Thursday, August 7, 2014

Texas 2014 Part Two--The Workshops

Unless you're a writer, you might not have the attention span for me to give you Every. Single. Detail of the workshops I took. They were one to two hours long and I took 14 of them, so I'll condense my story a bit. They were all pretty good...I'll pick the top 5.

First on the list is "Fit to Be Tied...To Your Desk" This class, led by Angela Breidenbach,  focused on the physical health of the Writer. Writer's like myself have a tendency to ignore their health. It's not just because of the writing, but other factors as well that cause us to eat badly and avoid physical activity in favor of chasing our stories. When I quit my full time job as a meat cutter four years ago, I gained three sizes in four years. Now I am a borderline diabetic, which I'm fighting to change.

The first thing Angela told us is how blood pools when we sit too long. That causes our brains to 'stop'. I've been there. You're writing for two hours and suddenly, you just can't write anymore. That happens to me a lot. The solution is to either get up and do something else physical, as we know....or we can do simple YOGA.
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And then she had us do it. It works.

The next class I'd like to mention is from Elizabeth Hoyt, and she just saved my sarcastic pun intended, you people who don't like cops :P It was called 'Holding out for a Hero'. This workshop is about figuring out what makes your hero a great character. Since my best friend and my husband have been telling me they don't 'feel' my new hero, Sam, I knew I needed this too. She asked us what makes a hero so fascinating...It's days like this I know I don't read enough romance novels. Our heroes need to be HUMAN.  They have FLAWS. They have FEARS. And Sam needs a new backstory. He's boring because he's perfect. That's gonna change. Even as I took notes for this seminar, I scratched constant notes to myself about exactly how Sam is going to evolve.

Then we have "Indie Success with No Experience." There was a panel of three women who self-published with no experience and with the stigma being what it was...they told NO ONE. Now they are successful. They taught me how it's not enough to have one or two offerings on the I know what I have to do. And I have a lot of gleeful work cut out for me. I can't tell you yet. I refuse to make promises I might not be able to keep. But rest assured, I have a new deadline for myself, and a lot more work to do before the year is out.
Next one was my favorite...It's called 'Excuse Me, Your Muse is Waiting!" It was two hours long, but it didn't feel like it. This class appealed to me, because I was l

ooking for subliminal ways to entice my writing abilities. Well, I found them. I also discovered that I don't hate meditating after all. I just needed a reason to engage in it. It had to be useful to me.

Not only can I FINALLY meditate, but they put us through an exercise in the last twenty minutes that helped find out true muse so we could talk to them. Sort of a hypnosis. To find out who that was for me, you'll have to check this blog next Thursday, because it's unexpected but NOT really unexpected. Stay tuned, for lack of better words...It requires it's own blog.

The fifth I will mention is "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon."  While some classes offered a beginning to end class of good marketing sites, this one offered SECRETS. Stuff people might not know about...Places we never knew to click on, and what they'll tell us. I arrived too late to get a seat, and had to sit on the floor, but it was worth it!  One of those secrets was so profound, we all reacted with exclaims of wonder and applause. What was it? Not telling! But it was the kind of secret worth spending an hour cross-legged on concrete in a dress  to possess.

So these were my favorite classes. Do you see where I'm going? 'Cause I do. I'm so excited I could burst. I have so much work lined up, and that makes me pretty damned happy. Ecstatic, actually. I met my true muse. Hint: It isn't isn't Bruce Dickinson or Henry Rollins.

Next Thursday is Part Three, the last installment of my convention experience, where I tell you how I found him.

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