Already Missing 2009 Conferences – M&M Recap

The more I think about it, the more my heart aches at the thought of skipping out on certain conferences next year.  Others, not so much.  Anyway, I blame Moonlight & Magnolias for that.  I had a BLAST!  Talk about a learning experience.

First off, I HIGHLY recommend taking Margie Lawson’s classes from Empowering Characters’ Emotions to her Deep EDITS System.  Something I had written a few months back and submitted it to a small press.  It was rejected because it lacked characterization.  I bet by the time I’m done applying Margie’s method, it won’t.  While we only had three hours with her, it was the most valuable three hours of the entire conference.  I kid you not.  I had no idea there were so many ways to bring out a character’s emotions.  I had hit on some of them, but there were at least two more for every one I had touched in my own manuscript. 

Also, you’re in luck.  If you want a slice of her amazing genious, check this out:

Margie Lawson is guest blogging on Jeri Smith-Ready’s blog today:

Drop by and post a comment.  You could win a Lecture Packet!
Today’s guest is the amazing Margie Lawson, whose classes have helped me immeasurably with my craft. I’ve used her Deep Edits systems and Empowering Character Emotions lessons at the final stage of my last three books, and I can’t begin to express how great they are .  Today Margie helps us figure out whether we’re right-, left-, or whole-brained and how that affects our creative process.
Margie Lawson’s new on-line course — October 13th:   DIGGING DEEP INTO THE EDITS SYSTEM
Visit Margie’s web site for course information:

Did I say I HIGHLY recommend her?  😉

Another class I thought was very cool was Write Well!  Write Fast!by the lovely Stephanie Bond.  This lady is a class act.  She knows the tricks of the trade to get your butt writing.  If you do a page a day, that’s 365 pages by the end of the year.  Two pages per day means two books a year.  When you think of it in those terms, yes, you can write at least a book a year, if not more.  If she teaches this class anywhere else, run to it and get a seat up front.  Again, you won’t be disappointed.  By the way, I got to sit next to her at the book signing.  :mrgreen:

Hanging out with some fabulous authors were also a huge plus.  I met my fellow Parkerette authors Seressia Glass, who is a fountain of wisdom, and the beautiful Abigail McKenleywho has a romantic suspense coming out in July 2009.  Oh, how I wish more of the Parker family was there.  It would’ve been awesome!!

New faces are always a fun plus, too.  I’ll start with the lovely Kalayna Pricewho has a new urban fantasy coming out this month through Bell Bridge Books.  Make sure you check it out.  She’s a lot of fun to hang out with, and yes, I saw her get down on the dance floor, too.  Another amazing lady who I finally ran into at the book signing was the lovely Petrina Aubol.  She’s a sweetheart.  She co-wrote a book about breast cancer survivors.

Of course, I can’t forget some of the other lovely authors like Chudney, Amy, that-inspirational-chick-with-the-bling-and-looked-inspirational-in-a-different-way-when-she-busted-a-move-on-the-dance-floor, the lovely Tami Brothers, Tracey (who finaled in the paranormal category of the Maggies), Heather (who also finaled in the paranormal category of the Maggies), Natalie (a fellow CRW member who I didn’t know existed–shame on me), Marcia my HCRWcounterpart, and many more who I’m probably forgetting.  I’m kicking myself for not connecting with the lovely Cynthia Eden.

These are the reasons why I hate having to put conferences on back burner for 2009.  M&M wasn’t just about romance writers.  It was about writers.  Period.  I’m not saying romance is a bad thing, but for those of us who write stories where romance isn’t the main theme, we want something we can relate to, too.  Cold Reads was a perfect example.  It didn’t matter if the agents read romance manuscripts or not, I learned a lot about looking into their minds and seeing exactly what they’re looking for.  What to know the interesting thing about that?  If an excerpt was off the mark, EVERYONE picked up on it.  Even better, they clued us in to what it takes to hook them in the first two pages.

I’ll be honest with you.  Come the end of the year, I was thinking about chucking this writing thing.  Seriously.  After eight years of chugging away and still not making NY a reality, I wanted to call it quits because I was tired.  I don’t care how long you or your friend has been at it.  When I hear it took someone 20+ years to make their dream a reality, that’s NOT (no way in hell!) encouraging to me.

However, after this conference, I’m going to hold on to my towel a little longer and the ring with have to wait.  My writing has been re-energized.  😀


Which classes (online or at a conference) have re-energized your writing?  If none of them has, then what does?  And will you compensate for it or suck it up like me?  While I might be sucking some stuff up, I’m going to do my damnedest to make M&M happen against next year.


30 thoughts on “Already Missing 2009 Conferences – M&M Recap

  1. Marcia, thanks for sharing! I’m co-coordinating a workshop for Margie on Empowering Characters’ Emotions. Although I’ve taken all three of her classes, I expect to be inspired anew. I hear she’s even more dynamic in person than her workshops. And she’s pretty dynamic there!

    I’ve listened to a few Stephanie Bond’s workshops on CDs, and no matter what it is, it’s always good. I’d definitely see her workshops too.

    And Michael Hauge’s workshops are great, either on tape, CD or in person. 🙂

  2. Friends like you energize me. Whenever I have the “I can’t do this anymore” blues, I whine to a few choice friends. Without them I’d have quit writing right around the time that publisher-who’ll-remain-nameless went belly-up.

    I have since realized that writing is in my nature, and after a lot of agonizing soul searching have found my peace with it.

    Guest bloggers help, too, at Magical Musings, as well as their in-house bloggers. Their blogs always get me to thinking as well as help me feel not so along in this writing world.

  3. I am so happy I met you too! We had so much fun together! Don’t you dare throw in the towel…You are an amazing and talented author who is going to take the world by storm.

    I too left the conference feeling energized and rearing to go. Margie Lawson’s workshop was great and I immediately pulled out my highlighters and went to work on my new manuscript. I even went out and bought a kitchen timer that Stephanie Bond talked about in her ‘Write well, write fast’ workshop/

    I can’t wait to see you at M&M 2009!

  4. Edie, that name sounds familiar. I’ll have to hunt around for Michael Hauge’s workshops.

    Also, you’re in for a HUGE treat with Margie. Three hours with her just wasn’t enough. However, it did something because that same night I went to her website and bought one of her packets. People are missing out a lot by not recording her lectures. The same goes for Stephanie Bond. I sure would like to know what else she teaches at conferences.

  5. Aw, Kath, you have no idea how much your energy does the same to me. In this business you have to have friends, whether you’re whining to them or pulling them out of a rut.

    Blogs are a huge help, too. I know what you mean with Magical Musings. Edie, if you and the ladies ever disband, it’s going to leave a huge hole in the blogsphere. 😉 Your blog keeps me going, too, Kath. You keep it real and that’s what I like. You’re not afraid to state your mind. That earns huge points with me.

  6. Abigail, girl, you are too sweet!! 🙂 I’m hanging onto that towel. If I have to, I’ll use it to slap the doubts right back in their place.

    Wasn’t Margie’s class amazing?! It’s like I look at writing a completely different way now. A more fun, exciting way. Armed with this new material, even my writing is energized. There’s now way I’m giving that up. I even started looking at my elliptical to see if there was a way I could set it up to write while working out. Um…so far…well…I just don’t see that happening with my arms swinging, too. 😉 But you bet, I’m going to try writing my synopsis first from here on out. I tried it with my last story and I finished writing it in record time. Until her class, I couldn’t figure out how or why that happened.

    M&M 2009, here we come!!

  7. Cynthia, my towel is already slapping back the doubts. Ugly little bastards. 🙂

    I REALLY want to go to RT next year, but… 😦 So, it looks like M&M is the only one that’s a definite in 2009.

    And if I’m ever in Atlanta (I will be because of research and my aunt lives there), we definitely have to make up for missing each other at M&M. 😉

  8. Hey lady, I don’t want to hear talk of you throwing in any towels, your’s or anyone else’s-LOL. Well, I am being selfish here, I just want my were-cheetah follow up :-).

    But I must agree with you, Margie’s workshop was THE highlight of the entire conference for me, and that’s saying something. Like you said, the entire conference was excellent and I learned a lot of great stuff. I am not trying to decide if I can take her upcoming workshop, if not, I will definitely be getting her lecture packet. I pulled out my highlighters yesterday and got going on my first chapter. It helped me realized that the chapter I thought was “done” actually needs some help to “get there”

    As a newbie, I am still very jazzed about my writing, but the M&M was definitely a spray of gasoline on my fire. I am soo excited about the info I got from Margie that I am considering entering a contest next month. Oh, and Winnie Griggs workshop on The Art of the Backstory was golden for me.

  9. Oh, I forgot to include that my conference list for 2009 currently includes the RWA convention in DC and M&M. So far, unless some magical, fantastical, financial windfall lands at my doorstep, that’s it for me.

    Oh, and can I borrow your “slap back” towel? I got a couple of doubts that like to creep up every once and a while and talk stuff in my ear.

  10. Hi Marcia,

    it was great to see you again. GRW is my home chapter and I always enjoy M&M, but this year seemed even better! (maybe it was the party Saturday night).

    I’m glad you enjoyed it and if you need someone to tool about Atlanta with or just want more info, shoot me an email. I can take you to Little Five Points to eat at the Vortex with its giant skull doorway. We can load up on Tater Tots!

  11. I’m so glad to hear that you are re-engergized. 🙂 I think that’s the biggest benefit of conferences. I always come home ready to park my butt in that chair and go at it again. Keep plugging away. I know you’ll meet your goal really soon!

  12. LOL!! La-Tessa, I promise the werecheetah follow-up is coming. 😉 I’m glad you liked it so much. I had a fantastic time writing it.

    I completely forgot about Winnie Griggs’ How to Add the Backstory class. That was another great class geared toward writers of all genres and different levels. This and the other classes I mentioned are the reasons why M&M was so cool. If I had a dollar for every lightbulb moment, money for conferences wouldn’t be an issue.

    My writerly fire is blazing with yours.

  13. Seressia, I’m soooooo taking you up on that offer. The Vortex? A skull? Yeah, I’m all over that!!

    And so that all of you know, Seressia got down on the dance floor, too on Saturday night. But what happened at the party says at the party. That’s all I’m saying. 😉

    Expect to see me at M&M 2009, if not sooner. I have a feeling it’ll be sooner though. I need to refresh my memory on some of the spots around town, since most of my WIPs take place there.

  14. Sonja, my butt was so parked in the chair these last few days that I’m sure I’ve left an impression by now. 😆 I hadn’t attended a writers conference this year until now. I’m so thankful I caught up with this one because it was nowhere near a disappointment. Not even a sprained ankle kept me down.

  15. Hey Everyone!!! Marcia, it was great getting to meet you this past weekend at M&M. This was the best year and I had the best time meeting everyone. I honestly hope you guys make it for 2009. We are already in the planning stages and it looks to be bigger and better than ever.

    Definitely check out my facebook page. I have one of you, Marcia, getting your face done for the author photos. There are several of of Abigail and Seressia too…

    Have a good weekend.


  16. “However, after this conference, I’m going to hold on to my towel a little longer and the ring with have to wait. My writing has been re-energized.” Has me smiling and re-energized myself. Best of luck! See you in 2009?

  17. Tami, Tami, Tami. Great to see you! 🙂 Of course, I messed up your name above, but I fixed it.

    You guys did a fantastic time with my first M&M 2008. When I found out Sherrilyn Kenyon is going to be the big cheese for 2009, I was sold. Actually…I was sold before I found out she’d be the Guest Speaker. That was how good the workshops were. But I lurves me some Sherrilyn.

    And I’m hitting up the Facebook page, too. I need to make sure I have an explanation for any blackmail photos you might have out there. 😉

  18. Nicki, girl, I am soooooooo there. I’ve got too many great reasons not to skip out on M&M 2009. Only this time, I’m coming a day or two early so I can check out the Atlanta sights, too. 😉

  19. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve been rejuvenated and re going to hang in there a little longer. Best of luck with it! Oh, and thanks for recommending Margie Lawson. Her work on Deep Editing looks fascinating.

  20. Hey Marcia,

    No problem at all about the name. I get that A LOT!!! We would love to have you back with us next year. I can guarantee it is going to be a blast. Sherrilyn Kenyon is fabulous as well as Dianna Love… Dianna has been an awesome supporter of our PRO and unpublished writers for GRW. I can’t say enough great things about her. She was also our conference coordinator two years ago… She has a really great two day workshop she teaches around the country and I can only hope she gives us a taste at 2009 M&M.

    Definitely check out the photos on my Facebook page. I keep trying to share them with people, but haven’t figured out the ‘secret’ to sharing them without having people log in.

    About the blackmail, hmmmm. I didn’t publish THOSE!!!! ……grin…..

    See ya then and I’m definitely keeping an eye on your blog. It is too funny…


  21. So glad you’re not tossing in the towel, Marcia. I read “Unstable Environment” and thought it was wonderful. We all have our little doubts now and then but its your duty to slap those little bastards down.

    Glad you had a good time at M&M. Never checked out that conference but have heard nothing but good things ’bout it.

    I’ll be attending one of Margie’s workshops on the 1st of November and can’t wait.

  22. Uh oh, everybody. That dag-gum Tami has the blackmail photo up. 😆 It figures. Can’t trust anyone these days.

    Oh yeah. You can definitely count on me for M&M next year whether I sell something or not. I’m always one for taking a good writing class. I never heard of Dianna Love, but I’ll definitely be looking her up. So far, I’m very impressed with GRW’s conference. I can’t wait until 2009!

  23. Liz, you are too sweet! 🙂 The doubt bastards have been put in their place. They’ll probably rear they ugly little heads again, but I’ll look back on this post and slap them back down again.

    You’re going to have a fabulous time with Margie. I’m telling you, the women is a genius and mega friendly. She is definitely a keeper when it comes to writing classes.

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