Yesterday marked the end of the Muse Online Writers Conference. This was my 2nd year participating. I always make sure to sign up for a variety of workshops, because I never know which ones I’ll end up most interested in. Last year I got the most out of two poetry workshops – one on breaking creative blocks, and the other on creating a chapbook. This year my favorite courses were very different.
The first was the Dialogue Workshop with Devon Ellington. I started a new story just for the workshop. It was one already in my idea file (#2 from my NaNo ideas), but only very basic, one paragraph idea. I didn’t get much critique on the dialogue itself, which reassured me I shouldn’t over think the dialogue that comes naturally. What I really learned is that I can form an emotional connection to characters that I’m only beginning to know. I can write entire scenes with only a vague idea of plot. What an eye opener that was. Very reassuring with NaNoWriMo around the corner. I didn’t get through all the assignments, but really enjoyed and benefited from those I did.
The other course that really impacted me was Facing Your Fear of Writing with Tamlyn Leigh. She set us up to discover our own answers, through use of our inner two year olds. On that note, I have to share one way this has affected me beyond the conference.
My son woke up during the night, and I was up for an hour. I went to bed tired and frustrated, fully expecting to be cranky in the morning. But I woke up and my inner two year old was right there, making it impossible to be in a bad mood. I turned on some music for her, and I feel like I can do anything. This day is beautiful and promising.
One other beautiful thing about the Muse Conference was the opportunity to pitch to editors and agents. Through a live chat, I pitched EotF to an agent. Despite incredible nerves, I kept my head above water. She requested pages and a synopsis. Those are with her now, so hopefully she likes them enough to ask for more. Whatever the response, I’m grateful for the experience.
At the end of the month, registration will open for next years conference. I’m already marking my calendar. October 11-17, 2010. I’ll post another reminder once it opens up. For a free conference, that I can attend from my computer, the Muse Online Writers Conference offers a wealth of information and is worth every moment.