CO Gold 2017 Saturday Sessions

And we’re back!


Saturday September 9th was another super busy day in the land of Conferences.


The first session of the day for me (which took up the full morning) was special session. It was held by the Nelson Literary Agency and was an intimate group of twelve writers and four members of their agency. We had previously submitted our synopses about a month before conferences. Everyone read through everyone’s synopsis and brought notes to discuss the story. I got a lot of good feedback from everyone in the room which got me thinking on where I need to take Time Healer.


After that we had an amazing lunch with the Writers of the Year and got to hear some inspirational stories from them.


After lunch I jumped right into some regular length sessions as well:

  • I went to an IPAL First Sale Panel which was very interesting. I learned some interesting facts from these independently published authors. They gave some great tips for if I decide to pursue self-publishing.
  • After that was a session on Magic-Wand Words by Janet Lane in which we talked about strong word choice and phrasing. That it is good to have 2-3 powerful statements in a manuscript, something that will stick with you and with your readers.
  • To wrap up the day on sessions I went to a 2-part session with Diana Gabaldon on White Space. This was super interesting. She spoke about how white space can be important in a story and help to speed up the pacing of a story and leave different impacts that heavier prose. She read several scenes from her books and talked about how her different writing styles in different scenes help to set tone, pace, emotion, characterization, etc. throughout the story. It was great to both hear her read as well as understand her thought process behind some of these scenes. The second part was kind of a Q & A session about her writing process. I found out that she doesn’t tend to plot in very much detail, and she also doesn’t write in drafts. She works scene by scene and focuses on ones that call to her first. She then turns and works it until it is perfect. When she has them perfect they all tie together and she has to do very little tieing in for the scenes. It was very interesting.


After that session it was time to have an amazing dinner. Dinner was again spent with friends and new acquaintances. It was super fun to see all the people having a great time. This was also their awards banquet for their contest winners. After winners were announced we heard a hilarious and inspiration speech by keynote Sherry Thomas.


That wrapped up the night and I headed home.


Next week we’ll talk about the final day of conference.


CO Gold 2017 Friday Sessions

Hi everybody!


Friday September 8th was the first day of Conference for CO Gold. I got to the hotel a little early, since it was a new venue for me, and checked out where everything was. It was nice to see all the new faces coming in and sitting and talking with a couple of people that had the badges on for the conference.


The first session of that day was a longer one (basically the whole morning) and it was on editing. Deep Revision with Heather Webb was an amazing session. Not only did she talk about how she personally edits but she talked about it in the sense of writing. She writes in drafts and with each draft she focuses on a certain aspect of the writing. Starting with the broad topics and slowly narrowing down to the mechanics and fine tuning. I think I am going to try out this process with the editing I’m about to dive into with Time Healer.


After a nice, relaxing lunch were some regular length sessions that were very informative:

  • 8 Weeks To A Complete Novel with Becky Clark — I always like to see the writing processes of different writers. Especially since I’ve really been trying to find out what works for me. There were a lot of takeaways for me from this one. It showed a great way of spending basically two months to go from research, writing, and finishing up with editing. Definitely going to go through my notes on that one in the coming weeks as I try to find a good process for myself.
  • James Hunter had a session called The Villain’s Story which talked about how to make your antagonists real in your story. Your villain should play off your protagonist and not just be “crazy” or “evil” with no reasoning behind it. I know I need to work on the villains in my stories. I always have a hard time finding their motivation.
  • How To Write Breathtaking Action Scenes by Bonnie Ramthun was great. I’ve always loved the workshops she does. She combines information with fun and makes them super interactive. It was nice to go through and pick out different aspects of famous action scenes and find the things that make them so impactful.
  • Keynote speaker Lori Rader Day had a session to wrap up the day called Liars and Thieves. It was a fun session to watch and it was a great way to go through what makes those unlikeable characters so real and likeable in ways.


After the sessions for that day we had an amazing dinner. I sat with friends that I knew from previous years at PPWC and I met some new ones at the table as well. It was great food and the keynote speech was done by Diana Gabaldon. I loved hearing her story (parts of which I’d known because I was a fan) and seeing how she ticked as a writer. It was amazing hearing her story.


After dinner was their amazing book signing event and I spent a few minutes going around before heading home for the day. I will say that the first day of conference was super successful. It had my head buzzing with plans that I’m still trying to sort out.


Next week we’ll talk about day 2 of the conference. See you there lovelies!

CO Gold 2017 Overall Impression

Hey guys!

I know that it’s been a little while (sorry!) and I don’t really have an excuse. The Day Job has kept me busy as I save up some money for Piper’s birthday and Christmas. I’ve been planning and getting things prepped over the last couple months. Also, I’ve learned that sometimes I just need a break from writing to not feel too overwhelmed.


Today I wanted to talk about Conference #2 of the year — RMFW’s Colorado Gold Conference. This conference was the second of the year that I attended. That was a first for me as well and I was fortunate to have the ability to do both this year.


I loved that the atmosphere of this conference was very similar to the other I went to, everyone was friendly and the feeling of a tribe really resonated that entire weekend. Even so, I felt shy with all the new people. I am definitely an introvert. But over the weekend I definitely felt myself opening up to new people and made some new friends.


Some of my biggest memories/takeaways:

  • All the Keynote Speakers: All three of the keynotes were AMAZING! Diana Gabaldon was exciting to see as she’s been a favorite author of mine for years and years. Lori Rader Day was hilarious to listen to and told a very touching story. Sherry Thomas was very funny as well and told an inspirational story during her talk.
  • The variety of workshops: I loved the slightly different workshops that were available during the conference. I went to a variety of them and took something away from each one.
  • A renewed passion for an existing story: Time Healer is about to get a major overhaul after some feedback I got during some of my workshops.


Will I be back next year?


If the money gods play in my favor I think it will be a very big possibility!


I will follow this up with some recaps from the days, similar to what I did with PPWC. So look forward to that as well.

Sunday PPWC 2017

The next morning of PPWC I was in a much better mindset and went to all the sessions that I could.


First of the morning was Say What? with Barbara Nickless. This was a session on dialogue and full of major impact. I know I don’t always have the best dialogue but I’ve been working on it. She talked about scene and character development from a dialogue standpoint and it was amazing.



Our next session was How to Add Suspense to Your Writing with Fleur Bradley. This was an amazing session and gave me great ideas for how to add some suspense.



The final session that I took for PPWC 2017 was with one of my most favorite people ever: MK Meredith. To Kiss or Not to Kiss in Genre Fiction was great because it talked about adding romantic elements to a non-romance genre story. Since I do have some romantic elements in Time Healer as well as plan on adding some elements in other story lines, it was good to get this information.


With PPWC 2017 put to bed, it has invigorated all of my writing plans.


Have you gone to any conferences this year? Which ones? What was your biggest take aways?


Saturday PPWC 2017

So, the Saturday of PPWC 2017 was a little bit of rough one for me. My mind was on my family and the fact that I was missing my beloved grandmother’s funeral. It wasn’t feasible for me to go, but I was distracted and didn’t want my sad mood to ruin things for others. I did go to a few sessions and rested and had a mental break for the rest of the day before the banquet dinner.

But lets talk about the few that I did go to that day.


The first of the morning was a session called It Ain’t The Writing, It’s the Rewriting with Travis Heermann. The biggest thing that I took away from this session that you always want to work on the big picture things first and then work down to the finite details.




The next session was Write Faster presented by Jennie Marts. It was a great session that I plan to implement on my Writing Mondays. It was all about how to sprint write and setting goals.


The final panel I did for the day was a Mystery Panel that had Laura DiSilverio, Tess Gerritsen, Megan Rutter, and Robert Spiller. This was a fun panel and very informative. I wanted to see this, especially for my detective story. I’m not sure how it will go but it did open my eyes up a lot more.

After this I went to the lunch and listened to the amazing Kevin Hearne speak. It was an empowering speech and left a wonderful feeling.

The rest of the day was spent vegging in front of the TV and napping. But then I got my butt up and dressed up so I could go to the banquet. I leave you with fancy Cara.


Friday PPWC 2017

Hey, guys. This week we’re going to do an overview of Friday’s sessions.

I realized I didn’t take a lot of pictures this day. So I’ll leave you with what I do have. This was the day of the costume banquet as well. So I started off the day dressed as Provincial Belle from Beauty and the Beast:


The first session of the morning was held by the amazing Carol Berg on Unforgettable Characters. She went through a lot of character development information. Her sessions are always amazing. I’ve never left one of her sessions disappointed. Usually I leave with ideas and plans brewing like crazy in my head.


We talked about the complexity of real people and how important it is to add that complexity to our characters. Primary/main characters definitely need to have complexity and deep development, but so do our secondary characters. You don’t want all of the characters to sit flat. You also don’t want your secondary characters to all feel the same.


The next workshop that I went to was with Laura DiSilverio on Using Setting to Reveal Character. Another panel on characterization. This took a whole new look at characterization. You can use the place around a person to give you characterization. When your characters are describing their surroundings it can say a lot about a person. You can understand their economic circumstances, their world view, their background, and so much more. It was very impactful.


After that I went to a session on discussing your story in public with others. Hosted by Chris Mandeville, Chat It Up, was full of interesting things to do. There was a lot of information on how to prep yourself. Meditation, log lines, and what kind of details to include in your discussions. It was a very good workshop especially since I’m terrible at talking about my work.


Next up was Writing the Killer Query Letter with M.H. Boroson. This was very informative. I haven’t written many query letters and wanted to get an in-person look at how other write it. I got a lot of ideas and it was interesting to hear his point of view on the whole process.



Next was a super awesome one on forensics. The amazing Megan Rutter held a session called Before Sherlock: Forensics for Historical and Fantasy Novels. This was super interesting because I love history and I was excited to see the development of forensics through the ages. I took this session for a couple different reasons: first I wanted the history lesson from a forensic anthropologist and second I wanted to see if I could work it into a story idea.




After Megan’s session, I went to a very informative session held by Sam Knight. Things to Consider Before You Submit to an Editor was full of a lot of details I really needed to hear. I wanted to see what an editors insight was on the editing process, especially since he is a writer as well. It was very good information and hopefully I can use a lot of it in the next stages of writing Time Healer.




So that was my Friday. Here is how I ended the night:



Thursday PPWC 2017 Prequel

So the prequel sessions on Thursday for PPWC 2017 rocked.


The first part of the day was spent learning about world building and oh my god it was an amazing session. It brought me into my own world and it taught me a lot. We made a world during that class and from there we developed plots and stories and amazing things developed. World building was hosted by Kevin Hearne and Mike Braff.


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After our world building, I was completely blown away. My head was full of plans and ideas and I couldn’t wait to get started.


Next, though, we had our PM Session. This one was on being Private Investigators. It was held by Shaun Kaufman and Colleen Collins.


This was a lot of fun, I had taken this workshop with the plan of getting some ideas for my detective story. And boy did I get a lot of information. I also determined that I will probably keep my character as a detective as some major agency versus a private eye. There are too many intricacies that go with being a private eye that just would not fit with my plans for that story.



Also, at the end of that day, I got my first tattoo! So to end this brief post, here’s a picture of that for you: