Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Conference round-up

The 15th annual Surrey International Writer's Conference is over. And I bet there are a lot of participants out there who have already marked their calendars with the dates for next year's (Oct. 24-26).

I've lost count of how many Surrey conferences I've attended, but this was as good as any - if more tiring. This year I presented one workshop (to standing-room only crowd of 65 - perhaps my first full house ever!) moderated a panel of children's writers, publishers and editors, did a handful of Blue Pencil Cafe manuscript consultations, hung out a little with old friends and new, and even pitched a project.

(Oh! And sold a few copies of my book 101 - and more - Writing Exercises to Get You Started & Keep You Going. And came home with a new idea for a kids' novel - something that came to me watching a friend wash her hands in the bathroom. I've never figured out why so many ideas come to me in bathrooms!)

But I did get to hang out with some wonderful people, put a few faces to names of those with whom I share a virtual space from time to time, watched an old friend get newly-inspired and a new writer find her feet in the throngs of eager conference-goers.

By the time Sunday rolled around I was ready for a long retreat somewhere very quiet, but had to turn around and head straight for a symposium for which I was hired to do some contract work. Now the deadline for that project is staring me in the face before I've even had the chance to read through the few conference handouts I managed to snag.

But life's like that. Between now and Nov. 7 I have the symposium report to compile, a 4-week class to wind up, a reading to give, a new workshop to present, and a load of laundry to get through, plus a couple of other deadlines that need to be wrestled to the ground.

Not to mention that I am still awaiting news of the fate of Tansy Here and Now, my kids' novel currently under consideration at a BC publisher. I was told I could expect to hear by the end of the month; I'm watching the days slip away as my nails get shorter and shorter!

In less than an hour I'm off to do my first reading of Tansy Here and Now, a gig I am sharing with kc dyer. She's an old hand, and warns me that there's no way of knowing if anyone will show up. If not, we'll read to each other and enjoy the first downtime either of us have had in a while (she did a stellar job as the SiWC's new conference coordinator this year, and deserves all the accolades coming her way).

But if there's an audience, I'll get my husband to take a picture or two so I have it for my archives.

But now I had better go and change, then figure out which passage of the book I'm going to read.

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