Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In Good Company

Our Carolinas Writers Conference is now in the past. It took a year of planning to set up the event and like most milestones, it was over too quickly. We are already in the planning stage for 2013. (You can see photos of the event at ansoncountywriters'club.org

My writing partner, Elbert Marshall, and I were asked to do a session on "How to Co-Write a Book Without Committing Homicide." We are the authors of "Plotz," a pyschological suspense novel.

In addition to being a presenter, I also had the opportunity to attend a couple of sessions. I especially enjoyed Marjorie Hudson, author of "Accidental Birds of the Carolinas." After reading her book, the committee unanimously decided to ask her to talk about using the five senses in writing. She writes wonderfully descriptive stories and her workshop made me determined to describe more accurately what my characters are tasting, smelling and touching along with seeing and hearing.

Tony Abbott's presentation was a joy. I had met him eons ago at a workshop at Duke University and purchased "The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat" then. What a pleasure to hear that poem again, and some of his more recent poems. Those who attended his workshop are still talking about it. Only a few lucky ones were able to have him critique their poems, but they all said it was one of the best workshops they'd attended. Ever.

I really enjoyed Margaret Maron's talk. I could relate to Ms. Maron in so many ways. Like me, she wrote short stories and poetry before writing a novel. She admitted that it took her a long time to start writing because she didn't feel as if she had anything to say. I almost jumped up and yelled, "Me, too!" And, like me, her novels are set in an imaginary North Carolina town. Her books are mysteries; mine are not, but both our works are character driven.

The highlight for me was when I was told I was sit in on the panel discussion. I didn't feel I belonged in a group of distinguished authors and publishers, but took a seat anyway. It was a lot of fun and made me feel that I had "arrived" even though I can claim only two books published, and one coming up.

Oh -- the photo? That's my cat, Spooky. She lives under the computer desk. Every writer needs a cat and she graciously agreed to be mine.


  1. Hi Sandy,

    thanks for the overview of the writer's conference. Would you be interested in doing the "Cowrite without Committing Homicide" at CRW next year?

    BTW, my cat lives on my keyboard--wonder if she's trying to tell me something .

  2. Hey Sandy,

    You are a busy lady: organizing AND presenting at the conference. The writer's world needs more Sandys.

  3. Sandy, you arrived long ago, just the message board wasn't as timely as it should have been. Of course you belonged on that panel! Keep it going!