Refreshed and invigorated from Desert Nights Rising Stars writing conference this past weekend, I've added to my writer's tool box. I look forward to exercising the tools and applying them.
My debt of gratitude to the organizers from Arizona State (including author Jewell Parker Rhodes and Karen Sideris) and instructors, including YA authors Bill Konigsberg and Tom Leveen. Colors Michael Schiffer and Jay Boyer who was a Carnegie Foundation Arizona Professor of the year brought new insight into screenwriting structure and dialog. Like many writer's conference, the screenwriting sessions opened new ideas on constructing and composing dialog. Barbara Peters shared book marketing advice. it was a delight to meet Allison Moore from Little Brown again. There was a crime fic/mystery panel with author's Deborah Ledford, Dana Stabenow, and T Jefferson Parker--again different points of view to open my creative mind. And they were just part of a wonderful weekend.
My sci/fi friends will be unhappy that I didn't have time for the workshops involving Alan Dean Foster, Michael A Stackpole, or Gary Cook. Alan did read one night. And I had no time for literary fiction and poetry sessions that in the past have proven invaluable. There simply wasn't time.
If you decide to attend a writer's conference, remember that networking and learning is only a small part of what takes place. Although, I took copious notes that I meticulously e-file for future use, it's the opening of the writer's ear, mind, and eye that proves most valuable. Often my note taking slipped away as I organized a new thought shared and how it would mesh in my current work.
That new view points stays with you for a long time after you've packed up and head home. I desperately try to keep that new view point fresh and present for several months until the next conference.
I'll post later on how Michael's insights shifted and confirmed some deep structural decisions I've made in my 2nd Kami Files manuscript. as I sat and watched the interestingly different film 3 Days to Kill. The scenes with the overlapping dialog and film like the learning to ride the bicycle one is exactly what I'm trying to create with the plot threads in my manuscript. The threads cross several decades and I've been afraid that it wouldn't work due to lack of talent and tools on my part. Just seeing those film scenes with my new point of view gives me hope that confirms the end result can be powerful. I may still not manage it, but I'm going to get damn close to getting it right.
- May - 2016: Upcoming, I'll be participating in Desert Sleuth's Donald Maass Workshop. I'm afraid it sold out months ago, but if you have questions, contact me.Apr - 2016: A 2nd Kami Short will release in the Malice Domestic anthology in Bethesda MD. I'll also be moderating a panel with authors Karen Pullen, Sue Cox, and Gretchen Archer. Don't miss the fun! I'll have special edition signed copies of the 1st Kami Short from the SinC - Desert Sleuth anthology to hand out for free.Apr - 2016: An adult short story, Big Horn Mountain Carnivores, was selected as the adult category winner in the Tempe Community Writing Contest loosely associated with Arizona State University! The e- & print release where I read a portion of the story was the greatest fun. Thank you everyone who came by! Free download here (scroll to bottom):Aug - 2015: Politics of Chaos was released at an event attended by the awesome NYTimes best-selling author Sara Paretsky! Also, a flash fiction entitled, "Lightning" was 3rd runner up in the national 2015 Writers Police Academy's contest.
July - 2015: NYC FBI headquarters. Many thrilling authors were there, the presentations were fantastic, and the experience was a solid 15 on a 10 point scale. Thank you to the International Thriller Writers for inviting me. Thank you to the men and women of the FBI.
MAY - 2015: The Poisoned Pen submitted Chaos Theory for the 2015 Edgar's young adult novel award. Please note that submission is NOT a nomination. Still, it is an exciting development.
MAR - 2015:Tucson Festival of Books booksigning! Great time by all.
FEB - 2015: CHAOS THEORY, released by The Poisoned Pencil, an imprint of The Poisoned Pen Press - one of the nation's largest publishers of hard-back mysteries.
MAR - 2013: Meg was honored to receive a year long mentorship from author Jan Blazanin through the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Iowa. Ms. Blazanin praised Meg's multiple characters' distinct and age appropriate voices.
Her writing blog is located at megevonne.blogspot.com contains reviews and writing craft tools.