Writer’s Conference–Last Day

Good thing it’s the last day of the HRW Conference, I’m ready to sit in my recliner and become a vegetable. Today was better than yesterday, a little less of my brain was fried in the process. (You know there’s not a whole lot left.) 

Today’s Keynote speaker was Brad Parks. This man is hilarious. No, I take that back, he’s just plain nuts! And we loved every minute of it. His afternoon session was standing room only. Someone in the lobby asked me if those were shrieks she heard coming from that room. Yes, I admitted. He got everyone involved. The title of his workshop was “Welcome to the Woodshed: Getting serious about writing.” It’s easy to see why his books have won so many awards.

Another favorite was Charlotte Matthews. She taught on the subject of Memoir, The Notion and Heft of Home. She is a gentle, refreshing soul–a poet–which I learned afterward when looking at her books. I’ve heard and read so many negative comments about memoir, but her workshop breathed life back into my desire to write family-related stories.

Yes, I was refreshed, I laughed, and it was a wonderful day. This time next year, we’ll be doing it all over again. I hope you’ll consider joining us. For more information on the conference and the writing contests, click this link: Hampton Roads Writers


Share Your World–2014 Week 12

Welcome to Share Your World, courtesy of Cee’s Photography. Cee provides us with questions each week, and we respond to get to know one another better.

What is your most favorite smell or scent?
Yankee Candle: Pineapple Cilantro

How do you write: computer, longhand, or other
Computer, when it cooperates; longhand for journaling

Your favorite blog post that you have written (provide link)
I surpassed 800 posts this week, so that will require some thought and research.

What’s one of your favorite books from childhood?
The one that comes to mind is “Matilda, McElroy and Mary.” It was a Little Golden Book

What are you grateful for from last week:
Being able to attend a writers workshop Saturday, and a 70F degree day.

And the upcoming week:
Getting to visit with our family.

That’s it for this week’s Share Your World. Now it’s your turn: create a blog post and link to Cee’s blog, or leave your replies in the comments below. I always enjoy reading your responses.

Have a blessed day!






Random 5 Friday

It’s Random 5 Friday! Sharing five random thoughts about us, our lives, whatever. Join us, won’t you? Find out how, here.

1. Is it just me, or are there fewer days between Fridays now? I seem to have lost days somewhere. It must be spring fever!

2. I’m attending another Hampton Roads Writers Traveling Pen writing workshop Saturday morning. The title is “Eliminate the Excuses: You Can Learn to Be a Creative and Productive Writer!”

3. It was warm today, 60s, just a bit of chill in the air. Hubby got home in time for us to walk two miles before the sun set. I carried my camera along, but didn’t take any photos. Tulip trees are in bloom, the Bradford Pears will be soon. Saw a few Daffodils and Jonquils, Crocus, Hyacinth and Pansies.

4. I haven’t gotten to this week’s Strathmore workshop. I’m glad they are available online anytime. I’m curious what this week’s lesson is.

5. There weren’t as many black birds at the feeders today. The only sparrows were House Sparrows, four of them. I wonder if the White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos are headed for their summer cottages. Our first American Robin arrived this week and serenades us in the early morning. And I have this news:

It’s a Girl! We now have a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

Thank you, Nancy, at A Rural Journal for inviting us over every Friday for Random 5 Friday.

Once I hit ‘Publish,’ I learned this is my 800th post! Thanks to everyone who made this possible.

Cloud Cover


The sky never ceases to amaze me. Yes, I had my head in the clouds again. This was taken as I drove home from the Traveling Pen workshop, Saturday. (Isn’t that a great name for a writing workshop?)

I love that perfectly-straight line that allows a peek of the blueness beyond. To me, this demonstrates why it is called “cloud cover.” Doesn’t it look like a soft blanket, or partially-rolled-up window shade?

Did you have a good weekend? What did you do?

We don’t follow NASCAR as avidly as we used to, but decided to watch the Daytona 500 Sunday. Not even an hour into the race (which started around 1:00 p.m.) it began to rain. The race was red-flagged and didn’t begin again until 8:30 p.m. That made for a long day for everyone. Fans were evacuated from the stands when lightning threatened. Estimated attendance at a Daytona race is 250,000. That’s a lot of a people to evacuate. Congratulations to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on his win. I know “Jr.” is dropped when there is no longer a “Sr.,” but his father’s legend lives on in the racing world.


Random 5 Friday

Woo Hoo! It’s Friday, time for some more randomness with Random 5 Friday. This is where we share five things about us and whatever is floating around in our brains, which we hope is worth sharing.

1. Changeable weather is a given when one lives near the coast. It’s been even crazier than normal this week. We are under a tornado watch until 5:00 p.m. Yesterday, I wore my winter coat (unzipped) when I went to lunch with hubby. Today, I’m wearing a tank top and capris, and have thrown open the windows while I get some much-needed housework done. Yes, blogging is part of the housekeeping process. That’s my new rule.

2. My laptop is dragging its feet and building my character. One can’t very well beat it to death with a hammer with the windows open and the neighbors listening.

3. Yesterday, our yard was covered with blackbirds. Today, there is not one single bird in sight. I hear sparrows chattering among themselves in the shrubs in the side yard.

4. I signed up for a Hampton Roads Writers workshop being held Saturday morning at a local community college. We’re going to learn about CreateSpace.

5. Our sunny day is now darkened by ominous gray clouds…the last load of clothes is in the washer…and we  now have a full-blown thunderstorm–off to close windows!

Linking to Random 5 Friday
Thanks, Nancy!

HRW Conference

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Hampton Roads Writers Conference. This was my first conference, and it was a great experience. The blue highlighted link takes you to the group’s website, where you will find some great resources and information about the group–including the Traveling Pen Workshops throughout the year. 

Break-out sessions began Thursday evening  with a choice of four 1.5-hour workshops from which to choose. I opted for “Creating the World in a Short Story” with Cliff Garstang.  

Friday morning’s activities started at 8:00 a.m. with Check In/Coffee Time, followed by the keynote speaker, then, a First Ten Lines Critique Session with three agents and two keynoters. One-hour workshops began at 11:15 a.m. There were four sessions throughout the day, with a choice of four classes in each session. The day ended with a Mix and Mingle Social and Silent Auction.

Saturday’s activities followed the same schedule as Friday, but with only three workshop sessions that day.

The sessions I attended included dialogue, point of view, publishing short stories and essays, memoir writing, and interviewing for nonfiction. The packet we received at Check In contained a handout for each workshop, giving us access to the information in the sessions we were unable to attend. Kudos to Hampton Roads Writers for their efforts in providing those.

No conference is complete without food–a delightful, delicious buffet was served both days. 

By 3:30 p.m. Saturday, with our brains packed to overflowing and a few new friends, we went our separate ways and returned to our former lives. The only downside is we have to wait another year to do it again! 




This and That, Thursday

The Hampton Roads Writers Conference starts this evening and runs through Saturday. It’s being held ten minutes from my house–very convenient. Friday is a long day, check-in 8-8:30 a.m.; the last session ends at 5:00 p.m.; followed by the Mix and Mingle Social, which I won’t be attending. I’m just going to learn what I can, not looking for an agent. 

Went for a walk last evening. The sky was gorgeous. 042048As the sun set in the west, the Harvest moon was rising in the east. 055A post isn’t complete without a bunny.004Blogging time will be limited the next couple of days, but I’ll visit when I can.
The End.047

Linking to Skywatch Friday