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The weekend of May 18th to 20th I went to the Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster, PA.  The Keynotes were Hank Phillippi Ryan and Maria V. Snyder.

First off my mom and I write very different genres so we’ve never been anywhere together, she has her mystery things and I have my speculative fiction things, and this wasn’t just the first time we went to any writers things together, it was the first time we’ve been away together in a very long time.  We don’t travel much – or at least not for things that aren’t work. 

The first day we were there we were not registered for anything.  They had offered several four hour workshops.  The workshops were kind of expensive but I think that if I am interested in one next year I’ll put the money up for it.    

So Thursday we went to Landis Valley Museum – because we always go to museums, what with working in two of them – and then we went swimming. It was a nice relaxing day with my mom, something we don’t get a lot of anymore.  There was also good food and a drink that I didn’t like as much as I thought I would and the biggest buckwheat pillow I have ever seen.

Friday Morning mom and I went to the introduction and it was a good introduction.  There were things in the introduction that I may do next year that I doubt I would have known about if I didn’t go to the intro.  Then Mom and I split up, I went to a session called “Get thee to a Writterhead!” and Mom went to an editing session.  We both enjoyed our sessions more than I think we thought we would.  Mine was one of my favorite sessions, it was about getting into and staying in that creative zone, something I can have trouble with from time to time.  I get interrupted a lot when I am working; both my paying job and my writing. 

After that we both did “Showing vs. Telling with Maria V. Snyder, I love her work so I would have gone to this even if she was going to read the phonebook.  It was enjoyable and it is something that I know I have trouble with – I haven’t gone over my notes yet but she used examples from her own work and I have read all but 2 of her books so I found that helpful. 

Lunch at a sub shop that thought it was in Brooklyn.

After lunch we split up again and Mom did Fictional Characters Anonymous with Hana Haatainen Caye (who I have been calling ‘the Finn’ for some time now) and I did a thing on social media – I would have liked it better if I had gotten there earlier and could have had a chair that I could have taken notes from.

There are times that being left handed really sucks.  And I was still cranky for the next talk and somehow still didn’t get a seat that I could take notes from. 

After Mom went to the Keynote Dinner,  I was invited but wanted to have supper with a  few friends.   

Saturday started with a two hour workshop called 10 Tools for Author Success with Deborah Riley-Magnus if you get a chance to go to this anywhere – go.  One of the best things I’ve been to in a long while.  www.theauthorsuccesscoach.com

Then a thing on Extended Workshops, I have to say I would love to do an extended workshop some time, but it will probably have to be after I retire, I just can’t see swinging 6 weeks away from work, but you never know.  Odd things have happened in the past, I could win the lottery or something.    

Last thing of the day was a Meditation workshop.  It’s been to long since I have done any serious meditation I would do that one again and bought the cd.  Her website is www.Mindful-Writters.com

Then Mom and I ate with a group of writers – I have to say that was very fun.  I don’t get out with whole groups of writers often. 

Sunday was two talks and then the goodbyes.  The two talks I went to were on fight scenes and time management.  The fight scene talk was interesting; it was done by a Corrections Officer who works in a juvenile center.  I had read a book not that long ago about fighting in the NHL and many of the things that he said were very similar to things that were brought up in that book.  And time management – well I’m just never going to be good at that. 

At the goodbye I won a Nook.  I’m not totally sold on e-readers but all of my pieces are out on e-reader so now I have them on my Nook. 

All and all the best weekend I’ve had in a long time.  I met good people and I had a good time.  I also came home and bought a buckwheat pillow.  It should be here tomorrow. 


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
sounds like a very cool weekend! =)
Jun. 8th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC)
it was good. It's been a while since I could spend time away with mom. And I sill need to go though my notes...
Jun. 8th, 2012 01:58 am (UTC)
heh yeah, there is that going though notes thing.....
Jun. 8th, 2012 10:53 am (UTC)
yeah totaly, and some of the talks I couldn't get notes becasue I had people to my left and it is almost imposable to take notes with some right handed person elbowing you. Left handed people mostly write with their arms tucked down against their sides in groups.
Jun. 9th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC)
ahh, i gotcha. =)
Jun. 9th, 2012 02:59 pm (UTC)
you righties are such space hogs LOL
Jun. 9th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
i'm not. :P
Jun. 8th, 2012 02:47 am (UTC)
sounds like a great time. congrats on winning the nook.
Jun. 8th, 2012 10:51 am (UTC)
It was a lot of fun. It is good to be with other writers. I am looking forward to next year. And the nook is fun. I think I will probably only get books that I wouldn't be planing on keeping on the nook, since I can't figure out how to flip pages quickly.
Jun. 8th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
I would like to go to a writer con but after the expense of the cons I have to go to for work I usually don't have a spare couple hundred lying around (did learn of a crime one in Cinnatti that i might attend next year)

yeah I know nothing about nooks so I can't help you there
Jun. 9th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
Next year's penwriters is at one of the airport hotels in Pitt. It is expensive and I couldn't have gone this year if I hadn't had mom to help me. Next year I have to go becasue I will be the driver - but then again I am often the driver.

I love hte feel of a real live book in my hand, but at the same time almost all of my stuff in e-book form.
Jun. 9th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
you'll have to let me know when that is. My whole family lives in the Pitt area.

same here. I have a problem with ebooks. my eyes swell and I get migraines.sigh.
Jun. 9th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
When I get home I can check for you, they have the dates and the Keynote already.

I'm lucky I don't have reactions like that my problem is I don't remember things that I read on a screen, so I think my e-reader will mostly be for 'pulp' novels.
Jun. 9th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
oh thanks.

hmmm interesting well we DO read differently online vs in a book
Jun. 11th, 2012 01:51 am (UTC)
the conference is May 17-19 at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott.

oh we totaly do read differently on a screen vs paper. I also read differently on my computor vs the nook, the nook feels and looks a lot like a paperback.
Jun. 11th, 2012 02:03 am (UTC)
thanks. Hmmm I could run down there for that in theory.

i have no doubt of that
Jun. 11th, 2012 10:44 am (UTC)
No prob. I think it will be a drive for us, but it should be fun.
Jun. 11th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
it's only 10 days before a conference i hope to be presenting at so I'll have to wait and see but it could be fun
Jun. 8th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
Wow! What a blast! Good for you!

btw, if you go next year and if I have the money, could I come? I'll sit in the back seat but won't backseat drive.
Jun. 8th, 2012 10:48 am (UTC)
Yeah it was fun.

I don't see why not. It will be a long drive.
Jun. 8th, 2012 01:31 pm (UTC)
That would be very cool!

When you get back to your meeting notes, I'd love to hear about anything else that you found interesting.
Jun. 9th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: :)
I'm already thinking about asking Tom if we could take his car - he just got an Impreza Outback and I think it may be better for that sort of trip.

I hope to go over everything this week - since Hockey season will be ending this week I should have more time all of a sudden.
Jun. 11th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great weekend. I'm happy you had a good time with your mom.

Jun. 12th, 2012 10:50 am (UTC)
It was a good weekend and the first time mom and I went away together since dad died.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )