I have a distinct appreciation for make-up, eye make-up to be exact. I can get drawn in by the flawless application of color and lashes. I look closely at the details. I focus on the closeups to see how the color was applied, where the shadows are, and how the lashes blend into the eyeliner.
What has all this talk about eye make-up got to do with writing? Nothing, on the surface; but if you think about it, it’s the same as writing a great story. You draw your readers in with the flawless application of plot and characters. Your readers will fall into the perfection of the scenes. As a writer, I read other authors closely. I scour the details, focus on the events, how the action is applied, and how the subplots blend into the main theme. The meat of the story is in the details. It’s how I learn to write better. It’s how I understand the structure. The finishing touches, the satisfaction of the ending, reminds me of perfectly placed eyelashes.
This past week-end, I was thrilled to be attending my first writers’ conference! I’ve been to many conferences, but never one devoted to writing, my craft of choice since I was a child penning my first poem. I looked forward to three full days of talks from authors, agents, and editors. Not knowing what to expect, I just wanted to learn from these people who had somehow successfully navigated the process of writing and publishing their work. I wanted to know everything.
Because I live on Kaua`i, it’s difficult to find anything more beautiful than being on the beach here. Unless you want to take in the gigantic rugged mountains, or the lush valleys. But, it really doesn’t matter to me where a conference might be held as long as the presentations are relevant. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the beach is a close view from the conference room and the tropical breezes are wafting through the open air dining room at lunch. It’s what people expect in Hawai`i.
I can’t say enough about the organizers and hotel staff. From start to finish, the service was seamless, and the presentations were definitely relevant. I am amazed at the amount of information I absorbed. I had an excellent first experience. I never imagined I would have all my questions answered or that so many others had the same questions that I had! Writing is a solitary business up until the time you set out to publish, so we forget there are others out there creating their own works of art. That in itself makes attending a writers’ conference worthwhile. But having first class presenters talking about everything you ever wanted to know but didn’t know HOW to ask, well, all I can say is, “Priceless.” Yes, that may be cliché, but it is certainly true.
While much of the information is still percolating, I have to say that I took so much more away from the conference than I could have anticipated. I am inspired to continue my journey writing my first novel. Thanking everyone involved for such a lovely and educational three days is a must, and I do! I look forward to next year’s conference and hope that I will have something to share then.
Mahalo nui loa!