Thursday, October 27, 2016

IWSG and November Madness

I went to the FWA Writer’s conference I previously wrote about and worked long and hard and avoided crying until the very end. This will be my last conference as Registration Chair and I took it harder than I thought I would. FWA has become family for me and to leave them this year was dreadful. I hope to attend and volunteer in the future when I am back from France, but until I know what that looks like, I had to see this as a change of life and leave it behind while keeping the memories and friends I’ve made there over the last five years.

And so, what does the future hold? Don’t we all ask this at some point in our lives? I am moving to France next year, in February. I don’t know for how long, but after 33 years of marriage to a man raised in France; after my daughter spent a year there as an Au Pair, my turn has finally come! I will actually be there for more than a few days or weeks. I will live there and work on my French. I will have a lot of time to write, to finish four books that are all complete novels but in differing stages of revision. The year of revision is what I’m calling 2017, of my life and of my work.

What do you foresee for 2017? Is it too early to look that far ahead for you? Are you eager for it, or dreading it? I’ve not been excited about 2017 until the conference, where it was announced in front of everyone that I was moving to France. I had so many folks wishing me well on my new adventure that I realized I’d really downplayed it and had allowed myself to get stressed and unhappy about it instead of seeing what’s really happening: that my dream of living in France is finally coming true!
Take a look and see where you are. Perhaps you’ve fallen into the same trap I did and need a boost to realize where you really are? I wish you only good luck with whatever you decide, and wherever you decide to do it. From February on I will be posting from France because if the FWA conference taught me one thing this time, it’s to treasure your chosen families and IWSG is one of those for me.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? I will be (as I am now) writing, revising but off line. I have made a deadline for myself and plan to keep it. Good luck to those of you participating!

Question of the month: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? 
Answer: The stories. Period. The stories are what make being a writer worth everything.



Wednesday, October 05, 2016

October winds...IWSG First Wednesday


Hello everyone,
Another month has come to pass and the weather is cooling, thankfully, and since the IWSG post is today, I wanted to write again about a writer’s conference that I am a part of, an organization whose motto is: Writers Helping Writers.

 And since that’s what we do here as well on the IWSG site, I thought it something to reiterate. We are writers helping writers. I’m a part of IWSG because I need to feel I’m not alone in my writing world, and this blog “Hop” helps me feel I'm a part of something bigger than myself. When I attend a writer’s conference I feel that way as well. At the FWA Annual Conference, and some of the other conferences I’ve gone to, no one looks at me like I’m crazy, or with condescension.  They actually “get” what I’m talking about, and tell me their crazy stories about the writing life as well. Don’t get me wrong, my family and friends are wonderful and supportive. And yet they don’t live in my “writer-world” and that’s why writer’s conferences are so important to me.  I dream of one day being a keynote speaker at one, or giving an all day workshop to aspiring writers, or both! 

In the meantime, the IWSG October 5 Question is: When do you know your story is ready?

Answer: When my eyes are blurred and my head can’t read through it one more time.
No, really, once my editor has gone over it, once I’ve done the changes and gone over it at least three more times, then I give it out to the world. This usually only happens after about 20-25 drafts. Not completely full drafts, but since the method I use after the story is “done” is a seven part process in itself, I repeat it again once I have it back from my editor.
However, if you mean: when do I stop “writing” the story, well, each story is different. I take them one at a time, and usually they will tell me when I’m done and it’s time for the slog work. And you…?
Feeling super that I’ve made it to number 55 (OMG!!) on the IWSG list! Woohoo! My first post on IWSG was in 2013 (I posted once I think, and then got serious in 2014). OMG again. As I said before, I do love it here. Thank you Ninja Captain for giving us this space…

The awesome IWSG co-hosts for this month are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley! Please go and visit and thank them for co-hosting!