The Desert Rose conference was superb. So well run. Such friendly people. I absolutely loved Deb Dixon's workshop and although I've used her book for years, came away from it with a much greater understanding of GMC. For those non-writers that means the goals, motivations and conflicts for your characters. Deb is an amazing teacher and keeps the snooze factor low, that's saying something considering it was early morning and we'd all just started on our second cup of coffee. : )
The other workshop that was well presented, fun, and gave me food for thought, was Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer's Genesis of the Novel. I owe Bob so much for pushing me in the general direction of better writing. Not quite "there" yet, but getting close. I took his workshop on Hilton Head Island last year and that was a major turning point for me. This talk was interesting not so much from the collaboration viewpoint(they wrote Don't Look Down together) because I could never collaborate on a book, but I liked the discussion on character. Writing in layers, and as Jenny suggested, write big, start big. She repeated the words, wonderful, fascinating, different and suggested we use those in respect to our hero and heroine. What makes them wonderful, fascinating and different? What makes the story wonderful, fascinating, different?
The whole drive home through the desert I thought of panoramas and began another story in my head. A big sweeping saga full of wonderful, fascinating, and different characters, but that will never be written. : )
I had an appointment with Lucienne Diver, an agent from Spectrum Literary Agency in New York. We'd met a few years back and she'd requested but rejected my work at that point. I know why. My stories were heavy with exposition and I couldn't (as the author) get out of my own way. Maybe she'll see the improvement. I currently have the story she requested, The Good Luck Penny, with Anna Genoese at Tor Books. It would be a lovely tidy little package working with the two of them. Sigh. I can only dream. Anyway, I mailed the submission today, so here's hoping.
There were some wonderful people at the conference, Ruth Perkins, Peggy Prince, Maureen McGowan, Jenny (whose last name I've forgotten but she is one of Jenny Crusie's Cherries) and Mia Zachary. We had some good times. Mia and I even talked about hooking up in Australia one of these years. We probably won't ever do it but it was fun to think about.
I'm writing a few more pages to add to my website. Articles I've written for the LARA Confidential (our chapter newsletter) and some of the talks I've given, so if you're a newbie writer looking for tips, please check back. They should be posted in the next two weeks. I have to concentrate now on the special event for LARA which is coming up fast, May 6th to be exact. Yikes, one week. Got to go print up the programs.