Okay, I’ll admit it. I have been getting a bit lonesome as the pandemic continues, even though it may be easing up a bit—depending on where you live.
I still see relatives and neighbors and a few friends—and my dogs, of course—but I miss going to writers’ meetings and seeing more friends in person.
Oh, I do attend some meetings on Zoom and get to literally see some of those people, but it’s not quite the same as getting together with them as I did in the old days. I belong to several writers’ organizations and their local chapters, including Romance Writers of America, and the Orange County and Los Angeles chapters, Sisters in Crime and the Sisters in Crime Los Angeles chapter, and Mystery Writers of America and the Los Angeles chapter.
In the old days, I attended a lot of monthly meetings and got to chat with members before and after, and to some extent during, those meetings. I learned what they were up to and told them what I was doing and just felt caught up. I sometimes attended even when I wasn’t too excited about the speakers or their topics, mostly just to get together with, and be supportive of, friends.
I also tended to attend a lot of writing conferences, like the RWA National Conference, Left Coast Crime, Malice Domestic and more, often several in a year. I was often a speaker, or a panel member, too.
Things are a bit different these days. And I wonder if they’ll ever return to anything like the past. Guess we’ll just have to see.
Meanwhile, I’m hanging out at home, but imagine me waving at you, saying hi, chatting about writing and the rest of life.
I enjoyed it before and hope to enjoy it again—but I never imagined it would disappear even for a while.
OCC’s most recent Birthday Bash occurred between my last post and this one. Happy Birthday, OCC! I did attend the main events on that Saturday, although I didn’t stay overnight and I missed the pajama parties.
But getting together with fellow members, hearing the speakers, participating in drawings–it was all wonderful! I’m a long-time member of OCC, although there are plenty of others who’ve belonged even longer. I love the chapter and am good buddies with quite a few of the members.
Right now, I just want to say thanks to all of you who put the Birthday Bash together, and those of you who do such a wonderful job of running the chapter. Yay, OCC!
[tweetshare tweet=”OCC And Me by @lindaojohnston #amwritingromance #cozymysteries” username=”A_SliceofOrange”]
I’ve been doing selfies for years and I especially love videos.
So when fellow Kindle Scout winner, Fiona Quinn, asked me about making videos, I put together some info for her ThrillWriting Blogspot.
Also, check out the fab posts about the interesting worlds of many fascinating authors on her blog.
So here is â€œSorbet for Your Writingâ€ â€“ making videos with me, Jina Bacarr.
Any questions? Please ask me…I love hearing from you.
PS — If you want to read about the night I almost went over Mulholland with a sexy DJ . . . check out my post on Fiona’s blog!
She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
I’d love to hear from you. You can find me on social media:
by Linda O. Johnston
Sorry to say that, once again, I’ll be missing this month’s OCC meeting. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is the same weekend, and I’m doing things there both days.
Of course they’re predicting rain, maybe even thunderstorms, for both Saturday and Sunday. During almost any other time I’d be thrilled about that. Not next weekend, though.
I’ve been attending the LATFOB for many years, starting when it was held at the UCLA campus. Now it is at USC, which in some ways is more convenient for me since I can take the Metro there rather than drive.
There are a lot of interesting-sounding speakers and panels this year, although I probably won’t hear any of them. I’ll be busy signing at a couple of booths for mystery writers, helping to staff the booth promoting the Mystery Writers of America, and volunteering at the romance writers’ booth. It’s always fun to walk around and see what else is going on, too. And buy a few books? Why not!
I always think it’s fun to attend any kind of book event, and the LATFOB is always huge and enjoyable. I’m sure it will be this year, too–depending on the amount and timing of any rain.
And as an author, I find it very helpful and productive to attend these kinds of events and meet potential readers and other authors. How about you?
I hope the OCC meeting goes great–and I hope to get there again soon. And in the meantime, even if you attend OCC this weekend, you can always head up to the USC campus on Sunday to check out the LATFOB.
Itâ€™s a new year, a new novel, and a time revisit the basics.
As the commercial says, â€œJust Do it.â€ Just write.
Read as much and as often as you can. Remember, every writer is a reader first.
Keep a journal or notebook handy to jot down your ideas. If youâ€™ve got a smartphone, download a note-taking app. A voice-recording app also comes in handy for recording notes and ideas.
Make sure you have a dictionary and thesaurus available whenever you are writing. Dictonary.com is also a great resource.
Be observant. People and activities will provide you with great inspiration for characters, plots, and themes.
The Chicago Manual of Style and The Elements of Style are a must for your book shelf.
Grammar: learn the rules and then learn how to break them effectively.
Read works by highly successful authors to learn what earns a loyal readership.
Join a writersâ€™ group.
Create a space in your home especially for writing (I covered this topic in an earlier blog).
Proofread everything at least three times before submitting your work for publication.
Start a blog. Use it to talk about your own writing process, share your ideas and experiences, or publish your work to a reading audience.
Subscribe to writing blogs on the Internet. Read them, learn, share, and enjoy!
Let go of your inner editor. When you sit down to write a draft, refrain from proofreading until that draft is complete.
Make it your business to understand grammar and language.
You are a writer so own it and say it aloud: â€œI am a writer.â€
Write, write, write, and then write some more.
Most importantly, love your craft and always, always fall in love with your heroes.
Wishing you a happy 2016,
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