maass and am hoping this class will bump up my writing. Since I didn’t win the SiWC16 Writing Contest, my confidence is on the low side.

Pitch Session

I’ve reserved a pitching appointment with Laura Bradford and don’t have a pitch ready. At first I thought I’d better cancel then I did some digging around on the net. Apparently it is okay to go empty-handed. I’m a huge fan of Laura and it will be a great pleasure to meet her. Without knowing it, she has taught me what the typical day of an agent is all about. Now I understand why it takes time to respond to a submission.

Blue Pencil Session

I’ve also have a Blue Pencil Session with Bob Mayer. When I started learning about the craft, I found his name all over the net. I have feeling the session will be hard on the ego, but I plan to listen hard and hopefully ask a few intelligent questions. I just hope I don’t embarrass myself.

Meeting My First Internet Acquaintance

And the best part of the conference is meeting someone face-to-face. Holli Moncrieff is a fellow Canadian, blogger buddy and horror writer. We met through the IWSG Meme and constantly visit each others blog. I have no idea if we are checking out the same workshops but knowing a familiar face at the conference has soothed my nerves immensely.

So what do you think? Am I going to have fun or what? 🙂

Guess Who Is Attending SiWC16

To be honest, I never thought I’d do this. In fact, if you asked me last year I would have laughed, and laughed hard. Me at a convention. I’m a small town gal.

Somehow things changed. It’s not that I expect to be discovered, although I think I’d like that; I just need more from my writing life. I’ve picked dry most of my writing manuals. My writing groups are great, yet I”m missing something profound.

After some hard thinking, I realized how much I want to talk shop, and meet people I’ve only interacted with on line. So many of the industry post their experiences, keeping the rest of us in the loop. I’d love to shake some hands, practice a few pitch sessions, workshop and soak it all up in person.

I can’t wait to go. What would you do first if you were me?


Over the weekend I checked out the INDIE AUTHOR FRINGE 2016
and loved it. Mostly because it was free, online and full to bursting with advice.

Here are my favorite posts:

Five Steps To Writing Diversity Right: Yen Ooi 

Publishers are looking for more diversity, and I live in a small town full of Russian and Anglo-European (fourth generation) descendants. I had all but given up trying to figure out how include characters with varied heritages.

Then I read this:

Broaden your horizon to include more diverse literature in your reading, whether it’s within your genre or outside.

If I had any sense, I would have thought of this myself.

Just like doing research for historical fiction, reading diaries or other data written from a specific time, I could read diaries and other historical information about any heritage I choose. Finally, my door is open.

The Future of Publishing 7 things an Author MUST Know: Jane Friedman

I found Jane’s video presentation insightful. She spoke mainly on social media and measuring marketing results. I don’t know about you but I’m not a natural with any of this and need all the help I can get.

Designing Book Covers that sell – the 7 Must-Haves: Derek Murphy 

I really enjoyed this video presentation. Derek offered some suggestions on how to create a great cover. I won’t give you any spoilers, but he does show excellent comparisons from amateurish to professional which I found insightful.

The writers conference was posted over a twenty-four hour period. It included a wide range of topics, giveaways and will return several times a year. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to them.

Have you ever been to something like this online? Tell us about it. 🙂