I spent the past few weeks building my skills in two learning venues. The first was the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in Seattle. There I focused on learning how to market my latest novel, The Matter of the Unicorn. It is NOT a high-concept fantasy but a novel about love in the time of women’s lib (circa 1980’s), told from the male viewpoint of a young professor of medieval studies. The unicorn myth is a thematic vehicle (matter in its body of literature sense). This title replaces The Paraclete, which served the same purpose but turned out to be off-putting to most readers.
The second opportunity I took advantage of was a return to my alma mater, Whidbey Writers Workshop for its summer residency and the alumni weekend. I participated in several seminars which proved most beneficial to my current state of the writing life. A series of talks by Renda Dodge of the Pink Fish Press took us through a high level vista of the world of 21st century publishing. Jane Friedman, a former editor of Writer’s Digest, shared her knowledge and experience in building an author’s platform online and face to face. John Calderazzo who writes nonfiction, held workshops on recycling writing material, reusing images and experiences from your library of life, and freelancing for fun and profit.
The alumni part of the weekend focused on a fiction writing intensive with freelance editor, Jason Black and individual critiques on the first ten pages of submitted works.
I’m exhausted with input. Now it’s time to output. Back to work tomorrow.