Wednesday, March 20, 2019

#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop March 2019

I'm thrilled to be participating once again in the Author Toolbox Blog Hop, the brainchild of Raimey Gallant. Join fellow writers as we share some insights and advice on this writing life.

Two months from now, I'll be packing for my trip to Pittsburgh, PA where I'll be attending the 32nd annual Pennwriters Conference for three days. I've been a member of Pennwriters for fifteen years. It's a writing group covering the entire state and all writing careers. There are 40+ hours of workshop sessions and appointments to be had for pitches to attending agents and editors. Keynote speakers will share insights and expertise. I'm not pitching the conference because I'm on the board, though it is an excellent conference if you're in the area. I'm pitching workshops and conferences in general.

The board of on Pennwriters recently debated the question of whether or not younger writers are as keen to attend and join writing groups and conferences that meet in the flesh. One side believes that younger writers find their network and tribe online. Unlike those of us who have been in the business to a long time when the only support was found in local writing group, the first place writers look today is online.

The Insecure Writers Support Group is one example of an excellent online group. RWA, despite recent updates that don't seem like updates, has forums and their online classes. Blog hops like this one can lead to networking opportunities. Critique partners are found through Facebook groups. Why spend the money to travel and attend a workshop or conference?

I've been published by a small press for over twelve years, but I know there are zillions of ways to improve my writing and at least that many things I don't know that I don't know. Every time I attend a conference or workshop, I learn something I didn't know. And not always from the presenter. Sometimes, I pick up things from the person I sit with at lunch or at the bar in the evening. Sometime, it's the person who sits beside me in a workshop. Or the free literature sitting around in the hospitality suite or included in the welcome folder. There are always craft and marketing books for sale, too. I found my first critique partner at my first writing conference. It might be a cliche, but we met on the elevator.

My local chapter of RWA held a one day workshop last November. It was a terrific, well-spent day that included lunch and only cost $50 for many pointers on marketing and platform.

Our Pennwriters board didn't come to a conclusion or ways we can draw more young writers to our organization. I thought this was the perfect spot to pick the brains of writers. Where do you make your networking and support connections as a writer? Do you enjoy in person meetings and workshops? What do you look for if attending a conference? What might entice you to attend a workshop?

Please visit the other participants of this bloghop.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

IWSG: March 2019

Welcome to the monthly bloghop created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Join us as we share advice, insecurities and all things writing. Find the complete list of participants on the IWSG site.

Each month an optional question is thrown out there. This month's question:
Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

I enjoy both perspectives but find the antagonist easier to write for. I like to get in the villain's mind so the reader can see why the bad guy thinks he's the good guy. That's more fun than pure evil.

If you're in the northeast like me, you were swatted with three snowstorms in four and a half days that wound up Monday morning. I'm tired of snow, but my granddaughter loves it. Shoveling and sled riding. Grammy has been walking a lot of hills this winter. I'm ready to plant some flowers.

"Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than emperors." Mary Cantwell

This cold, snowy winter is really difficult for the homeless. I hope you remember the shelters and churches, and food banks that help those people.

"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others remains immortal." Albert Pike

Participating in IWSG always reminds me how fast time is flying by. My granddaughter turned two years old this past weekend. Where does the time go?

The excitement is really building for the last season of Game of Thrones. I can't imagine the pressure the writers must feel with the weight of viewers expectations upon them. We all have our theories and want our favorites to survive. We all have anticipations about the upcoming reunions and hope they're as emotionally fulfilling as we expect. We all have a few characters we hope get their due. There will so much judgement when it's finally over.

"There has never been a statue set up in honor of a critic." Jean Sibelius

I recently binged The Umbrella Academy on Netflix. It was entertaining but not great. I do hope for a second season. Any suggestions on what to binge while I'm visiting blogs today?

A lot of things are going on this week. Ash Wednesday is today. Friday is International Women's Day and Captain Marvel comes out appropriately that day. It's also my youngest son's birthday. His closest friends always text him on his birthday and wish him Happy International Women's Day instead of happy birthday.

"It is the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next weekend, Daylight Savings Time begins. A lot of people don't like the time change and I hate losing the hour of sleep, but I like having dark in the morning and sunlight later in the day.

Do you like reading the antagonist's POV? Do you have some expectations for season 8 of Thrones that will influence your enjoyment of the series' end? Are you a Daylight Savings Time fan or do you hate it?