Next Meeting

August 9th- Topic Pending (speaker Sylvia Weiss Sinclair)

September 13th- The Evolution of Genres (speaker Ken Pelham)

October 11th- Topic Pending (speaker Sharon Belcastro)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Anhinga: The First Day

Okay, here's an example of a new gadget I'm using that I hope will improve my 'saves' of workshop and conference information. It's called a digital notepad, and I can show it at the next meeting if anyone is interested. (Though not to interfere with the presenter.) I write the notes down and they are saved electronically, and I then upload them to my computer. Here's my first page from today, to give you an idea of what it looks like. (I can save in several formats, I chose jpeg for this one to be able to upload it here.) It's blurry here but in pdf and at larger size it's clearer.

A short day, starting with registration at 1pm or, for most people, pick up your packet time. I did stop by early and met April Fitzgerald, the FWA leader in Gainesville who is a fantastic person. I've seen several other FWA members here (from around Florida) in addition to April. Total attendance I would estimate at roughly 100.

The initial panel consisted of the three ladies in charge, and they spoke about how they lived the writing life. Very different styles from each of them, which should tell you that there's no one way to write, so be wary of those who want you to conform to one view of successful writing.

I'm attending mostly for the poetry, as I hope to have a collection published next year (I won't have finished the last poem probably until December). The 'name' that got me here is Peter Meinke, the poet laureate of St. Petersburg. My first workshop, however, was with Lola Haskins, who has 8 books on poetry published and teaches in a low residency MFA program and is also a writing coach. What I found interesting was the manner in which she built her poems, which she calls 'Streamlining,' and a technique she sometimes uses where she writes the poem out in a single line, finding that by the end of the line the ending will sometimes suggest itself.

Several attendees told me about Bev's workshop, which she'll be doing for us in November, and from the excitement they displayed I know it will be a good one.

There was a mixer in the evening which included the guest of honor, Charlaine Harris. Though I didn't get to talk with her, I did meet Roxanne St. Clair, a romance writer from Melbourne. Her 23rd and 24th books are coming out this year! Another great person, who was a bit chagrined that I wasn't attending any of her workshops, which she said were not just about romance, but writing in general. Okay, maybe I will jump tracks a bit here!

After the mixer we were treated to a ride to the historic district where restaurants awaited. I'm finding more people who have been here before, and I think that speaks to the quality of the workshop.

Looking forward to tomorrow,

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