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Monday, October 18, 2010

Breathe Writer's Conference Re-Cap

Last year, Sue called me up one day and said "Hey, lets got to a Writer's Conference."

And so we did.

It was there we met Ann who said "You really should go to Breathe with the guild and I this fall."

And so we did.

And we returned again this year.

Ahhhhhhh, there is nothing like walking into a room full of people and hugging the friends you have made over the past year.

Because, these ladies...Ann, Lorilee and Alison...have indeed become dear friends.

My husband always asks me what a Writer's Conference is like.

Um, how do you answer that?

Because, I don't know if you know this or not....but I'm not a published writer. I am a blogger. And if no one ever read this blog, I would have to write anyhow. I love to write. I have to get the words in my head typed on the screen or scribbled in a notebook. And there are a few story ideas jumbling around up there among the 'to do' list and all the laundry I have to fold and dinners I have to make.

The bestest part of a writer's conference (yes, I know I wrote 'bestest'. It's so the Guild knows I have to hang out with them more so they can correct all these mistakes I make. ;) ) is being around a bunch of writers.

But the friends you make there you "get" because they understand what its like to desire to make your writing better. Stronger.

The highlight teacher this year for me was Jo Kadlecek. If I could drop all I am and drive to Massachusetts and become a student in her classes, I would. Honest. This woman was phenominal and I cannot wait to read what she has written. If you do not look her up, you will be sorely missing out. She also introduced me to Flannery O'Conner whom I had never heard of, but will be becoming a student of. She made me excited to write, and her ideas on character writing have me dreaming up great story scenes......

Lorilee Craker did a terrific job teaching us about Book Proposals. This has been a huge unknown to me and she broke it down and made it do-able for all of us. I can't wait for her newest book to come out...it deals with money secrets of the Amish.

Alison Hodgson gave a speech Friday night that had us all in tears. The trials she has gone through as their house was deliberately set on fire....well, you just can't put that into words (even at a Writer's Conference).

Hugh Cook was our special speaker, the guest of honor. Because he spoke Dutch, I asked him what a "hon-yock" is (because that is what my husband was called as a child). He didn't know. The woman serving us snacks, water and coffee all day long said it meant "Trouble Maker". Which makes total sense. I have not ever read Hugh's work...Sadie the dog ate the book. Literally.

Emily Downs did a super quick moving class on how to be published in a magazine. She is an adorable girl who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her and her husband's first son. I hope we get to meet up with this coffee loving gal sometime soon!

Probably the funniest class Sue and I took was on screenplay writing.

Let me explain.

For Praise and Coffee Night in December, Sue and I are writing a comedy skit for the women. She thought we should take the class to see what we could learn. So we did. And it was how to get your screen play PUBLISHED. I was certain, that at any second, Ted would KNOW I had no idea what he was talking about, that I was totally feigning any knowledge what so ever and would call on me....he did a great job, never called on us, and he gave us lots of info. I just didn't have any interest in screen play writing. I was so thankful when the class was over.......Ted Kluck, I am sorry. I hope you have an awesome screen play career.

The end of the day Saturday was the Writer's Panel, where you can ask them all what ever it is you would like to ask all the speakers from the conference. It's always informative and light hearted. Afterwards, we ended with a devotional.

The most unforgettable person of the whole conference was a woman named Kim. I do believe she and I and Sue will all be having coffee sometime soon and will no doubt become good friends. She was trapped in the Ukraine for eleven months and 13 days with her newly adopted four year old son before she had to flee for their lives. When did this happen? Years ago? Oh no, she just got home this spring.

Wow.

Her family was sitting here in the states, her husband, her daughter....not able to do a thing.........

I can not grasp my mind around it.

The highlight of the weekend was the girl time. It just is. It's getting together with a bunch of friends, it's Sue and I watching chick flicks and talking into the wee hours of the morning, it's complimenting some friend on her outfit, or heels, or boots, or hair....it's bonding. It's fun.

I strongly suggest you come on out next year to Breathe Writer's Conference.

And I returned home to, well, to be totally honest, there is a dead mouse somewhere in my house and I can't find it, my boys were all sick with the flu, my husband was sick, everyone was starving and I was late as the lone person in my family to run to church the next morning to teach Sunday school....but I returned home renewed and refreshed and excited to write. And write well. And write lots.

Stay tuned.........


4 comments:

Jennifer said...

I think I am going to have to clear my calendar for the December Praise and Coffee night now.
Smiles!

Alex Marestaing said...

Okay, sounds like a totally packed weekend, but you came back a better writer, and movie maker :), so that's a good thing. Thanks for a happily written review.

Lorilee said...

Denise, you are a delightful person and I truly like your book idea! Thanks for the sugar for Breathe and my book proposal session!
BTW, I live in the city, and MY WORD, last week I discovered four dead baby moles in my closet, dragged in by the cat? I have never been so disgusted in my life, though my son Jonah and I bonded over their removal. :) You rock!

Kim said...

I love, love, love Flannery O'Connor.

Your post reminds me that there is a writers' conference held in Homer, AK, every year. I've always wanted to attend, but never took the time to register. I really need to do that this year!! It's a great conference, with well-known published authors and poets who speak and teach (one year Amy Tan attended, next year features Rita Dove, a former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, etc).