|Me teaching a packed room on living a literary lifestyle|
Over the next few months, I made arrangements for round-the-clock nursing care, formulated the workshops I would lead, and also set goals, professional and personal, for the weekend. One of the workshops needed to be on a subject close to my heart -- "Living a Literary Lifestyle", something I both preach and practice. I was also requested to hold a lecture on writing Mysteries, as I've had some wonderful successes in recent months in that particular genre. As winter waned, the towering walls of snow around our home melted, and the date arrived, I grew anxious and excited -- the latter because of the opportunity presented, the former because I would be leaving the house, loved one, and cats for the first time in nearly two years. It turned out they were in the best of hands.
I packed lightly, as I always did when traveling, and departed a full day before the symposium was scheduled to begin with good pals Edwin Berne and Judi Calhoun. We traveled down to beautiful Newfound Lake and the retreat center, the first arrivals. Our hosts, Sheila and Bill, were as gracious and pampering as always. An incredible dinner (pork roast wrapped in bacon) greeted us, and we three hung out in the big bedroom upstairs and talked the writing life. After dinner, we gathered downstairs among the cafe tables overlooking the lake and wrote. I began a terrifying ghost story called "The Woman in the Wallpaper", one of three projects I brought to work on between sessions.
The following morning found me again downstairs by 5 a.m., belting out fresh pages at a dizzying speed. Over that first early cup of coffee, our dear friends and fellow conferees The Sisters Dent motored up the long, winding drive and joined us for a scumptious breakfast. I finished the first draft of my story, and soon the masses descended. The symposium kicked off with spirited conversations and my first workshop as, outside, the sky opened up and rain hammered our surroundings.
Among the other esteemed teachers that weekend were Tor Books senior SF editor Mosche Feder and agent Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Literary Agency. Beth held an insightful open discussion on the writer-agent relationship, and on Saturday Moshe led a Milford method-style consultation with six of us novelists on our current projects. My novel-in-progress, Grave Space, earned high marks from he and Beth, and I am presently tearing through the remainder of the novel for submission.
|With Edwin Berne, Beath Marshea, Clarence Young, Roxanne Dent, and Judi|