Another year schmoozing with writers, learning new tricks of the trade, and having fun! Crime Bake, New England's mystery-writing conference is over, but the memories linger on. Excellent classes, seminars and panels were coupled with a long list of prominent writers in crime-based genres. Our conference guest of honor this year was Meg Gardiner, whose thrillers, beginning with her Edgar-winning novel, China Lake, have delighted readers for years.
The classes I enjoyed over the weekend included: Creating & Sustaining the Series Character, Practice Your Manuscript Pitch, How to Create a Career That Lasts, and High School Murder: Writing the Young Adult Mystery. Generous with their experience and knowledge, and knowing how important it is to encourage writers to keep working, the authors made the time during the conference to speak to anyone who needed help.
Another important facet of any writing conference is the interaction with your peers. Published or unpublished, it is important to talk to someone who has your same aspirations and dreams, your same insecurities and fears. For me, this connection with other writers supersedes the rest.
Yes, I love the education and who doesn't enjoy a good party? Limbo lower, now! (I'm guessing some knees were not too happy Sunday morning.)
More important, however, is the knowledge that I'm not alone out there. Spending so much time by myself in front of my computer, I sometimes get discouraged. Belonging to a group like Sisters in Crime and attending writing conferences reminds me that I'm part of a huge group of writers who are either striving to make it or who have already made it. That realization gives me the positive reinforcement I need to keep on trying.
Yesterday morning, I received an award for my 150-word crime story. For the second time in as many years, I'm a FLASHWORDS winner!
I'm getting there! Look for my picture in the coming week.