Short essays as a form are a favorite of mine, so long before blogs ever made their way into our consciousness, I was writing columns for a variety of places. I extended that practice to the web with my first website and into my blog, A Writer Afoot.
Teaching also delights me, both formal and informal. I love to puzzle out the whys and wherefores of a thing, love to observe myself as a writer, writing, so there are posts on those topic, which you can find in three places:
At Writer Afoot, my main blog, under the categories of Writing Life and Writing Nuts and Bolts categories, and at Writer Unboxed, where I have been writing a monthly column for a couple of years now.
Speaking | Previous Appearances | Suggested Topic and Workshops
I have presented workshops, keynotes and casual talks at gatherings large and small around the world. If you would like me to speak to your group, below are a few topics I especially love to teach, as well as a speaker bio. Feel free to email me with other ideas that might not be listed here. Please email me, or check here for a list of topics I have presented regularly.
One of my most popular keynotes was delivered at the RWA National Conference in Dallas, and it is reprinted here: ACTS OF FAITH.
I have taught workshops and given keynote speeches to conferences in the US, Canada, Australia, Italy, and New Zealand. The following is by no means a complete list, but a few highlights.
Keynote, Pikes Peak Writers Conference, Colorado Springs, 2009
Keynote, RWA National Conference, Melbourne, Australia 2008
Featured speaker, Women’s Fiction Festival, Matera, Italy, 2007
Featured Speaker, SpaceCoast Writers, Melbourne, Florida 2006
Luncheon Speaker, Colorado Gold conference, Denver, 2005
Keynote, Romance Writers of American National Conference, Dallas, 2004
Featured Speaker, Vancouver Conference, Victoria BC, 2004
Keynote, RWNZ National Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 2003
Keynote, NEC Conference, Boston, 2002
Master Class on Romance Novels, Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference 2005
Faculty, Commercial Fiction, Santa Barbara Writers Conference
THE WRITER’S VOICE INTENSIVES:
SpaceCoast Writers, Melbourne, Florida, 2006
Syracuse, New York, 2006
Vancouver, British Columbia, 2005
New England Chapter conference, 2004
Many workshops on many subjects, at many locations around the country, including the beloved Harper’s Ferry Retreat on the Shenendoa River; Washington Writers Retreat; San Diego; Orange County, California, and others.
SUGGESTED TOPIC AND WORKSHOPS
ART AND BALANCE
Retreat Program for commercial fiction writers
All too often, the business angles of commercial fiction take center stage—with mixed results. We all know we have to keep an eye on the market, but how do you do that and continue to be true to yourself, and balance all the other things we have to do, like raise children or work a day job or write two (or six) novels this year?
This one-day or weekend workshop is designed to inspire, refresh, and heal writers at all stages of the process. We will address practical issues like how to find enough time to get the work done and how to overcome the most common stumbling blocks, as well as how to balance life and work, and dive into a juicy, living creativity that can be a friend as well as a career. There are tracks for writers at all levels of the process, from beginners who have not learned how to take the time for the writing to heavily published writers seeking renewal.
Many of us went to camp as children, and remember how much of a relief it could be to leave our ordinary environment and run away for a day or two and reconnect with ourselves. As adults, especially as creative people living a world that doesn’t always get us, finding nourishment in a warm, supportive environment can be the exact thing we need to move to the next level, whatever that is.
Email me for pricing and full program, as well as suggestions on finding inexpensive sites for retreats for your group.
Full day (six hours)
A proven winner—I’ve taught this workshop in dozens of settings, all over the world and online, and it always triggers very deep discussions and discoveries.
Voice is one of the most misunderstood aspects in all of writing—and possibly the most powerful. By working with hands-on, interactive exercises, we will explore the many aspects that create a writer’s unique fingerprint—and ways to fit that voice to the marketplace.
Full day (6-hour) and 2 hour versions available.
LAYERING IN LUSCIOUSNESS
A one hour exploration of how the tricks and techniques for making your manuscript the most powerful it can be. We will explore the five senses, word choice, and a process for revising.
RECLAIMING THE MAGIC
Whether it is too much feedback from reviewers or contest judges who hate your three chapters, an editor who doesn’t understand you or a husband who thinks you’re wasting your time, there are a million things that undermine our love of writing. This is a workshop on ways to get the magic back.
Methods for Plotting from Character
Character writers have an entirely different approach to plotting than writers who love plots. How to meld the two.
What makes it a romance?
Discussion on the differences between category romance, single title romance, women’s fiction, and literary novels. Where do you belong?
The Care and Feeding of the Girls in the Basement:
Every button, every spoon, every song and bedspread comes out of you somewhere. How do you keep the well full and juicy?
Health and the Writing Life
An upbeat, inspiring talk on how to stay healthy when your career burns 7 calories per day. A review of ergonomics, simple yoga stretches, exercise options, discussion of the problems we all face physically.
Time Management for Writers
Mastering the braid of goals, discipline, and balance
Email me for pricing and further details**
**Note: it is well known that I love to travel. Occasionally, I can be coerced into presenting for reduced fees if the location is one I particularly want to explore, or your location boasts something exotic or interesting. Writers have taken me on hikes in the Vancouver rainforest, and into the Dandenongs in Australia, on long walks on stormy beaches in Florida, and plied me with excellent red wine in California and Boston and Syracuse. I do not require high end accommodations (although I never mind them!) , just a clean and comfortable room. Tempt me. You never know.