Tag Archives: blogging

When Words Matter

You still might have time to attend When Words Collide in Calgary. For the August 14-16 writers’ conference, registering early was important. In fact, if you email now, you will be put on the waiting list! But at least you have a chance of attending.

Wordfest celebrations do have presentations for writers, but this conference is truly a great one for writers or those who dream of writing. As well, given the range of topics and the expertise, what phenomenal value for your money!

Having participated previously, I remember the countless presentations and panels on the art, craft and business of writing. Whether you have published or are still hoping to publish, the weekend offers something for everyone regardless of expertise and genre. If you want the scoop on events and presenters, just check out the program on the website: http://www.whenwordscollide.org.

There are so many great panels and presentations, but I will be on the following panels with these other fine presenters:

Editing Tricks Faye Holt, Ella Beaumont, Nowick Gray, Arlene F. Marks, Barb Galler-Smith (M) Catching your own goofs before you send your manuscript to your beta reader, or worse, Amazon. Developmental, structural, copyediting or proofreading: Do you need an editor before you self publish? What kind? Or have you been burned: I’m not going to let an editor touch my words!

To Blog or Not to Blog: Answer This Question Faye Holt, Maraya Loza Koxahn, Ella Beaumont, Ryan McFadden Should writers spend their little time writing their book or splitting it with a consistent blog. Panellists discuss benefits and best practices to hosting a blog.

Memoir or Autobiography?  Brian Brennan, Faye Holt, Vivian Hansen, Maraya Loza Koxahn Should your memoir start with your birth? Or is that your mother’s story? Memoir focuses on a significant event or series of events that illustrate a concept. Or do they? Panellists discuss what to include and what to leave out of memoir: the line between memoir and autobiography.

If you have registered, check the schedule for dates and times. Hope to see you there.

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Getting Back on Track

Writers’ Conferences and Connections

Well, I’m back—at least for now.

That is I am back at blogging and back from The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) conference in Winnipeg. In fact, one good reason to go to writing conferences is hearing featured speakers, panelists and fellow writers talk about their experiences and the industry. Another plus is all the information. It can help motivate us to start projects or in my case restart projects and other options related to writing.

At times, I have enjoyed exploring my ideas regarding my favourite topics through my blog. At other times, I just have too many commitments for writing—any kind of writing. Sometimes, those commitments have left me physically or emotionally tired. At other times, the energy drain has meant the ideas simply aren’t passing through my brain.

However, writing conferences do help energize me. So, what did I learn in Winnipeg that was valuable? Unfortunately, writing incomes are trending significantly downward since 1998. There is a gender gap in incomes. Most writers are female, between the ages of 50 and 69 and well educated.

Another inspiration included Golden Boy atop of the Manitoba Legislative Building.

Another inspiration included Golden Boy atop of the Manitoba Legislative Building.

Those are the facts according to TWUC report entitled “Devaluing Creators, Endangering Creativity.” So what helped energize me? Well, I admit I am always interested in the business aspects of the meetings, but one panel “Affirming the Artistic Life: Managing Setbacks and Successes in Writing” and the Children’s Writers Meeting were both thoughtful and realistic. Of course, meeting with old friends and industry professionals is always great, too. If you are interested in this writers’ group, the web page is www.TWUC.ca

Anyway, I am back, which is a testament to the value of such conferences. Undoubtedly, there will be other conferences during the year. When I am able to attend, I’ll tell you some of what transpired. When attendance is impossible for me, I might simply give you what information I have so that you can attend.

Best Laid Plans

With summer travel, perhaps we should expect that sometimes plans need to change. If you are waiting for the continuation of the Guy Weadick story, it will be up Monday, July 30. I am trying to get back to my Monday schedule, and by the 30th, I think I will be up to speed.

The article is entitled: Weadick & the Calgary Stampede: Fact or Fiction or a Little of Both, and remember in this one as I promised “the plot thickens.”

The following Monday, I have scheduled a young guest blogger, Arden Seely, who will give us her insights regarding the tourist and heritage site, Saskatchwan’s Moose Jaw Tunnels.

But remember, August 10, 11 and 12, Calgary play host to When Words Collide, a fine writers’ conference that welcomes writers and writing enthusiasts from all genres to share experiences and information. So, check out the website www.whenwordscollide.org. I think there is still time to register!

Beyond Computers and Technology

It’s time to stop stressing about technology and move on to other topics, but before I do, I’ll share one last complication. I discovered that my Outbox disappeared in Outlook 2010. My online search suggested that others have had the same problem, and I have to say that it is truly amazing that, whatever your problem, someone out there has gone through the same thing. Like others, I know these are first world problems, but it is always good to know we are not alone with them. Learning and relearning technology may be good for the brain, but many of us want to use the technology for a specific purpose, so it feels like wasted time. However, after my blog about being obsessed about losing my digital files, I received an email from someone who suggested that she had tried to leave a message on my blog, and after four tries she gave up and simply emailed. It was very kind of her to let me know about the problem of leaving messages and also offer suggestions regarding the safekeeping of files.

In doing so, she has motivated me to have a look at my blog setup. For some time, I have known I should look at all my settings and make changes. So, maybe in a couple of weeks you will be able to reply, but I make no guarantees. Also, I’ll reconsider other areas of the blog that need attention, so watch for changes. However, consider this my last blog on technology, at least for a few months. As a further note, I should tell friends that if you have asked me to be your friend or become LinkedIn, I am not yet on MySpace, Facebook, not tweeting, not part of any social networks, online communities, list serves or discussion groups.  Yes, on occasion, Youtube has provided me with a laugh, but for now, my choosing to be a laggard is about setting priorities and sticking to them.

However, like the turtle in The Hare and the Tortoise, I suspect that one day I’ll become a techno wizard, happy to join new and old friends wherever they spend their time. In the meantime, over two months, I’ll write about writing, this time for the countless English and language arts teachers who have a passion for words and work hard to develop the same love of writing and reading in our young people.