Lakefly Writer’s Conference

Measure Life in Bookmarks at the Lakefly Writer's Conference

Measure Life in Bookmarks attended the 2017 Lakefly Writer’s Conference in Oshkosh. I’m having a lot more fun than it looks.

Last weekend I attended the Lakefly Writer’s Conference in Oshkosh. It was exactly what I needed to recharge after a long, busy winter churning out copy for work without having time to sit back and reflect on the beauty of the process.

 

 

 

 

measure life in bookmarks at lakefly writer's conference

Photo courtesy of Lakefly Writer’s Conference.

It reminded me that every few months, creatives must put themselves in front of other like-minded artists to revive their inspiration. I was grateful to have attended all the presentations I could, conversate with other hardworking writers and touch all the published book displays.

 

 

 

Some of the more memorable moments at the conference included:

Lakefly Writer's Conference Kristin Adams

Photo of Kristin Adams. Courtesy of Lakefly Writer’s Conference.

Kristine D. Adams talked about her experiences in writing memoir and recommended techniques to tell your story. I spoke with her afterward, as writing memoir has always been an interest of mine, and we discussed capturing family history. One of my goals is to interview and record my grandmothers’ stories and turn them into biographies to remember where I’ve come from. But also to remind them how far they’ve com. Plus, it’s always a nice excuse to have coffee or tea with your grandma.

Lakefly Writer's Conference Jill Swenson

Photo of Jill Swenson. Courtesy of Lakefly Writer’s Conference.

Jill Swenson of Swenson Book Development presented a novel’s worth of information on how to know when you need to hire an agent, how to get one and what to do once you start working together. She shared her knowledge of the publishing industry while inspiring everyone in the room how simple it could be if you could just find your spirit agent. Someone who believes in your story as much as you. She taught me that a writer should never have to beg for an agent’s unconditional love. NOTED!

 

Orange Hat Publishing

Orange Hat Publishing staff at the Lakefly Writer’s Conference.

And, finally, Orange Hat Publishing. It is a small, indie publishing company in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Kristen Bratonja, editor and head of marketing at Orange Hat, presented on the evolving publishing world, including how to avoid scams, the rise in indie publishers, and the pros and cons of each type of book publishing.

 

 

 

Thank you to everyone who was a part of this great conference! Looking forward to next year.

You Don’t Own Me

At a time in our country when facts are alternative and grabbing women by the p***y without consent is acceptable, standing in line to meet Margaret Atwood has become important.

Margaret Atwood author

Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, signed my copy at UntitledTown Book and Author Festival in Green Bay.

I did just that on Sunday, April 30 at the UntitledTown Book and Author Festival in Green Bay.

Margaret Atwood author

Margaret Atwood signed my copy of The Handmaid’s Tale at UntitledTown.

In case you haven’t read the book or watched the new TV series on Hulu, I highly recommend both! Book first, though. Always.

Then this:

 

The Power of Creatives

Let’s just get it out there because we all know it’s true:

2016 sucked!

 

Too many people were taken too early from this earth, including one of my best friends growing up. I have not experienced grief like that before and realize it will always be there, even if the intensity changes over time. While the loss of someone important to you can send you to a dark place of questions unanswered and “what if’s,” it can also wake you from hibernation.

When a friend passes away in the prime of his or her life, it can open windows, clear fog, unlock doors, free fear and knock you into the next chapter. It can give you perspective: Life is short. Things that bothered you before, seem to take a backseat. Things you’ve been putting off for years suddenly seem important to tackle.

Intangible goals aside, I focused on writing and traveling endeavors. My first goal was to reconnect to creativity by meeting up with some of my former female educators who have inspired my writing over the years.

I also kept in mind all the strong, inspirational women that have influenced my perspective of the world.

Next it was time to let the world fall at my feet. My BFF and I found out our favorite podcast, Guys We Fucked (Sorry About Last Night) – The anti-slut shaming podcast with Krystyna Hutchinson & Corinne Fisher, were touring in Chicago before the holidays! So we spent a weekend with our feminine selves in the big city.

Guys We Fucked Live Podcast in Chicago

Kyla and I with Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher after the Guys We Fucked live podcast at the Amethyst Theatre in Chicago on Nov. 18, 2016.

Listen to Live in Chicago episode here.

 

This was the first trip I’d taken in far too long. And it certainly won’t be the last one.

Next up … Cancun in October for another incredible woman’s wedding! It will be my four college buddies (a bride and her three bridesmaids) at an all-inclusive resort — the Spring Break we never took! #CantWait

After that — who knows where I’ll end up. But I do know I’ll be going somewhere. What with this new luggage I got for Christmas and all …

Traveling writer

Seek out adventures and the stories will come.

Under Pressure

David Bowie has died at age 69.

bowieguitar

Photo courtesy of AlternativeNation.net.

Today felt like I’d lost an old friend. One that you no longer speak with, but still have memories surface every time you listen to a nostalgic tune. David Bowie has been popping up a lot lately in my life, which has made it all the more strange that he passed away.

Jan. 10 was a day, eight years ago now, of a funeral. It was a day that rattled me like a caged bird. And now in 2016, there was another death on Jan. 10. This time of a rockstar that linked me back to those days leading up to that moment. Only grieving for David Bowie ended up being, in a sense, therapeutic.

Before I turned in for the night, I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s post:

David Bowie

I watched his goodbye message to his fans in the form of a music video.

“Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen
Everybody knows me now

This way or no way 
You know, I’ll be free
Just like that bluebird
Now ain’t that just like me”
– David Bowie

* * *

Jane Eyre Bird


“I am no bird;
and no net ensnares me;
I am a free human being
with an independent will
(which I now exert to leave you).”
– Jane Eyre

Now ain’t that always the way?

**UPDATE**

Pursuing the Next Page

Dear English Major is a website dedicated to showing English majors all that is possible with an English degree. My interview is being featured this month. Visit DearEnglishMajor.com to read the rest of my interview and learn more about where I started and how far I’ve come! Also, please check out the other language connoisseurs‘ stories!

Dear English Major

National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo!

Madison Writing Spot

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day contest to try and write a 50,000-word novel, starting Nov. 1. You can also find writing tools and chat with other writers from around the world or in your region to help you reach your goal. I signed up three years ago, but barely started the contest before I quit. I found my old username and password to pick it back up again this year with a different story that I’ve been working on for several years now. You can learn more about it on my NaNoWriMo WritingFlea page.

Will you be participating this year? If you have more questions, visit their FAQ and How It Works pages.

Happy Writing!