The 2012 Society of Southwestern Authors’ Wrangling With Writing Conference Brought a Meet-Up, Inspiration, and Connection

Good lord!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post here.  Life just keeps on pushing!  So much going on.  So busy.  Highs, lows, heres, and theres.  Work I have to do and work I make up to avoid what I have to do.

So much so much so much!

But this last weekend?  Well, I got a reprieve.

I had the privilege of attending the 2012 Society of Southwestern Authors Wrangling With Writing conference in Tucson.  I went with a family member, and this was our first go at a writing conference.

And I must say, it was quite special.  I met a lot of incredible people, some of whom provided me books so that I could get better acquainted with their work.

Many weren’t just casual encounters, but people with whom I hope to work someday.  People who see a mission.  Who hold a vision.  People who want to change the world in humility.  In fact, I’m looking at two of the books right now: one on better leadership and one on reiki.  You wouldn’t know their names right now.

But you will someday.  You will.

Simply amazing.

Throughout the weekend, there were many great speakers, including the great Hazel Dixon-Cooper, the noted astrologer.  Her subject?  Using the astrological traits of characters to make them more robust.  I’d never really thought of my characters as having a “sign” that could affect their personalities, but it was fun to explore that.  To consider that we can connect even in fiction through creating characters that may share, or contradict, our own birth sign traits.

Another highlight was Kevin Smokler, author and speaker.  His folksy style and quick wit made a last-minute appearance into something memorable.  He’s a guy I’d love to work with someday.  His talk was terrific.  Check him out.  Please.

But perhaps the most special part of the weekend was spending time with my agent.  We’ve been in business together, and been friends, for almost two years, but this was our first live meeting.  It was so wonderful to come face to face with the woman who cares for my books, shepherding them like wayward goats.  We shared some meals, many laughs, and a vision.  There are so few opportunities to really connect with people, and when you get the chance, it’s special.  But when you get to actually work with them?  Well…indescribable.

I came home, and returned to the world of my work.  My jobs.  Now, I’m fortunate that my jobs enable me to write for a living.  It’s a dream.  But something else was there when I was back in the office Monday working on something other than a novel.  A sense of gratitude.  That’s right.  I was working on something for a client, and for a brief moment I had the chance to give thanks to whatever power in the universe that my living comes from my fingers.  From typing.  From creating.  Whether for business or pleasure, writing is a privilege not to be taken lightly.

Writing is a privilege.

Yes, the Society of Southwestern Authors conference taught about promotion.  Wrangling With Writing gave us direction on grammar, Facebook, Twitter, ebooks, and the like.  We had chicken.  We had cheesecake.  We swapped ideas and exchanged cards.  We watched hotel TV.  We took notes.  Some authors pitched.  Others simply listened.  It was a conference after all.

But in the afterglow, I hope we did something else.  I hope we inspired.  I hope we were inspired.

And, most importantly, I hope we connected.

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