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Posts Tagged ‘Writers Conference’

I’ve attended and participated in many writers conferences over the years. When I return home after spending a day or more surrounded by other people who love writing and books as much as I do, I usually feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the stack of writing projects on my desk (and floor and bookcase top…)

Sometimes, I’ve managed to take helpful notes. If so, I try to type those up while my memory of the workshop or presentation is still fresh. The longer I wait to type those notes, the fuzzier my memory of the extra details I didn’t jot down will become.

Sometimes, I’ve made a few interesting contacts. And I’ll have a stack of business cards ready to add to my contact file. Lesson learned over the years – always jot a note to yourself on the back of each business card so you’ll remember why this person is important to you. Again, as soon as you get home, expand those notes so in a few months the networking contact will still have meaning.

Sometimes, attending a conference will lead to another presentation opportunity. Follow up on the contact as soon as you’re able to do so. You might remember, but the other person’s memory of the offered (or mentioned) opportunity will soon fade. Networking only works when you follow up!

When presenting, sometimes the presentation doesn’t go as you plan. As soon as you get home, review why it wasn’t as good as it could have been. Come up with ideas to improve the presentation for the next time you’re asked to speak on that subject.

A note here – my worst presentation wasn’t due to anything I did in particular! My presentation time slot was the last of the day, the room was stiffling, there was a loud fan directly beside me, a librarian kept moving around behind me, there were too many people crammed in the room… I tried to adjust for the circumstances, and veering from my planned presentation made me anxious and eager to “just get it over with.” If this conference asks me again to do a presentation, I’ll request an earlier time slot and a more spacious room. I’ll also “stick to the plan,” so I feel more relaxed.

An interesting take on making the most of a writing conference can be found in this Build Book Buzz article.

Hope to see you at a writing conference!

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“Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’
‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”
– George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Still reading the Game of Thrones books and hoping to see a new book published in the not too distant future. George Martin is a wonderful stroyteller, whether you choose to delve into his world or not. Yes, there’s violence, language, and sex, but his world building is to be admired.

I like this quote, not just because it shows a wonderful relationship between parent and child, but because of its great truth. To pick up a snake when you’re not afraid of snakes is no act of bravery. To kill a copperhead threatening your children when you’re terrified of snakes, is being brave.

For me, it is a fearful thing to put my stories and artwork out in the public eye. I suppose it’s because I fear my work isn’t good enough. I’ve never been part of “the in group,” so I think I’m pretty sure my creative work—and by extension, myself—will be rejected or thought less than acceptable. Whether in science-fiction and fantasy fandom at cons, at writers’ conventions, bookstore signing, or at an art exhibit—I’m always one step away from running out the door. (Though I’ve been told I hide it well!)

So when you see me at public venues, know I face a fear by being there. I’m not sure if I’m brave, but I do know my heart is racing and my hands are shaking—just a bit—as I pry myself from in front of the computer or drawing board and mingle with readers, writers, and fans.

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Jet-lag still persists, but I’m trying to catch up on all my writing and art responsibilities.

dogs of war dtf On the writing front, Defending the Future – Dogs of War, an anthology of military science fiction stories from editor Mike McPhail and Dark Quest Books is now available. The book includes my story, “Tower Farm,” and I can’t wait to read all the other stories in the collection.

Also, my dark fantasy story, “Black Bear,” was accepted for an upcoming issue of Morpheus Tales. Again, I can’t wait to read everyone else’s contribution. (I already know what mine says!) And my poem, “The wolf is kept fed by his feet,” was just published by Elektrik Milkbath Press’s Paper Crow (Summer/Spring 2013 issue). As usual, a nice editing job by Angela Craig.

In addition, I’m one of the authors participating in “Just Write Writers Conference” on Sunday, Sept. 29th at the Bel Air Library in Bel Air, MD. It looks to be a great day filled with writing information and visits with readers and fellow writers.

calendar2014crist1 On the art front, a 2014 calendar featuring my speculative paintings was just released by Alban Lake Publishing . And I’ve had fantastical cover art accepted by FrostFire magazine (2), Illumen, and Spaceports and Spidersilk magazine (2).

Plus, 24 of my speculative paintings are currently displayed in “Enchanted – Fantasy Paintings by Vonnie Winslow Crist” at the Lenrow Gallery, Athenaeum Building, Goucher College, Towson, MD. The exhibit will be open to the public until late October 2013.

And as soon as I upload some of my pictures, I’ll share some of the fabulous castles, abbeys, etc. I visited while in Scotland.

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