The pandemic had done something for writers far beyond our normal expectations—brought us closer together through zoom, messenger, virtual conferences, etc. (the list could fill a journal). Group members who moved beyond borders could join in regular sessions, again. Concepts exchanged and stories created with more help than preconceived prior to the shutdowns, shut-ins, and quarantines. A writer’s world no longer had to remain solitary.
The amount of meetings grew exponentially last year to escape the realities outside our own walls. We continued to stare at flat images of the people we used to associate with in person, missing the contact, but willing to sacrifice to stay connected. Writers who guarded works in fear that another could steal their premise, now shared on screen—something most wouldn’t have done pre-Covid-19.
Virtual conferences replaced the normal frenzy of booking transportation, accommodations, and higher fees. Networking parties turned to impersonal chat rooms. Pitches changed from connecting with the agent or editor who could take our novels to the next phase, to remaining quiet on the screen by sitting on hands hoping we said enough. The ease with which we introverted writers pivoted to accept them was profound.
However, without the personal contact, I missed the sizzle. The anticipation of a conference and the creative buzz around the banquets would energize me for months. I took the risk, vaccinated and precautions taken, and so happy for the outcome. This year’s Killer Nashville Writing Conference was the best I had been to in years. Many of the usual crowd stayed home, opening doors for new voices.
Whether the excitement created was from the sense of normalcy or the energy stirred by so many creative minds, the mood snapped me up and brought me back to my writing desk with noisy, chattering characters. Every penny and second spent was more than worthwhile to feel that sizzle again. Happy writing!
Diane Sismour has written poetry and fiction for over 35 years in multiple genres. She lives with her husband in eastern Pennsylvania at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Diane is a member of Romance Writers of America, Bethlehem Writer’s Group LLC, Horror Writers Association, and Liberty States Fiction Writers. She enjoys interviewing other authors and leading writer’s workshops.
Sally Paradysz wrote from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She was an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sal completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She was definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.
Sal is missed by all who knew her.
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