My eyes rested shortly after 11 p.m. last night and awoke forty-five minutes before the alarm. I forget how many "little" sounds are possibly when you try to move about the room in silence so your roommate can sleep. Ugh...I had also forgotten this is a greater challenge with the tile covered cement floors, and all that go with dorm living. Other than closing my top dresser door with enough pressure that it sounded like a soft knock. Have you ever noticed when you are trying to be quiet, you seem to make more noise?
Anyway - back to the conference. I started my morning with a mile walk before breakfast and it felt fabulous. The sun warmed my cheeks with a gentle breeze of God's love wrapping its arms around me as I walked. I met another mother-daughter duo this morning during breakfast ~ how will I ever remember everyone's name? It take me until Halloween to learn my students name each year. LOL I am so encouraged with the teens here - to write for Him and build His Kingdom! My heart is uplifted.
The opening session included worship, a mini-lesson with Tim Shoemaker. He demonstrated how a little compromise and sin in our heart erupts and spills out in to all areas of our life. I'm praying he puts it on youtube.com and shares the link. Everyone needs to see this, I'm visual and it spoke to my heart. Then Ted Baehr shared ways for us, the Christian writers of the world can transform Hollywood!! He was motivational, to say the least.
Next, I stopped at the registration table to pay for the conference writing contest that I entered. And then off to the first of a five part session "Writer Wannabe" with Marti Pieper. Marti asked us each to share a bit about ourselves and our writing before starting her presentation. This will be a great five-session seminar. We were let out a bit early so I took advantage of a writing break down by the pond nestled in the front of the campus. I met a local community member who had walked up to enjoy the view, enjoyed a brief conversation.
Lunch was delicious with great conversation. Directly after lunch was an "Ask the agent" session. I found the room easy enough yet the overflow was listening from the hallway when I arrive. We chuckle quietly because none of us leave but strain to listen from the hall. Within moments one of the conference workers was across the room trying to open the dividers ~ within minutes the room was doubled in size. I learned a lot listening to the agents share and answer questions. Praying I remember all the helpful pointers tomorrow as I pitch my book for the first time.
Then I pull a classic Lisa - I go to my next room, pull out my netbook to post a midday blog. The workshop doesn't start for twenty minutes so there is plenty of time because I already had a portion done from a five minute down time earlier. My camera disk inserted and pictures downloading as I wrap up my blog when I notice there is no one in the room with me. Hmm...there were other people in here when I came in. Odd.
Well...after the pictures complete their download I remove the disk from the drive, place it back in the camera, lean to place the camera in my bag when I realize I am in the wrong room!! Ugh...too funny. I shut down the netbook, pick up my bags and walk down the hall, to the stairs and hoof it to correct room. Once there, I pause. The sign on the door list a different workshop. I turn in disbelief when a kind lady tells me "Are you here for the "Top Ten blunders..." workshop. It is in there. People have been going in." I thank her and try to sneak in late until the door creaks open, only to slam in spite of my ginger attempt to nestle it in. Lucy, I'm home! LOL I am glad I made it to the right spot because I learned a lot of useable information.
There was a coffee fellowship between the next seminars but I decided after last time, I was going to the correct room so I would not be late again. I arrive to see nearly every chair on the one side of the room filled. (Yes, it was in the room I listened to the agent panel earlier in the day) Agent, Diana Flegal, with Harline Literary Agency http://www.hartlineliterary.com/index.html, was presenting on "How to write an attention getting proposal". I took oodles of notes mentally and in my notebook.
As she talked I was mentally checking off the items in my book proposal and their set up. She reminds everyone multiple times to review the submission guidelines for the agent and publisher they are interested in submitting to because each agent and house has a different format they like. I am happy to say I did this for the ten agents/publishers I might potentially have appointments during this conference.
We finished a little late but the majority didn't notice the time because the presentation was that interesting. I'm off to the second session of my five-part session. Marti Pieper encouraged us to set a measurable goal and to DO IT. The part that stood out the most during this session was the lessons on self-editing. I might have to visit the book table.
With my head overflowing with all the information shared today I walk to the cafeteria for dinner. Another nice dinner and conversation followed by the evening session with Liz Babbs. She talked to us about writing in the "Age of Opposition". The presentation was rivoting and thought provoking, depressing yet hopeful to know Christian writers can bring light to a dark are. Thank goodness we closed in worship and prayer - my heart is heavy for our nation and those around us.
My buddy Shirley and I reunited following dinner and attended the evening session together. In our return walk to Heritage Hall (photo above) we visted with each other and the ladies around us. Once inside the doors I ask if she has a moment so I could share something with her. She politely accepts. I share my information for my appointments tomorrow and Saturday ~ she assures me I'm ready.
One great reference I used to freshen up my book proposal is Dave Fessenden's newly released book, From Concept to Contract. Dave also has a blog you could visit at: http://fromconcepttocontract.com/?cat=6.
Thanks to a workshop by Elaine W. Miller (http://www.elainewmiller.blogspot.com/) and the information she shared at my very first writer's workshop in July of 2010 I have I have a platform. I remember Elaine telling us "Go home and do it." So I did. It helps I have summers off and had nearly two months to implement all I was taught.
I encourage everyone to attend a writer's conference if you are a writer. Not only will you learn ways to improve your craft, you will hear first hand some tidbits not available on the agents and publishers websites.
As for now ~ I need to organize for tomorrow's adventure, learning, sharing, fellowshipping, and pitching.
Please keep me in your prayers tomorrow as I will be pitching my book for the first time. At 2:15 p.m. to an editor/writer and then at 3:30 p.m. to an literary agent. This book and mission has always been in God's hands - pray His will and for the agent and publisher He has for this book. Thanks!
Do you remember Laverne and Shirley? I loved that show and wish Nick at Nite would bring them back but until then I have a dear friend now nicknamed Shirley and I, Laverne. Laverne and Shirley worked in the beer factory but my friend and I work in God's factory. Thanks for a great walk and visit Shirley!
See you tomorrow for new pics and news about day 3 of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference!!! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Ed and Mary for your support, love and prayers! Thank you Mom and Dad for trusting... Love you all, Lisa
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323