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.
Presented by: Brenda Clotildes
Date: February 6 – 19, 2021 – includes 2 live sessions!
Pricing: A2P Member fee: $10
Non-A2P Member fee: $20
Registration: Aged to Perfection Workshop
We’re all spending more time on screen these days. Whether it’s a Zoom meeting, Instagram interview or Facebook launch party, we all want to look our best. This workshop will provide a checklist of things to do—and NOT to do—to help you be prepared, no matter where you’re virtually appearing. No special equipment necessary!
Brenda Clotildes spent more than thirty years as a television writer/producer. She’s helped everyone from mechanics to politicians look natural yet professional on camera. As Brenda Margriet, she writes savvy, slow burn, contemporary romances with ordinarily amazing characters. Readers have called her stories “poignant,” “explicit and steamy,” “interesting, intriguing and entertaining,” and “unlike any romance you’ve read before” (she assumes the latter was meant in a good way).
I’m Zooming these days. Oh, not a lot. But when I do, I always think about how convenient it is to participate in various meetings without leaving home.
Last weekend, I joined in a Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles chapter meeting, where author and psychologist Dennis Palumbo was speaking about how to handle writing and your mind these days. Very interesting, especially since I’m always wondering these days where my mind is. Of course, I also wondered that a lot before the pandemic and all the other things going on now began.
I also joined a recent LARA meeting–Los Angeles Romance Authors. And this week I hope to visit a presentation being given by a local independent bookstore. Plus, there are other upcoming chapter meetings of other organizations that I’ll leap into as I learn more about the dates and times.
The thing is, I’m highly untechie. I have to go back and figure out the technological stuff nearly each time. For example, this week I had to play around to turn audio back on, although the video worked fine. Could I start a Zoom meeting on my own? I highly doubt it.
I do like the idea, though, that I don’t have to drive time-consuming distances to get to those meetings.
I don’t like the idea that I can’t see buddies belonging to those organizations in person. But at least this way I get a glimpse of them without putting myself in danger of catching anything I don’t want to.
I’m just glad Zoom is around, to give us possibilities. So–thank you, Zoom!
And hi out there to those of you I know and might otherwise see at some meetings. Hope you’re all doing great… and Zooming along.
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