NEWS From The Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference

I attended my fourth writer’s conference. Although they are similar in format, this one always stands out in friendliness and inclusivity. A positive energy source emanates throughout the Colorado Spring’s Marriott. It must be built upon a special kind of bedrock. Agents, editors, and best-selling authors are willing to have conversations with people like me; the super fans of the conference.

Here’s what inspired me and what I learned:

If you write fiction: Your blog, social media presence, and overall author’s platform are meaningless to traditional publishers. The agents suggested focusing on writing books instead. After you’re published, they are grateful if you already have a blog since they’ll want to link you up.

If you write non-fiction: The polar opposite is true. You better have a successful blog with lots of social media followers as part of your author’s platform. You should be booked for public speaking engagements, interviewed on podcasts and in YouTube videos. Publishers look at anything and everything you’ve done to build your presence, following, credibility, and to show you’re a respected expert in your field.

Sign up for critique sessions. It can be unnerving, but the input is invaluable especially if an agent you would like to pitch is giving the critique. They are the experts who you are trying to impress.

Attend the agent panel. This is a top priority for me at every conference. They talk about their pet peeves, what’s new in publishing, etiquette, and include their individual stories. You get the most up-to-date info. Every one of them chose their career because they love to read books.

What I learned: Continue reading

Your Face Yoga Is Killing Me!

Susie Lindau self-portraitLast year, I noticed my thighs had shrunk and wrinkled and my upper eyelids began to droop. WTH? I suspected it was from aging. When I learned swollen knees cause muscle atrophy, I hit the gym hard. It’s been over three months since knee surgery. My quads grew and my thighs are smooth. Woohoo!

This made me think my upper lids could be a result of weak and lazy muscles. Back in school my friends teased me every time someone called my name. I would raise my eyebrows and give the person a bug-eyed look. I have big eyes to begin with. The days of overreacting to people are over. I work in my home office during the week and my face remains flaccid except when talking to my dog, Roxy, or laughing a funny blog post. Huh. I wonder if that’s why I’m exhausted after a night out. My face is out of shape! Continue reading

Pantsing While Plodding Toward Publication

writing journeyI started writing over four-and-a-half years ago. I had an idea for a non-fiction book, a snarky take on Boulder women. If you’re not familiar with how to assemble a book proposal, non-fiction is skiing down a gentle slope compared to fiction where the writer must plod along the desert and climb craggy mountains with blown out tennis shoes and holes in their socks. I’ll get to that later. At that time, I only needed a query letter, a table of contents, and a few sample chapters. Continue reading

I’m Planning On A Happy Birthday!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life, it never turns out exactly the way you plan. All of your hopes and dreams may be realized, but it’s never the same as we imagine. This can be very true of birthdays too.

Susie Baby Picture 2

Continue reading

Hiking Chautauqua – Slip Sliding Away

I never noticed how many u’s there are in Chautauqua. Huh.

Oh. Sorry. Hey! How are yah!

Danny and I hiked in a Boulder park where the foothills meet the Flatirons. No they aren’t in an aisle in Target. The Flatirons are flat (yep), rock formations like the underside of an iron. The snow melted in the strong Colorado sunshine and I hoped I wouldn’t go slip sliding away.

This was my first real hike in Boulder since surgery and I avoided the mud and slippery slush covered trail, big time, skipping over to the grass when I could. My technique was far from the nimble mountain goat and more like someone afraid of stepping on a land mine.

Susie the goofball

I clowned around while other hikers gave me the hairy eyeball. I have no shame, you know and I thought one of the pictures would make a great new profile picture. Continue reading

New Music from Muse! Released One Hour Ago

Muse is one of my favorite bands. I rocked out to them live in Denver and will never forget their incredible show. While running errands today, I heard their new release “Dead Inside,” on two different radio stations. As soon as I got home, I checked out their YouTube channel. They uploaded their new release an hour ago. Woohoo!

Their Album, Drones will be released on June 8th, 2015.

I turned a corner with recovery from knee surgery, so I am rocking out!

Had to share. Enjoy!

This may not be suitable for work. Artistic nudity abounds.

Check out their website HERE! 

 What is your favorite band? What music really gets you moving?

Trash-Talking and March Madness – I’m In!

While perusing my WordPress reader, I noticed a new post by super blogger and author, Nathan Bransford. It was titled, “7th Annual Blog Bracket Challenge!!

I could not figure out what kind of bracket challenge could warrant two exclamation points so I clicked to find out. He was creating a group for the ESPN [college basketball] Tournament Challenge for March Madness. Joining would mean choosing the winners out of 64 teams. All I knew was CU was out and my alma mater, UW-Madison, was ranked pretty high.

I left a comment:

“It sounds like another social media time suck, so I’M IN!”

old basketball photo

Even though it was free to enter, ESPN will award the first place winner a $20,000 Best Buy gift card and a trip to the 2015 Maui Invitational. Another winner will be chosen from the top 1%. Nathan is offering a query letter review or something else agreed upon to the first place winner of his group. There was plenty of incentive, so I checked it out.

After creating a profile, I found Nathan’s group. I knew I wouldn’t have a chance in hell of winning since I would be guessing while competing against 39 others, but I’m always up for meeting new people and liked the idea of trying something new. I was drawn into The Madness for the first time. Continue reading