Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Synchronicity: My 2017 Writer’s Digest Conference Story

Wow. Was Writer’s Digest Conference really three weeks ago? Somehow it seems longer ago than that (maybe because I caught a cold on the final day, so it took a couple weeks to resume my normal routine). Yet I still remember that weekend as clearly as the last book I read – because the ideas and lessons I carried home this time struck very close to the heart.

It’s not right, then,  to write this year’s report as an in-depth overview like I did for last year’s. Instead, I’d like to share why WDC 2017 was so meaningful to me, more so than the 2016 or 2015 editions. So if you’re interested in learning about (or refreshing your memory of) the conference format, venue,  and range of writing and publishing topics, check out last year’s post. Otherwise, let’s start not at the beginning, but at the moment when the impact of this conference first began to sink in.
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A Look Back on My Growth as a Blogger (#MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop)

Recently I was nominated by the wonderfully bookish and insightful Nandini @ Pages That Rustle for the #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop. (Thanks for nominating me, Nandini!) And having celebrated my eighth blogoversary last month, now seemed like a good time to look back on how I’ve grown as a blogger since the day I launched this site.

First things first, though. The #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop was created by Sarah Brentyn @ Lemon Shark. And since every blog tag has rules, let’s go over them now: Continue reading

What Do You Think?: E-Newsletters by Writers (Plus, A Quick Survey for You)

One of the most talked-about outreach tools for writers today is the email newsletter (or, e-newsletter). In fact, “start a newsletter” has been among the most suggested advice I’ve heard at Writer’s Digest Conference for the past two years – from authors, publicists, and publishing professionals alike. It seems valuable, especially since other writers have found success with them. Yet despite all the positive buzz, I’ve hesitated to create one.

Why? Well, up until now, it hasn’t been a priority. I’ve had enough going on that starting an e-newsletter would have taken time away from blogging and (more importantly) novel-writing. But now, with a slower blogging schedule and edits on the WIP’s third draft coming to a close, I have time to give it serious thought.

So, what are the benefits of an e-newsletter? What cautions should we keep in mind? Plus, I’m offering readers – yes, YOU – a chance to help me decide whether I should start my own e-newsletter and what content I may want to include. More details on that shortly.

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Field Trip: Writer’s Digest Conference 2016

WDC2016 Banner

Now that all of the late-summer busyness has passed, I finally have some time to tell you about this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference! And what an amazing four days it was. In fact, I think it topped the 2015 edition!

With this post, I’ll give a general overview of WDC 2016, including which sessions I enjoyed most and what I learned. Last year I did a trio of posts for DIY MFA; and while I would have liked to have covered the conference for the site again this year, it wasn’t possible with my friend’s wedding 2 weeks later. The good thing is, waiting to do this post has given me time to digest (no pun intended) everything I absorbed that weekend and feel grateful for continuing to invest in my writing career.
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New at DIY MFA: #5onFri – Five Reasons to Do Market Research for Your WIP


I’ve mentioned before that I’m doing a “market research” project in conjunction with my WIP The Keeper’s Curse. It’s mostly to gain a better understanding of how TKC compares (either similarly or differently) to other fantasy stories with fairy characters. Today, I’m joining DIY MFA’s #5onFri series again to share some of the benefits of doing a “market research” project for your work. And believe it or not, those benefits go beyond the big-picture perspective you’ll develop.

Click here to read “#5onFri: Five Reasons to Do Market Research for Your WIP.”

Have you done a market research project or something similar for one of your WIPs? Do you think you might try one in the future? Feel free to share your comments here as well as at DIY MFA.

New at DIY MFA: #5onFri – Five Reasons Why Writer’s Digest Conference 2015 Was Awesome


I wasn’t expecting Part 2 of my coverage of the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference to post until next week at DIY MFA. But since it was ready, they snuck it in today instead. 😉

Today’s article is also part of DIY MFA’s weekly #5onFri series. As the title says, I offer five reasons why WDC 2015 was awesome – and why I’m already considering going back for 2016.

Click here to read “#5onFri: Five Reasons Why Writer’s Digest Conference 2015 Was Awesome.”

The third and final installment of my WDC coverage should be live next Thursday. (Yes, I’ve done a lot of article-writing the past couple weeks!)

Did you also attend this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference? What were some of your favorite aspects of the event? Which sessions did you attend?

What Do You Think?: Custom Tea Blends from Adagio Teas

Adagio Tea logo

I’d posed this question in my most recent Chronicling The Craft article, but it must have gotten lost in the shuffle. (Then again, that was a pretty substantive article. *lol*) Since I’m interested in getting feedback on this idea, I thought I’d ask the question again in a new article.

A week or so before Christmas, I discovered that Adagio Teas allows customers to create custom tea blends using a number of Adagio’s teas, then sell the blends for other tea lovers to brew at home. These custom tea lines even include fandom blends inspired by movies, books, TV shows, etc. How cool is that!

Many of you may already know that I love tea and write tea reviews for A Bibliophile’s Reverie. So, I wasn’t just excited about finding Adagio’s create-your-own-blends section. In fact, I was so ecstatic that the creative wheels started turning in my head: What if I created a line of custom tea blends to compliment my WIP when it’s released? Maybe teas that represent characters or locations in my protagonist’s world? Oooooh, I like the idea so much, I want to start experimenting with Adagio’s teas ASAP. But I also don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.

What do you think about this idea? I know not everyone drinks tea, but do you think this could be a neat promotional tool when the WIP’s released (whenever that happens)? Would you also be interested in trying the teas? Let me know what you think by commenting below.

I’m (Finally) On Facebook!

Good news: You can now connect with me at my official public Facebook page! Just click “Like” on the Facebook widget in the lefthand sidebar, or click here to go directly to the page.

Facebook Screenshot_cropped

A screenshot from the (admin side of) my official Facebook page.

I’ve toyed with the idea of having a Facebook page for a few months. But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally acted on it. Now, all of the key pieces (profile photo, banner, and bio) are finished, and I’m ready to share it with you.

What do I plan to share with Facebook followers on this page? Here’s what I’ve thought of so far:

  •  Links to my poems, articles, and blog entries, focusing primarily on new content as it’s published (and maybe the occasional retrospect)
  • YouTube or ReverbNation clips of artists I’m listening to or reviewing in the near future
  • News announcements regarding my work and scheduled events (readings, festivals, etc.)
  • Other posts (status updates, photos, videos, and polls / survey questions) related to poetry, literature, music, the writing craft, and other interests
  • Sharing links for books / book series, literary journals and events, other writers / poets / authors, and more

My plan for the Facebook page is to have it be an interactive and engaging media and news resource. Writing and poetry doesn’t interest everyone. I totally understand that. So, the question I will always leave open for my audience is this: Besides keeping people up to date on what I’m doing, what can I do to make this page interesting without straying from its purpose? Any suggestions or feedback will be welcomed warmly. Feel free to also contact me there to ask questions about my work, future readings and events, review and publication inquiries, ideas for future blog entries or “Chronicling The Craft” topics, and the like.

I should note that the Facebook page will not replace this blog. They’ll function as two separate yet connected entities, constantly linking visitors from one source to the other. Plus, this blog is like my online portfolio; it houses links to all of my published articles and poems since 2008. I suppose I could move those lists to Facebook – but that would require a lot of time and effort that could be spent on more worthwhile things. And blogs still have their audiences, too, as I’ve seen here and at other blogs. So, I see no reason to get rid of this site.

Hope to see you there!