Oh, wow! What a conference!

Conferences are often the brunt of jokes. You know how it is — the annual conference in Vegas that’s little more than a vacation getaway where attendees take in all the entertainment and casino opportunities, and make it to one conference session just to legitimize the trip’s expense claim. Not so for most writers’ conferences. MaybeContinue reading “Oh, wow! What a conference!”

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Is there a genre for fictional tulips and daffodils?

Tulips don’t grow in my garden. Deer eat them before the buds even develop. I’ve planted dozens upon dozens of daffodils and narcissus because I’m told deer don’t like them. They bloom beautifully the first year, but only a few make it through to the next, and by the third year there are none. I suspectContinue reading “Is there a genre for fictional tulips and daffodils?”

Conference Aftermath…

Every event has a highlight. For the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, it has to be after the Saturday evening’s theme banquet, when author Jack Whyte offers up his annual rendition of ‘The Hippopotamus Song’. This year’s performance was especially poignant because many of us know we almost lost Jack last year following his November 30,Continue reading “Conference Aftermath…”

The Frustration of Misunderstanding

To be misunderstood can be the writer’s punishment for having disturbed the reader’s peace. The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding. Anatole Broyard ~ I read agents’ blogs for several reasons. One is to learn as much as I can about the publishing industry. Another is to learn what separates one agentContinue reading “The Frustration of Misunderstanding”

More Conference Thoughts and an Inadequate Thank You

I’ve been reflecting on the people involved with the Surrey Conference. So many people! They all had an impact on how I experienced the conference and yet many of them I didn’t directly encounter. For every visible contribution there were at least ten more from behind the scenes, and every one was important to theContinue reading “More Conference Thoughts and an Inadequate Thank You”

When sunsets and stories are “too quiet”

This past week I’ve been on a ‘sunset-photo-collecting spree. Every evening the sky has flamed with streaks of gold and orange, apricot, pink and purple, and occasionally even red. It’s been glorious! (A click will enlarge photos for an improved view.) I wasn’t seeking impressive photo compositions, just shots of the sky, but in theContinue reading “When sunsets and stories are “too quiet””

Are we poisoning our chances for publication?

. Common snowberry, or Symphoricarpos albus, is a deciduous shrub in the honeysuckle family. It grows wild on shady hillsides and woodland areas but its attractive clusters of white berries have also made it a popular ornamental shrub in many gardens. It grows in wild abundance on our family’s Okanagan property and provides winter foodContinue reading “Are we poisoning our chances for publication?”

What happens at SiWC….

. What happens in Surrey doesn’t necessarily stay in Surrey! If this video by Kimberly (@kimmydon) doesn’t convince you the Surrey International Writers’ Conference is THE place to be, nothing will. Where else would you see uber-agent Donald Maass literally stripping the [auctioned] shirt off the back of uber-author Robert Dugoni? I couldn’t get toContinue reading “What happens at SiWC….”

Paralyzed by Fear

. The fabric has well-defined folds and wrinkles from being squashed under a stack of tablecloths and placemats. It’s a batik I created somewhere around 1985. I’ve kept it because I enjoyed the experience of making it and love its colours, but it has resided in a drawer hidden under table linens for all theseContinue reading “Paralyzed by Fear”

I Like It. She Doesn’t.

Not long ago I mentioned that I don’t choose books based on reviews. What one reader likes in a story isn’t always what satisfies another. Do you ever wonder why that is? Why one agent passes on a manuscript because it doesn’t ignite a spark, and yet another agent will become a passionate advocate ofContinue reading “I Like It. She Doesn’t.”