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Category: Writing

Yep, I Got All That from a Conference

I went to the first regional conference of my organization, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, in Philly this weekend. It was a nonstop sort of weekend, with workshops and meetings from 7:30 a.m. to 9 at night. I got to speak on a panel with other authors and agents, including my own. I sat down (in a bar, but never mind that) with Ann Garvin, a USA Today bestselling author and professor at the University of Wisconsin (“You’re from Wis-cahn-son! My brother and sister-in-law live in Wis-cahn-son!”). I gouged my hands open on a razor in my overnight bag and dripped blood all over the bathroom I was sharing with an author friend. It was eventful. A theme popped up over the course of the weekend: keep moving. Agent Katie mentioned the exact phrase during her keynote speech. Ann, during her workshop presentation, addressed something similar: if we forget what we want, we end up just standing still (she was talking about characters moving through a plot, but about real life, too). I ended up discussing it too, during a question I answered on the panel…

I Am All About the Pep Talks These Days

The kids are off school today for a teachers’ conference. It was beautiful out this morning–temperature in the 70s, just slightly cloudy, a little breezy–so we hiked it on down to the park that bumps up against our neighborhood (and by hiked, I mean, drove. I won’t tell you that it’s just a mile away. I will tell you that I’ve a 3-year-old who will sit down in the middle of a sidewalk when he doesn’t feel like walking anymore, and that hill back to our house is steep. I was not feeling patient enough to suggest such insanity as walking). It’s a picturesque setting: the creek rolls slowly by, trees surround us, and there’s very little traffic. If you completely ignore the fact that there’s a huge quarry pit on the other side of that hill right there, and that the vague traffic noise you hear is from the cars entering the Wegmans/Target shopping center just another half-mile through those trees over there, it’s really quite peaceful.I told Saoirse that I’d…

I Mean, They Have Wine There, Too

I’m supposed to be on my way to Albuquerque tomorrow, for my organization‘s writers’ retreat. Workshops, writing time, discussion groups. Friends who have brains like mine. Friends who are on social media right now talking with each other as they pack, excited to meet up with a blueberry margarita in hand before the (awesome, fun, hard, rewarding) work begins. But.I put off getting my plane tickets for a couple of reasons, and by the time I sat down to get them, the prices were so high I couldn’t bring myself to book the flights. (Note: never, ever pay off the last credit card and then make a solemn, empathic family vow to stop using them the same year you book a spot at a great writer’s retreat. Ain’t nobody got time for that kind of fiscal responsibility.) If you’d guess that I’m a little bummed about this, you’d be a good guesser. Or you saw me crying. Either or.  Now.I sit here at the kitchen table, surrounded by notes and index cards and lots and lots of words in my head…