OCTOBER LEAVES

October 31st, 2022

From a weather perspective, October has been amazing. Both good and bad. Despite the Lower Mainland’s dire need for rain (arrived at last), the cool sunny days energized me through daily tedium and rewrites towards SiWC.

I have attended Surrey International Writer’s Conference several times pre-COVID to pitch my work, join workshops, and bask in the dynamic writers’ energy. This year, volunteering at the post-COVID hybrid event gave me a slightly different experience but in a good way. The contagious enthusiasm and sense of community, shared purpose and support felt no different but in the roles of set-up, announcing a masterclass and monitoring workshops, I gained perspective and appreciation for the many, many people needed and the work involved in pulling together such a diverse event and am honoured to have been part of it.

One benefit of volunteering is being assigned to monitor specific sessions. In the five sessions I attended, only one of which I chose myself because it fit into my break, I came back with some level of inspiration from every single one of them. (Yes, I brought a pen and notebook)

–           KC Dyer’s dynamic master class: The Beginner’s Top Thirty spoke to some of my publishing fears.

–           Robin Stevenson’s workshop on Co-Writing – Creative Collaboration refreshed my perspective on point of view in my own work, specifically my novel waiting for a re write.

–           And Friday’s Panel: Handling Serious Subjects in Books For Kids spoke directly to that same novel.

–           Shari Green’s Words From Battered Hearts encouraged me to continue exploring poetry as a genre to blend with narrative.

–           The gem I chose to fill my break stands out for me mainly in that  Crystal Hunt’s workshop: Personality-Based Book Marketing  involves de-cluttering your web page or blog post. So far, I’ve done my best to fulfill my 2022 challenge of reactivating my web page with specific criteria but have found myself wondering “To what end?” or “Who cares?” Hunt says rather than random blogging, creating specific content to draw interested followers will help promote me as a writer. So for the remainder of the year, I’ll continue to meet my 2022 challenge while figuring out what exactly I want to share with the world and re-jig the space for 2023. Hmmm …

If you have any thoughts, please share in the comment section.

THIS MONTH’S SKETCH:

RIP DREXL

October 2nd was a sad day in our house. We said goodbye to our geriatric Boston terrier grand-dog, Drexl (age 12). This handsome pup put up a good fight after losing his sight two years ago, sidestepping his way through Flint’s alpha dog not-in-my-face personality. My son swaddled the dog’s limp body in a blanket; on their way out to the car, I stroked Drexl’s face and reassured him he was a good boy and would be missed. His fatigued face told me he knew it was time.

THIS MONTH’S PHOTO:

Slow and steady, my Room of My Own now has sunshine yellow paint and a Plexiglas window. Tomorrow I choose the trim colour and continue plans to move in.

THIS MONTH’S READING LIST:

L. M. Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables (1908)

Sarah Vaughan – Reputation (2022)

Liz Levine – Nobody Talks About Anything But The End (2020)

Agatha Christie – Death On The Nile (1937)

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