Category Archives: On Publishing

The Road Ahead

It is the first day of a New Year. I feel good and with that feeling are thoughts of starting things afresh while remaining real in my good intentions. Resolutions. Promises. Whatever labels you might attach, they are part of the road ahead… This immediately brings to mind the saying and I had to look it up in order to get it right… to me “the road ahead is paved…” made just as much sense and, for the purpose of my post, was spot on. In fact, the “hell” part didn’t even come to mind, but it was an interesting read and the underlying meaning was apparent after doing so.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. Procrastination, laziness, or other obstacles may be the cause of the failure. In any case, the saying is an admonishment that good intentions are meaningless unless followed by action. A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoing is often masked by good intentions, or possibly that good intentions, even when enacted, may have unforeseen bad consequences (hence the “hell” aspect). (source: Wikipedia)

With all the projects going on I have neglected time for my own creativity. Lately, I have embraced the freedom the office gives me as I am able to leave the physicality of my company work in the office – I say physicality because my mind never turns off completely to the concept of publishing. I live for it. But, living it and then leaving it “at the office” has given me the time to do things at home that need to be done. It has also allowed me the opportunity to engage in creative actions that feed my soul – one of late is coloring my own sketches AND adult coloring books given to me by my sister. Throughout this trying year, my focus was on projects signed by Dream Write Publishing, and that is what made 2015 an amazing year – we published 15 new works!

In order to boost and infuse my own creative spirit, I shuffled ideas around in my head and challenged myself to come up with some plan that might keep me on track – for the day, the month, the year… There are those of you who know how well that goes for me! It’s all good – the putting to paper what needs attention – the infamous to-do list with its promise of organization and achievement – but I am embracing who I am and what I enjoy to make this year one that will bring happiness. If I want to color until 2:00 am… then I will. If I want to disappear into the mountains to track wild horses, I am going to do that, too. Slowly, one thing at a time, I am going to transform myself and my surroundings over the course of this year to embody happiness and health. I will support the people I love who mean the most to me and will love myself for who I am, not obsess about what I am not. It is in our own hands what we do with the time and talents we have.

I offer no resolution to fail. There is no “good intention” to go bad. There is no holding back because I intend to take the road that likes ahead. I left hatred and negativity on the midnight hour to fade into the nothingness of no longer important. The tank is full of passion and promise and that is all the fuel I need to work toward an amazing year of successes.

road ahead

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Seize the Day

Well – here I am back and still in one piece as I expected all along but you can never be sure of the after and continuing effects of internal suffering. Despite the circle of friends and family, it is who I am – one who enjoys the solitude and can live in the company of my own company. For a writer, this is a desirable quality – for someone dealing with the 6 month anniversary of a beloved’s death, it is or isn’t the best thing, depending upon the person. For me, my focus on my novel and a renewed effort to get it finished and published THIS year is the catalyst. Now, to explain, I have published 2 EBooks in the past 6 months and I have written 2 others through the 2009 and 2010 NaNoWriMo craziness – both in editing and review – however, my real baby needs to grow up and get a life. An Elizabethan Affair has been long held, personally admired, and very much loved WIP but it’s time to share it with the world. The significance of the year for release is one of magical proponents because of the cosmic relation to the years in the book – 1591, 1991 and 2013… as I discovered through a Google search, is of the common years beginning with January 1st on a Tuesday… I did plan some of the details in the book to fall upon the actual historical dates on record but imagine my surprise when checking the dates in the month to secure a believable time line! They were the very same in my present and past novel settings… that it matches with 2013 is totally freaky and just confirms the synchronicity of it all. By the way, if you haven’t gathered from the inference – it is a historical time travel romance 🙂

So seize the day. So will I~ Shakespeare_21756t

Carpe Diem

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?

O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming

That can sing both high and low;

Trip no further, pretty sweeting,

Journey’s end in lovers’ meeting–

Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;

Present mirth hath present laughter;

What’s to come is still unsure:

In delay there lies no plenty,–

Then come kiss me, Sweet and twenty,

Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

~ William Shakespeare

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Considering Blogs…

When justifying the time and effort it takes to establish and maintain a current blog – one would question its purpose in the writer’s life. As a writer and publisher, I have committed to several blogs owning to the responsibility of sharing information even if it is only from my point of view. That sharing aspect is one third of my writing triad – learning, sharing, and creating. Ask yourself if you have doubt about the value of a blog for you – what is the one thing a writer should do to improve their skills and hone their craft?

write Write.

Plain and simple, just write; no matter form, format, length, style, genre, perspective, and topic… so on and so forth… I believe you get the idea. Writing is the one constant task a writer needs to do. Nulla dies sine linea. Not a day without a line.

There is much discussion regarding the value of a blog to a writer. Testing the literary waters on the Internet can be very intimidating for many, especially emerging writers. New and established authors wanting to promote their work will find this a great source of advertising if you are consistent and true to your creative spirit. There is, of course, consideration on both sides of the measurement scale – good vs. bad. As a writer, you really have to look at the reason for your writing and what you want to achieve with it. I have expressed this statement before, although it has been more in the context of why you want to publish your work. There has to be confidence in doing so and some benefit, even if it is intangible and hard to evaluate.

consider Consider.

The purpose of a blog is an online journal of your writing – if you are comfortable sharing the thoughts you would write in a physical journal then sharing on the Internet shouldn’t be a problem. If your journal is more of a cathartic exposé of your inner most thoughts and deepest feelings, posting your diary for the entire world to see might need more consideration. Again, it goes back to evaluating your writing and why you are doing it. Perhaps, testing for interest in a riveting memoir? We all know a writer writes because we have to. We have an impassioned attachment to words and their interrelationship and it is as inherent a part of our creativity as if it were an arm or leg. How we display this passion, however, varies and we find value in different ways of expression. You must objectively assess whether your words are for public exposure or for private consultation. Once on the ‘Net, always on the ‘Net.

blog it Blog it.

A blog is writing and it could be argued that the exposure you receive from using this online medium is just what the writer ordered. You can create a following; receive comments that may or may not be feedback on your own writing skills but it will at least contribute to your ability to create a relationship or discussion between writer and reader; it gives you another outlet to practice your discipline; it creates an awareness about you and about your work. Make sure the blog reflects what you stand for as a writer; ensure it is a true duplication of how you express yourself and what you believe; it could draw the attention required to take your writing career (if that is what you desire) to a whole new level. Book and movie deals have been made from the creative offerings of a writer’s blog. They have been the raw words used to build other works.

cultivate Cultivate.

Reap the rewards of your blog work. If you use the blog for posting shorter pieces, use the pieces to expand your writing in another genres, such as a short stories, articles or essays. If you post short stories, articles, or essays on specific topics, collect them, edit and do some rewrites, then format them into a book – perhaps, travel stories, diet and lifestyle tips, mommy lessons, etc. You can also use your blog to expose longer written work to an audience who could give you valuable feedback. If you want to test the reader waters with a new novel idea, a biography, a how-to book, or business self-help – post snippets to entice a following while offering links or directions on how to purchase your book. Others have posted novels, chapter by chapter, treating their online audience to an online book. Stay with what’s comfortable for you – don’t do it because everyone else does.

published Published.

January 2013 Addendum: The great thing about writing blogs is when you target topics to the reason you are blogging, old posts are possibly something we can use as a new post, perhaps… a reminder for seasoned writers and a learning tool for new writers. It is not always the case that a reader will go back into your archives and find a post – especially if you haven’t used the tags and links to connect with the ongoing, leave you behind Internet world. This blog first appeared in the spring of 2011 but with a review and an update, and the addition of images, this post is as important now as it was in the past. This resuscitation has allowed me to post something timely, hopefully interesting, yet while you read this I am off writing away on my passion-filled WIP> An Elizabethan Affair.

Yes, blogging is an important part of my writing life. Love you all and keep on writing ~ Linda.

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Words and Eventually… A Movie Review

“We all make our choices in life; the hard thing to do is live with them.”
~ The Old Man (The Words, 2012)

I arrived home late afternoon with the winter sun already low enough to darken the January sky. It had been a beautiful day with sunshine and clear roads; I endeavored to complete the tasks I set out for myself. Later, as I parked the car and walked the course of the parking lot to my apartment, I focused on the reality of the day and how its eventual outcomes affected my own writing. I thought about how the day intertwined with my writing life, even though I was out and not at my key board writing. I thought about how others have an influence on me and how my journey is unique because it is mine.

The morning began by meeting with Dream Write Publishing author, George Campbell. Since publishing his book, Good Night Old Man, in late fall 2011, we have met several times to discuss the success of getting his words out there for others to read. George is not interested in the hype of book signings or extravagant parties or making large sums of money, although I am most certain he would not refuse the interview or a large cheque had I handed it to him. George will be 86 this year and his mind full of stories that would be lost if he did not commit them to paper. Sure, some of the facts may have been written before, but his story, the personalized George Campbell story, has not. He shared the idea for his next book and I am so looking forward to reading the anecdotes that go along with learning about a history I know nothing about.

WP_000528The next part of my day involved a peaceful drive along the Anthony Henday (it wasn’t rush hour, hence, peaceful) to highway 14 and then across the country roads to my mom’s property. I spend time on Saturdays going through old receipts and paperwork, shredding things I know she would like disposed of properly. I found a small diary today recording daily tasks from 1966 and 1967, the time we lived out on the farm near St. Albert up to and including the move to the house in Riverdale. Her entries encompassed the busy life of mother and wife, shopping, visiting family, and even recording times we were ill – apparently three of us kids got the chicken pox within the span of 2 weeks! I was 10 at the time. Her words shared her reality and although she did not outwardly aspire to be a writer, I am most grateful I inherited my creativity from her. She wrote profusely at times, but more so as a cathartic release than to humor an imaginative muse.

The evening proved quiet as I reflected upon my day. I knew I would write something but just what angle I hadn’t decided. Ideas shuffled back and forth through my mind ~ perhaps my novel, perhaps my kid’s book idea, perhaps…

I checked out the TV listings to see what was on – I am always swayed by Criminal Minds or a Special Victims Unit episode; my choice between NFL Playoffs and the Shaw Cable fireplace sent me to the VOD to check out the movies. Scrolling through I recognized some recent releases although none attracted until I read “The Words.” Yup, you’re a writer when this entices you! The synopsis caught my attention right quick: “A writer at the peak of his literary success discovers the steep price he must pay for stealing another man’s work.”

Talk about a writer’s reality! Really?

The movie begins with the introduction to the characters – middle-aged author telling his story about a young writer who steals, and rewrites word for word, another man’s story. He doesn’t really steal the words as in taking them from him, physically – but he chances upon them quite by accident. At the moment, I thought, what a wonderful find!  Something for an aspiring author to treasure and find inspiration in… The deception happens when he fails to right an obvious wrong when given the chance. You are drawn to the struggling writer and his inner turmoil as a scribe who has never quite measured up to the standards he believed should be his. You can see the emotion on his face as he receives accolades from his wife and we know he struggles with his own identity and what his journey as a writer really means.

The complication quickly sucks you into the life of each; flashing between the timelines and characters is a smooth transition. They are believable characters and the story grips you with true emotions of love, loss, anguish, indecision, and having to live with your choices and the inevitable consequences.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who has a passion for words. It was interesting to read afterward about some of the quirky inconsistencies in the filming of the movie; obviously, I was too absorbed in the plot to be distracted by them. Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Irons did an awesome job ~ I loved the conflict between the young writer and the old man.

The writer in the story deals with something we all seek – recognition for the words we write. Are they good enough? Will someone read them and feel as we do when we write them? When the old man says to Rory in the greenhouse scene that he should feel the pain associated with the words he chose to claim as his, it makes a bold statement of responsibility and truth. The story upon the page is inked in the creator’s blood.

Stealing someone’s words is, as the old man suggested, stealing someone’s life. The price of fame is not worth the lie but we all make our choices – living with them is the hard part.

"The Words" (2012) Movie Poster

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A Journey of Brothers

The “goal” of crossing “writing a book” off my life list of things to do has been a true journey. I have loved writing for a long time and most prior keepsakes are of short verses, poetry, and short stories by the binder full, in junior high. My ability to create an image through artwork or creative writing was encouraged by many teachers along the way. I come by the talents naturally, as they are plentiful in varying degrees throughout my family. In 2000, I cleaned house of all my creative endeavors, except writing and drawing/painting, to concentrate on my these true passions.  National Novel Writing Month, November 2009 proved to be fruitful in producing my first novel, An Italian Son, yet to be edited and released. National Novel Writing Month, November 2010, although punctuated with bursts of fury and distraction, allowed me to produce novel #2, Power Struggle, again awaiting another edit before release. My constant love, and perhaps that could be why I am reluctant to devote the time I need to finish it, An Elizabethan Affair – is ongoing. Do I want to let him go just yet? With my schedule, it seemed to make sense that an ebook novella might be the first book to be released.

Way back in June 2009, a writing prompt posted on our group’s web site (http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/) inspired me to write a short story based on the visual image it gave me. An accumulation of several prompts guided me into a journey I could not control – let alone explain. Stories come to writers, for whatever reason, and they must be told; they are developed in a particular setting because certain details fit, they are populated with characters we flesh out as if they are real. To a writer, they are real in our minds and the goal is to transform those players to the page so they are real for the reader, too. I am not just trying to sell my first ebook to you – I want you to know about the process it took to become a story that will morph into a collection of three novellas by the end of this year. Novella 1 came to be about Aaslan through a series of prompts, like I mentioned above, and as I wrote I wove the prompts together back and forth between brother, Aaslan, and sister, Aisha, and it soon became clear there was a “journey” I had to follow. Specific words and details provided an appropriate setting and, although some details were changed through research and authentication, the story unfolded in the countryside of Turkey. I love the process of finding things that just fit – a synchronicity of sorts. I love the way a tale comes to pass and wonder on its amazing ability to fall into place with little effort, as if it’s meant to be. Why did I have to tell this story? What connection do I have to this tale other than writer? Not sure – perhaps, there is a connection to something between the “once upon a time” and “the end” that exists without explanation. There was a draw to the elaborate yet simplistic lives that come together with one purpose. Writing this also had a profound effect on me in that recollection of school day courses came to mind and reminders of things once read and/or studied brought back feelings of deja vu.

In writing this story, I chose names for my characters that reflected their personality traits already manifest in their being but also soon to be strengthened through their journey. A Journey of Brothers is a novella of just over 23,000 words and follows the main characters of Aaslan, Aisha, Udmurt, Saharra, and Haidar. There are a few secondary characters who play significant roles in book one – but also play significant roles in the back story, one not told directly but referred to during the course of this book. The secondary plot, one in addition to the actual quest set upon by the main characters, unfolds as we move forward to a resolution of sorts by the end of the book. It was amazing how this came to be through a series of prompts used to tell portions in segmented short stories. Putting them together to weave an untold mystery was amazing, for not only me, but for my characters who discovered a hidden secret about their past. Some things wrapped up by the end of the book but there were suggestions of more as the writing continued – it was easy to decide to write two sequels – there are stories yet to tell.

A short description of A Journey of Brothers:

“When Aaslan’s duty to escort his sister, Aisha, to a neighboring village is met with defeat, he must journey to find his sister through the underground tunnels of the Turkish countryside. He fights little boy fears in a grown up world to regain his honor and save her life. With the help of friends, his destiny becomes one of survival and growth. He is soon to earn the name he bears, or die trying.”

A Journey of Brothers is available through #Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  In the future, I will publish this book in print copy through my publishing company, Dream Write Publishing. Thank you for sharing my writing journey.

 
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/206099

I want to thank my mom for her encouragement with this book. She read it through and helped with the proofreading. Her support has made a significant impact on me as a writer and her statement a few years ago “you really are a writer” meant the world to me. I don’t look for acceptance and accolades – to me, you do what is right and what is your way. If others accept your honesty in staying your ground and making a stand, then it was meant to be because you are being true to who you are. We all have a “journey” upon this earth – discovering your passion and following that road makes life fulfilling. She would love to see this story as a movie – so would I! Love you, Mom.

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Guest Blog Post – Jenny Turner

Today we have a special treat for wildhorse33’s blog – a guest post from a fellow author to celebrate the release of her book new book. As a part of the global writing community, it is cool to applaud the works of others. Hope you enjoy! Thank you, Jenny, for your post and good luck with your book.  You can find out more about her books and blog tour at: http://jennifer-turner.com/ 

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Religion has always played an interesting role in my life. My father was atheist, my mother was Zen Buddhist, we hung out with the Catholic nuns, I’ve attended a Southern Baptist church and one that was entirely Spanish-speaking, my brother was Episcopalian, I’ve studied with the Jehovah Witnesses, and have found the Mormons I know to be some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. So when it came to writing my first urban fantasy, angels and demons were hands down the supernatural beings I wanted to work with.

What happened next was a real surprise to me. My angel’s self-interest in reaching heaven made finding her redemption especially difficult, while my demon’s desire to be the salvation of his people, a selfless goal, was the loftier purpose for hunting the leader responsible for genocide. All of this came organically and it kept me riveted to the page to see what would happen next.

Normally I work with a fairly structured outline. I tend to write more confidently when I know where I’m going, but this time around, the road ahead appeared as I went and it takes a real leap of faith to just follow where it leads. I had some idea of what needed to happen but little else. This created an excitement that I hope the reader feels just as much when they immerse themselves in this world.

Thank you so much for allowing me to celebrate the release of Redemption with you!

Warmly,       

Jenny:)

 

                                                                                Leave a comment and                                                                           receive a gift from Jenny!

 

 

J.R. Turner is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Writers Association. She writes in a variety of genres including middle-grade adventures, young adult horror, romantic suspense, horror, military action, and urban fantasy. In her spare time she enjoys arts and crafts, traveling, and movies. Few things in life compare to her passion for the written word, except perhaps the pursuit of chocolate.

Redemption is available here:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1475073771

Kindle  http://www.amazon.com/Redemption-ebook/dp/B008EZ2Y02

Createspace  https://www.createspace.com/3830999

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Not Just Another June

Here it is already the 13th and this is only my first June post… slacker! Let me offer you, by way of explanation, my declaration confirming no lack of desire for posting a blog, but offer up a faulty excuse of not enough time… because so far it has proved to be “not just another June.” This month offers to all of us the end of some things, yet promotes the beginning of so much more, depending on your perspective.

Graduation is a ceremonious end to the school year and, although I have been far removed from the event, I have friends and family involved with this mile marker of life. June, in its simplicity on the calendar, signifies the end of spring as we meld into greener grass, fuller blooms, warmer nights, and longer days… ah, daylight… it encourages so much more productivity. And so with the passing of my favorite season, I welcome June as it comes to encompass the beginning of summer – summer vacation, summer schedules, summer festivals,  and in general, thoughts on how to relax and take it easy while enjoying what life has to offer throughout the few warm months ahead.

This June will remain particularly special to me in that I was selected for an award to which receiving is a great honor. The County of Strathcona presents the Pride of Strathcona Award to deserving community members in various areas of achievement. Deserving… wow! I appreciate being included with the recipients for this year. Colleagues (my writing friends and cohorts), under the direction of my good friend Mandy, compiled wonderful letters of support for my nomination way back in January. They were successful in keeping the attempt a secret for over three months until, much to my surprise, I received the confirmation letter just after my birthday in April. I was humbled by their words, albeit pleased that my work has created an impact, and so taken by the gesture – it was something I did not expect. We all like to be recognized for the work we do even if we do it because of a passion we harbor deep inside. I have taken this commitment to my own writing down an incredible path of joy by providing encouragement to others, through support and mentorship, leadership and example, offering outlet and opportunity for others to develop their craft, as I develop mine. This direction has proven to be the right direction for my writing journey, and I have stayed the path.

Following are my words, shared in acceptance to the award presented, on Monday, June 11th:

“I want to thank those involved for selecting me for this award and offer my congratulations to all my fellow nominees.”

“To be accepted for what you do is a reward unto itself; to be recognized in public for a passion that lives deep inside, is truly an honor. Creativity is an important part of who I am and is evident in all aspects of my life. I have come to know my journey through trial and error, dreams and reality – as do many of us throughout our life. Over the last 11 years, a solid connection to this discovery allowed me to develop my own creative philosophy based on the triad of “learn, create, and share.” This belief encompasses not only my own passion for the arts, but the encouragement and support I offer to those around me. To be a part of this community, to share and encourage others, is not only my personal and volunteer mandate; it serves as a guide for my employment and a mission for my own publishing company.”

“A person does not operate in isolation, and therefore, everyone is deserving of thanks in some way for my achievement. Because it is not possible here to thank everyone, I want to specifically acknowledge Mandy Barnett for spearheading my nomination, and thank my mom and dad, and my daughter, Kelsey, for the supportive roles they play in my life.”

“When we, as individuals, focus on our direction as being one with everyone around us, there is a sense of community in everything we do. I will close with a quote:

‘As many arrows, loosed several ways, come to one mark… so may a thousand actions, once afoot, end in one purpose.’  William Shakespeare (Henry V, Act I, sc. 2)

“Thank you.”

The evening involved many words of congratulations and hugs and well wishes. I want to thank everyone who shared this evening at Festival Place. When our writers group won the award last year, I was proud to be a part of this community and this organization, bringing our work into the literary limelight. This year, I am twice as proud, and just as determined to continue promoting the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, Dream Write Publishing, Strathcona County, and all that it encompasses. I am proud to be recognized for promoting Arts, Culture & Heritage in our community. And it’s a steady road ahead with more to come.

It’s “not just another June.” 

Mandy Barnett attends celebratory dinner with Linda J. Pedley (right)/June 11, 2012 #shpk

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Call to Conference – A Writers Conference, That is!

The premise of this post is based on the skeleton of a blog I did two years ago; however, I have changed most of the content, not only to reflect the current “state of affairs” but also to write prior to the conference, instead of after it’s all said and done. Perhaps, this will entice you to take part in our event if, by chance, you are in the vicinity. It will be a lovely affair and aptly titled: “For the Love of Writing.”

In our attempt to encourage free fall writing, our group rep Mandy posts weekly writing prompts. Once titled (and still available on the calendar of events), the Saturday Writing Prompt has now become the Weekly Writing Prompt, encouraging participants to use their creative inspiration at any time. The “Saturday” tag was misconstrued to mean that you could only write to that prompt on that particular day – not true! As with the now weekly prompt, we encourage our members and others to use the prompts whenever the muse strikes. The prompts are meant to engage our members and the public who visit our web site with topics and questions to challenge the imagination and spark new or renewed ideas. The interesting thing about these challenges is not in the prompts themselves (although, sometimes you wonder… where the heck did that come from?) but rather, the diversity of writing that follows. As a member of the WFSC, you are allowed access to the internal web site where  you can blog, post, and share your literary offerings.

The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County will hold their 2012 Writers Conference on Saturday, May 5th; the writing prompt posted back on in 2010 added the tease “you should be at the Conference”  but it was posted as it always is and many of us got back to it after the event was completed. The following question was the prompt for that week and I have tailored by response to what my 2012 answer would be… (to read past posts, follow the links on the right to April 2010):

“If you could invite anyone, author or not, to the conference who would it be? Why?”

When planning an event that involves several aspects of presentation and display, there are people you consider inviting who would add to the day either by their ability to draw or engage a crowd, or by the relationship they already have through past encounters. You also tend to, just by human nature, go off on an imaginary tour grabbing at farfetched ideas and dreams hoping that by some slim, whim of a chance a celebrity or awe-inspiring mentor might grace your roster.

Although my past comment indicated that I would love to have someone who inspires me as a writer attend a conference upon my invitation and I listed some who I would enjoy listening to… I feel we fulfill that mandate each and every time, with each and every presenter we invite – in all honesty, everyone should inspire you in some way – we can learn from everyone. At this point, our conferences are small in comparison based on attendance, but that doesn’t mean they are ineffective. Perhaps, they are more effective than larger events because you are able to connect on a more personal level with those around you – you can network, share, learn, and take away valuable industry and information.

The people who asked to present workshops at our Conference, are not just those who may have been available on that day, they are, more importantly, people who have a special place on our roster of writing friends. This year’s line-up is impressive and we not only welcome returning writing friend and presenter, Judy Schultz, but also add new workshop topics to be presented by Lynn Gagne-Webb, Anna Marie Sewell, Suzanne Burkett, and Gord Steinke.

Our trade and author displays showcase the diversity of support and talent within our literary network – artwork, books, inspirational writing, business, and organizations, bring their unique blend of products and services to the table. An artist, no matter their creative calling, adds their own spirit to the group who mingle with a single purpose in mind – to share their passion for creativity.

Participants who register to attend our event do so for various reasons. It may be to further their own knowledge and understanding of a topic and learn what they can from those who are experts in their field. A writer may be finding out about themselves and in discovering that, they discover others who share their passion. Mixing and mingling with like-minded people creates a bond. Strangers become friends. Groups encourage fellowship. Everyone becomes connected. Inspiration lies in the sharing.

Looking over the guest list – our committee, our members, our community, our leaders in council, organizations representative of industry, experts in the writing field, artists, authors, local businesses…. If I could invite anyone to the Conference, who would it be? I think we have everyone we need to make this Conference the success past years have proven it to be, so in advance, thank you for sharing the day and the passion for the written word.

(p.s. in the back of my mind, of course, I have a wish list – you know that far-fetched dream likened to a fantasy, often unspoken or held in secret (or not so secret) containment… – Viggo Mortensen? Poet, artist, photographer, actor, Renaissance man-extraordinaire! YOU have an open invitation. Maybe an influential Facebook or Twitter friend? Check out our posts on both! Oh, yes, and of course, William… but that’s really reaching ;)

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April – wherefore art thou?

April – my precious month, the beginning of my own spring tides, bearer of my birth. Where have you gone in such a rush? It is not like you will be forgotten, passing into the calendar abyss without renown or reward, but do you have to go so fast? Don’t you know you are my favorite month as you are the time of year I came upon this earth and then as if returning the gift, I presented to you my own offspring to herald the very first day of you? If I write nothing else to post here, it would be to proclaim all the glory that you offer me each year, however fleeting, however quick.

Yes, spring arrives in the waning weeks of March but it is April I connect to; Aries I am borne of… and spring anew is welcomed with open arms each year. There is uncertainty in the time even with all the future holds, so close to grasping summer’s warmth… yet within reach of the cold hold winter still tries to lay claim. You packed surprises with a punch this year as snow fell, blizzards hit, rain and hail and lightning – yet there was sunshine, too, as if to ease the passing of any final winter wares. I celebrated with friends and family as yet another year turned forward and I beam with pride as my daughter continues to mature and grow into a most wonderful human being.

Work keeps me grounded yet my dreams continue to soar as my own publishing business increases in popularity and project. I revel in the marvel of books and the stories authors share. I am honored to help contain those words within personalized covers that will forever house their creative works. April, you will be a banner month for Dream Write Publishing and I would expect the rest of the year will follow suit influenced by your lead.

With all that keeps one busy during the normal course of a day, my days are filled past normal work hours to include my investment of time and expertise to a growing business; I remain overly active in the workings of the local writers group and foundation; events for each of these entities fill weekends and evenings with planning and presentation, and although tiring and taxing upon this body, outcomes are undoubtedly profitable and pleasant.

I have been presented with many profound opportunities and awarded recognition for my efforts – I am deeply humbled and appreciative of all I have to claim. April in all your newness, you bring rejuvenation to a soul wrapped to guard against winter’s chill, and though I hesitantly shed those protective layers as days grow longer and warmer, I thankfully welcome with open arms what is yet to come.

It is almost good-bye April – I will await your visit next year.

Here are some fun April activities involving me and my passions:

http://www.renajtraxelblog.com/2012/04/s-is-for-sonnet.html?spref=fb my interview on Rena J. Traxel’s blog “On the Way to Somewhere” – Rena covered National Poetry Month with tributes to poets and poetry styles using the alphabet. I was excited to be a part of this with “S” for sonnet…

http://www.worldshakespearefestival.org.uk/ Oh, William – you look and sound wonderful for 448 years!! You will always have my heart. Be warned – the site is very, very vibrant in color! (I know I shouldn’t use very, but using two, does that cancel them out, out brief candle … that is the question…)

Planning for the upcoming Writers Foundation of Strathcona County Conference well underway and we have an amazing line-up and outstanding support!  http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/fp/2012-writers-conference-saturday-may-5th

It was fun participating in the 6th Annual Evening of Poetry on Friday the 13th at the Strathcona County Library – how lucky! I have only missed one event of the six and I not only love listening to the different poets invited as guest readers, I am pleased to share a couple of my poems during the open mic session – this year I shared along with a free verse poem called “Begging” … the sonnet featured in the blog post above, and this one:  https://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/metamorphosis-of-a-poem/

The recipients are not yet posted on the County’s web site, but I was nominated for this award to be given out on June 11th in a celebration at Festival Place in the category Professional Development: http://www.strathcona.ab.ca/departments/Communications/pride-of-strathcona-awards.aspx  I have the official letter from the Mayor’s office and I am honored to be chosen for this award. I thank (over and over) my colleagues and writing friends for their letters of support (and Mandy for spearheading the application!) Now, if I can get through the acceptance speech without blubbering…

I am attending on behalf of my employer the Alberta Community and Cooperatives Association AGM in Red Deer to participate in the meeting and cooperative discussions. I represent the AFREA on the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC 2012) planning committee at the provincial level, working down through the communications and grassroots committees, to being a proud part of the local Strathcona County Co-ops Cluster group. Creating awareness of the cooperative business model is our mandate – providing educational/leadership opportunities to young co-op members or members-to-be.                                          

http://www.afrea.ab.ca/trade-fair-display-visit-us-booth-35 

http://www.afrea.ab.ca/iyc-launch-reports-and-links                                                                                   

I will wrap up April with other office, work, company, home, family and friend duties and pleasures – but also with a supper at the Morse Telegraph Club annual meeting. I am attending on behalf of my author George Campbell who wrote “Good Night Old Man” and created a stir across Canada and US with his book. It has been well received and written about in many papers; check out this book review:                                                           http://groups.yahoo.com/group/techbooks/message/882

                                                                                                -30-

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