surrey writers conference

The Afterglow of SiWC

What an amazing weekend!!! It went by so quickly it’s hard to believe I’m at home again. My mind feels like it’s going to explode with all the information I absorbed over the last three days.

From the morning keynotes to wonderful lunches where you got to chat with friends and most importantly make new friends, as well as, networking with all the wonderful agents, editors and authors that surrounded us at every turn.

From Jack Whyte, Diana Gabaldon, and Anne Perry to Robert Dugoni, Ivan Coyote and Julia Quinn (oh, but to name a few) – it was a star-studded event.

Agents from New York, San Francisco and across Canada – it was an authors dream come true.

The workshops were great and loaded with invaluable information to take home and add to our writer’s toolbox.

On Saturday they put on a Mystery Guest lunch were they placed an author, editor or agent at each table and we could pick their brains, ask advice or chat about anything and everything we wanted – of course writing is always on the brain at this conference!

I had the pleasure to sit with agent Laurie McLean from Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco. She was such a warm, friendly and wonderful person, her excitement about being there and talking about the thing she loves – writing – was contagious.

I got the chance to speak with Nephele Tempest from The Knight Agency in New York and Valerie Gray from Harlequin.

A real special treat was getting the books I had purchased signed by the authors who wrote them.

We were also invited to the Romance Writers of America cocktail party on Saturday night and I met a couple of wonderful girls there who I really enjoyed talking with.

Sunday came along way too fast. The morning keynote was Author Slade and he talked about treadmill desks!! What a picture he painted for us but his message was clear. We as writers need to get off our butts from time to time and exercise-take care of ourselves and be healthy.

After two more workshops we had our final lunch and then our afternoon keynote was Robert Dugoni. His Aragon speech from LOTR Return of the King as they stand in front of the Gate of Mordor – will forever be changed for me as he interpreted it for a writers destiny. “And we WRITE!” I had goosebumps!

He inspired me, as I’m sure he did for everyone there, and when I left that banquet hall I wanted to turn right back around and go back inside so my time there could never end.

I’m already making plans for SiWC 2011!!!!

writing

Writing in nature

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Writer’s Retreat at a beautiful farm in the Shuswap. There was a small group of us and our first order of business was to take a leisurely walk around the yard and take in everything we could enveloping all our senses. From the flowers, vines, tall evergreen trees and the hawks flying overhead, memories flowed through me like a waterfall. We then had a chance to write it all down followed by a few more writing exercises which we got to share with everyone.

A delicious lunch topped off with extraordinary raspberry pie and tantalizing conversation was soon followed by a lesson on the differences between self-publishing and the traditional form of publishing. We then had a chance to do some improv and character development.

A wine and cheese snack finished off the day and soon we were on our way back to reality and the busy city life.

Enjoying the beauty, smelling the crisp fresh air and sweet flowers relaxed me and brought me down to earth. I realized then that we all need to slow down every once in a while, take a deep breath and then things seem a little easier to handle.

Romance writing

Inspiration

It’s been a good month or so since I’ve been to my critique group due to various events that came up in my hectic life. Yesterday, I was finally able to go with my revised first chapter, and besides a few bad cliches, I did pretty well.

After supper, the urge to do my corrections hit hard. I changed those cliches, took care of some past tenses and I can see a big difference already.

Looking forward to correcting chapter two.