There are multiple purposes for this blog. First, I'd like to share with you how mental illness can interfere with or enhance the writer's life. Second, I want to explore a more disciplined approach to the writing life. This blog will hold me accountable as I navigate story throughout my battle with mental illness.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Second Day - PennWriter's Conference

The second day of the conference (Saturday 5-14-2011) was very productive for me. There were four workshops I attended. Jonathon Maberry was the keynote speaker at luch, and delivered a very powerful message of "Yes We Can"!

08:00 - 09:00 Networking Breakfast
09:15 - 10:15 The Agent/Author Relationship with Nancy Martin
10:30 - 11:30 Your Life is Poetry with Timons Esaias
12:00 -   1:00 Lunch with Keynote Speaker Jonathan Maberry
  1:30 -   2:30 The Geography of a Novel with Kristin Blair O'Keeffe
  2:45 -   3:45 Writing from the Inside Out with Dennis Palumbo
  4:00 -   5:00 Book Signing
  5:00 -   7:00 Cocktail Party

The Networking Breakfast was a great opportunity to meet with more writerly minds, and enjoy decent food. I met a few more folks and saw some from my writing group, as well.

The Agent/Author Relationship with Nancy Martin 

She told us what what we should want from an agent and what we do not want in an agent. On the flipside, she also told us what agents were looking for in a client and what they did not want.

Your Life is Poetry by Timons Esaias

This was a very informative workshop in which I will blog about in more depth in a few days. So, all I'm going to say for now is that a poet takes a particular or practical event and transforms it into a Universal Experience.

The Geography of a Novel by Kristin Bair O'Keeffe

Something I learned (although, I already secretly knew it) is that people's habits grow out of relationship to place, that characters also react with place. One piece of advise Kristin gives is that you should at some points in your story, zoom in on the detail of your setting (such as a rock, nail, flower, bird's beak, etc.) and describe it as best as you can.

Writing From the Inside Out with Dennis Palumbo

I have to say that this was probably my favorite workshop. Dennis used to be a screenwriter and currently works as a psychotherapist who specializes with writer's issues. In this workshop, he spoke with us about writer's block and procrastination, and how "writing begets writing" which I actually blogged  about last week and referenced an interview that Dennis participated in. He say's we need to adhere to the 3 cosmic rules of writing.

3 Cosmic Rules of Writing:

1 You are enough right now to be the writer you want to be
2 Work with what you are given
3 Writing Begets Writing

He gave us a few informative handouts. I will probably post about this workshop in a future post, as well.
I bought two of Dennis's books while at the conference.

Writing From the Inside Out - Nonfiction
Mirror Image - a novel set in Pittsburgh whose protagonist is a psychotherapist

I got both of them autographed by Dennis. Cool!

The book signing was after the last workshop of the day, in the hospitality room.

After that, we  met in another room for the cocktail party. I had a glass of wine and about 3 beers. No, I didn't even waiver an inch. I was asked to go to dinner by a couple I had met the day before. There ended up being a group of 6 of us that went to Quaker Lube not far from the hotel. We enjoyed some good food and had great company. Thanks Larry, Hillary, Darrell, Jessica, and Sirena.

Knowing that it would be a late night and an early morning, I had decided to rent a room at the hotel for Saturday night. It was a good thing I did. I had a great night's sleep.



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