Sunday, January 27, 2013


The decision to get up early on a Saturday morning to attend the "Making it in Changing Times" one-day writing conference was worth it. It was a day filled with books and writing and inspiring and knowledgable speakers. And food. As we were reminded several times, there's lots more food left, eat more.

But it was the people who made the day. The "writers' tribe" as Jessica Morrell called it - yes, these were my people even though I only knew two others and knew of (had met, have read their work) the speakers: Jessica Morrell (who put this conference together), Lidia Yuknavitch, Polly Campbell, Deborah Reed, and Kevin Sampsell.

And thanks to Wallace Books, my bag was a little heavier as I left the building and was walking back to my car, thinking, Why is this bag heavier now than when I went in - I drank my coffee and the bottle of water? Oh - books.  I didn't buy all of the books I wanted today, but I bought several.

Jessica is an entertaining and straightforward writer and editor, who had much to say. I've heard her speak before at the Willamette Writers Conferences. And I'll hear her again. I'm hoping that the next time she offers Line by Line I'll be able to take it; and if not the next time, then the time after that.

Lidia was, not surprisingly, powerful. The is entertaining and puts it all out there. She is the badass for sure. And inspiring. I'd also love to do a class or workshop with her. One in person, rather than online. She had a lot of really good things to say.

They were all good.

I'm still absorbing information from the day and may post some favorite quotes later. But not now.

And it did inspire me. It took a little bit of down time, and dinner. And watching another episode of my current streaming Netflix TV program. And then I dove into revising my current WIP.

And I mean I really dove in. I have been working on this for a while and the revision stage is slow and sometimes difficult and sometimes overwhelming. But I'm doing it. In this current set of chapters I'm revising for the Monday writing group there is one particularly rough to edit chapter. It was written early in this process and it shows. It was written with a workshop prompt in mind, and that shows, too. So I have to take out those obvious assignment elements. I had to clean up the awkward language - actually clean up the voice which no longer fits with how my writing has evolved and the voice of this WIP has evolved.

I also cut some monumental chunks. Nearly one entire page and several entire paragraphs. And I rewrote several paragraphs as well. It needed it - they weren't frivolous or temperamental cuts; they were necessary.

I made progress. Significant progress. And it felt good.

Thank you, Jessical Morrell for a well-spent and inspiring day.

Thank you to all of the speakers - I enjoyed them all. But a special thanks to Lidia and her idea that "the page will hold you (when you write your truth)" and to identify one risk we can take in our writing today; her talk on The Worth of Risk.