Tag Archives: chuckanut writers conference

Busy Summer Bee

I’ve been wonderfully busy. Last weekend I attended the Chuckanut Writer’s Conference here in Bellingham, WA. I attended workshops on the art of the sentence by and the award winning author Priscilla Long  and one of the best known writers anywhere, Tom Robbins. I learned a new form of personal essay, the hermit crab, from Western Washington University Professor Brenda Miller.

Despite my introversion, I also managed to meet at least two more writers. Rebecca Ross is a non-fiction writer and organization specialist who has appeared on Hoarders: Buried Alive on TLC and Anita Boser is the author of Relieve Stiffness and Feel Young Again with Undulation.

I practiced my pitch with two agents from Andrea Hurst Literary Management. They gave me some advice that I’ll be taking before I send them my proposal and first 100 pages.

My sister-in-law and fellow writer Emily also attended.

I came home excited to apply the new insights I picked up regarding sentence structure. I wish I could go to a one week writing retreat to work on it right now! But alas, the kids are off from school so the writing pace is slower than when they were in school six hours a day, but I’m still plugging along.

I finally met Chuck Robinson of Village Books in person and was able to talk to him about doing a reading from Easy To Love But Hard to Raise this fall. I’m very excited to share this valuable book with other parents around the world. I also posted a blog over there yesterday about managing anxiety.

Whew! I also managed to finish Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Highly recommend it as a summer read, especiallly if you love improv, stand-up comedy, and/or Saturday Night Live as much as I do. What I love most about her writing style is that almost every sentence dabbles in the absurd while still making you feel connected to her as a real person, even when she snarks! Someone once asked me, “If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?” My immediate answer was, and still is, Tina Fey. Thanks to my husband for giving me the book for mothers day! I aspire to incorporate more humor into my memoir.

I hope your summer is feeling as relaxing and/or productive as mine.

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Year End Inventory

One of my writing mentors, Christina Katz suggests cataloging your accomplishments before setting goals for the new year. Give this a try before setting your New Year’s Resolutions.

Here are my writing-related accomplishments during 2010:

  • I published 10 articles in local and regional publications
  • I have 12 articles already written that can be circulated as reprints and published elsewhere
  • I took two classes: Writing & Publihing the Short Stuff and the Dream Team
  • I completed edits for a personal essay, Finding My Way, that will be published in the anthology, Bless Your Heart, due out in Fall 2011
  • I wrote ~70,000 words of my memoir, and polished about 10,000 more
  • I blogged at least 3 times a month right here on my own blog all year long and converted my old blog to WordPress (highly recommend it)
  • I joined my county writers and publishers group, Whatcom Writers and Publishers, and attended two meetings
  • I joined a critique group and connected with at least 4 other writers in my town. Some of them are in my blog roll to the right.
  • I opened a separate bank account to hold earnings from writing
  • I started telling people that I’m a writer when they ask what I do
  • I narrowed down the kind of writing I’d like to do in the future to two niches: assisted reproduction and environmental conservation & toxicology

I’m sure there are a couple that I missed but that feels like a lot of success for one year.

Looking ahead, I came up with these goals for 2011. Please let me know if you would like to help me acheive any of these aspirations.

  • Publish more than ten articles this year, hopefully at least one will be in a national publication
  • Finish the draft of my memoir and revise it until I am satisfied, and then submit my proposal to at least 10 more agents
  • Earn some money writing this year
  • Increase my blog readership, and explore blogging strategies, such as guest blogging
  • Consider taking a personal essay class and/or a class on platform development
  • Start publishing small stuff in my newer niche: environmental conservation & toxicology
  • Attend two conferences this year, Pacific Northwest Writers Association meeting and Chuckanut Writer’s Conference
  • Meet and get to know the owners of my local book store, Chuck and Dee Robinson at Village Books
  • Publish a personal essay or short story in an anthology—I’ll check out Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cup of Comfort through Adams Media, and Seal Press

I hope that your year has been as productive and rewarding as mine and that you will achieve any goal you attack in 2011.

Happy Holidays!

Lorraine Wilde