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

Tell Me. How In The Hell Did It Get There?

the pondI peered out the window through bleary eyes while sipping my first cup of coffee and assumed my Bichon Roxy had carried something into the yard from a wastebasket. She has a doggie door. I’ve found socks and other sundry items, including underwear, scattered about our lawn, but it’s been a while.

Later in the day, I looked out from an upstairs window and remembered my early morning sighting. Something strange sat in the middle of our lawn. Although the grass hadn’t greened up its white surface gleamed.

I ran, okay, limped to the back door of the house and slipped on my shoes. Roxy accompanied me as I walked toward the strange shape. 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

My Blurred Lines

I’m back in Wisconsin and took these selfies in my parents’ living room. The rectangles in the background are my father’s paintings.

Going home will be like waking from a dream. Flashes of memories will surround me after focused time with my parents. The clarity I have now will dissolve after returning to Boulder. Like most memories, this week will become a blur.

selfie 4

Selfie 3

Do your vacations race by? Do you photograph special moments?

This post is a response to the Daily Post Photo Challenge – Blur

The Intelligence And Stupidity Of Spring

Have you noticed your trees, shrubs, and plants perking up after the long winter? Well, some of mine are really stupid.

See that crabapple on the right? It is showing superior intelligence.

stupid crabapple

Here in Boulder, the month of March is generally our snowiest preceding an April where buds burst into brilliant spring color. But March has been warm; warm like May warm. The weather has the first two letters right, but that’s all. It’s the kind of warm that has butterflies bursting out of chrysalises and Boulderites hitting trails in shorts and T-shirts. Grocery stores are sold out of burgers, hotdogs and buns. Okay. I made that up, but it could happen. Continue reading