SIWC gave us a live security demo just like TV, for Master Class Day

Juneau AK Mendenhall Glacier with Fireweed in the foreground

The expected arrival of two former US presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush, at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel on the same day of the master classes of the SIWC gave a live demo of the security set-up for such an event. Why did the presidents come to the Sheraton Guilford Hotel? For an economic summit.  An story there somewhere!

Roads closed, parking compromised, guards at the elevator doors and populating the lobby, and a heavy presence at every entrance. Secret service, Security, RCMP, crew cuts and suits, everywhere … casting eyes to and fro and maintaining that special blank blind look.

I had waited too long and barreled toward my favorite bathroom, suddenly blocked by two guards. As I pleaded with my eyes, already tinged yellow, a tall buff ‘suit’ wearing a squiggly wire leading from his ear to the back of his neck, and tucked down behind his open size 17 collar, gave me the, “One more word and I’ll shoot.” look.

Rumors? The Surrey Fire Department Hazmat team was on the way. Thursday slipped into the late afternoon, and they all disappeared.  Not a trace. Thankfully.

The writer’s conference rose above the milling ‘suits,’ limitations and elevator delays. Workshops, presenters from Canada, the US,  Scotland, and beyond, the MC nicknamed ‘Betty White of the North,’ the food variety served buffet style, the sharing at the round tables during keynotes and meals, the entertainment in “Shock Theatre” provided by presenters, and the hotel Sheraton Guildford service—all drew over 550 attendees into camaraderie—as we absorbed the full circle of instruction of immense value to writers.

Saturday night’s highlight, with a Royal Canadian Mounty standing on stage for protection, began as the audience buzzed with anticipation. Robert Dugoni, best selling author and presenter, stood beside the auctioneer, watched and perspired, as KC Dyer she auctioned off his T-shirt, the winner to strip

1958 photo of Mounties in Uniform, Musical Ride Cranbrook BC

the shirt away on stage.   The crowd cheered and laughed until muscles couldn’t bear it.  We heard a few bids by men and female shouts, “How much for the Mountie?” Bidders hiked the price to buy the symbol of the black T- shirt, “This day, we will write!” Our motto after his keynote speech Friday brought us to our feet. KC Dyer managed, using innuendo, to get the bidding up to $400, the final bid echoing through the banquet room from a male voice. Anyone want to guess who got Robert Dugoni’s T-shirt?  We laughed long and hard, loving every minute.

Congratulations all who put the conference together—atmosphere warm, superb education, agent/editor appointments plentiful, blue pencils with authors reading our work valuable, and workshops to hone our skills in writing, business, social networking, films and the future.

Many writers and presenters are heading to ECWC.  Wishing you in GSRWA another “best conference ever.”  Sorry I’ll miss it this year.

Last year I won a raffle basket.  Anyone who comments will be drawn for a free book, Donald Maass “Writing the Breakout Novel.” And if you guess the specialty item I won, you get an extra ticket in the draw pot to win.

My Blog plan is to write once weekly on a variety of topics,  so I hope you’ll stop by each Tuesday.  Cheers!

Writer’s Conferences in NYC and Surrey BC

A flower to dress up the post

Happy Summer to you all.

Many writer friends are in New York at the RWA National Convention, and those of us left behind are rooting for the best conference ever for them. They are keeping in touch with smart phones and the internet, sharing as they sight see and await the opening.  RWA has over 10,000 members in the US and world wide, and the national conference hums with the best teachers, prestigious contest winners to be announced, awards, editors and agents, signed books to buy, but most of all, over 2000 author/writer attendees.

In October, I look forward to the Surrey International Writer’s Conference held in Surrey BC, near Vancouver.  This conference caters to all writers, and all genres, including poetry and children’s writing.  Did I overdo it by  signing up for three of the nine 3 hour long master classes offered on Thursday?  I may have to give one away to my daughter who will be joining me from Texas.  (Now that’s a heart thump!)

Donald Maass: Mastering the three levels of story to construct a gripping novel
Robert Dugoni:  Playing God – Creating Memorable Characters
Kathleen Ortiz: Sell Your Book: Online Marketing and Promotion

In addition to those great offerings, the selection of workshops makes choice a challenge, but I also look forward to an agent appointment, and having an established author read and comment on the first three pages of my manuscript.

Now back to writing …

Surrey International Writer’s Conference

Surrey International Writer's Conference


Surrey International Writer’s Conference (SIWC) is gearing up for October 21, 2011.  Some authors and teachers attend annually, ie., Donald Maass, Jack Whyte and Diana Gabaldon.  Based on my last two experiences with this conference, I expect program schedule and opportunities will be similar. If so, the following is what I would expect.

Several 3 hr. master classes will likely be offered on Oct. 20—AM, PM & eve.  Extra 10 min. solo pitch sessions and 15 min. blue pencil sessions are usually available—must stand in line for a bit.  Blue Pencil sessions are a face to face exchange with an author about your first three manuscript pages.  Round table dining (if you purchase the meal package) provides networking opportunities.  Evening entertainment  is presented by the regulars.  Book sales, marketing of many things to attract writers.  The conference offers workshops to enhance varied genres of writing, including children’s literature, the many romance genres, poetry, and social networking teaching.  If intrigued, go to the SIWC website, sign up for their newsletter and follow their progress on putting it all together.  Hope to see many of you there.

Yesterday, marveled at the crocuses in bloom, today marveled at the floating snow flakes. Nature loves to tease at springtime.  Have a great writing week, all.



Michael Hauge Featured at Vancouver BC Writer’s Conference

I’ve listened to Michael Hauge tapes and viewed a DVD he shared with Christopher Vogler, and recommend him to all writers, no matter the genre. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend the conference featuring this gifted and talented teacher.  All writers outside the RWA membership can benefit.  Hope to see many of you in May 2011.

Write On, Vancouver: An intensive conference for fiction and screen writers
May 13-15, 2011; Vancouver, BC Featuring 8.5 hours of workshops with acclaimed Hollywood story and script consultant, Michael Hauge, plus editor appointments, additional workshops, and more.  Fees: $140-185

SIWC Conference Begins Today

Diana Gabaldon at SIWC 2009

Packed and ready for the Surrey International Writer’s Conference.  Except for one last minute detail.  SIWC offers a Blue Pencil session. A well known author reads your first three manuscript pages and together you discuss it.  I signed up with Diana Gabaldon, the author of the Outlander series.   I’m scrambling with a quick revision. See you all after the conference.



Writing Your Male Heros from a Male POV


Pin Oak Dressed for Autumn


To our Canadian Friends, Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary Buckham posted this link on Facebook, called The Gender Genie.

Sections of my story The Highland Pioneer are written from a male Point of View,  so I had fun and got a bit of a pat on the back.  The results are quick.  I scored as a male writer for the 500 words I cut and pasted.


Break Into Fiction by Mary Buckham & Diana Love



Author & Teacher, Mary Buckham


Mary is well known in Writer’s Associations as an instructor for her varied writing craft workshops, both online and in person. During the recent Emerald City Writer’s Conference in Bellevue, WA, she fortified the skills of those attending her workshops. The round table discussion to hopefuls during a pitch fest session sent us to the editors and agents with confident smiles. Thanks, Mary, for helping writers get to the next level of good fiction writing.

Historical Fiction

Picture me grasping for air under a pile of papers, new education on writing crafts, legal issues, and contacting new writer associations from the Emerald City Writer’s Conference in Bellevue WA. I have reviewed the notes from the workshops, filed them in a binder, and contacted some of the folks with whom I wanted to continue to connect.


Writer Jody Allen's Rings True Website

Please celebrate with me a new connection with Jody Allen, as yet unpublished, but a Scottish historian.  She Runs a business called Rings True, a valuable resource for those writing historical fiction surrounding Scottish history.  She edits for accuracy of language, custom, clothing, food, dwellings, and so on, to ensure your settings and story line are on target for the period and place in history.  She can be reached via email at

Stay tuned for more conference connections …

An Agent’s site classroom for publication

As I studied the presenters for the Surrey International Writers Conference coming up October 21st, I ventured to the agent website, Michael Larson-Elizabeth Pomada in San Francisco to learn what I could about agent Laurie McLean.  This website is worth a visit for a variety or reasons, but I stumbled upon a wealth of information they offer to educate writers about publishing.

Check my ‘Links’ page for more sites of interest to writers.  Let me know in a comment if you would like to be included.

Have a great weekend, all, and for those of you who write, hope the fingers fly on the keyboard in between finding time for relaxation and renewal.

Writer’s Conferences

Mount Baker WA

Labor Day 2010 is history and two writer’s conferences are on the horizon.  Three weeks until the Emerald City Writer’s Conference in Bellevue WA, and in the last week of October, the Surrey International Writer’s Conferences.

The anticipation builds as each day draws closer and the lists for preparation are building.   The conferences work better for me if I do some preparation beforehand, and one of those preps is to decide what I expect and want to get out of the expense, and the time spent.

I outline a daytimer type of calendar page for each day of the conference, with the workshops I wish to attend marked, 1st & 2nd choice, and a ‘maybe’ marked for taking a needed recovery break if it becomes necessary.  I look forward to contacts with writers and other professionals involved in this business.

Have a great week, all.

Writer’s Time Out for Family

Arkansas River

September began with a flurry of house cleaning.  Now I am ready for Christmas. (Grin)

Two brothers from Canada came for a visit … one from Edmonton, and the other from Calgary.  We shared memories and family history and , alas, great food.  It took a while for the hollow spot to recede after they left.

Now it’s time to cozy into autumn and hunker down for some great education and writing time.  Two writer’s conferences coming up, and classes at Western Washington University,  the  sessions one evening a week for fall, winter, and spring quarters.

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