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Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm Thankful...

Last Thursday night I spoke to the St. Louis Writers Guild at the Barnes & Noble in Ladue, and I'm thankful so many writers want to be inspired…

Friday, I drove to Springfield to receive an award as Professional of the Year from the LDA organization for my work with high school Kickapoo senior Henry Stratmann III. I'm thankful for generous people, and that I was honored in such a touching way.

Friday night and Saturday, I got to spend time with my mom and brother since they were going to be in San Antonio for my niece's wedding over Thanksgiving. I'm thankful the award took me through Lebanon to see them…

This week, I got a break from classes, from pressures, from the constant barrage of expectations…a big Thanksgiving dinner with my family reminded me exactly what this holiday is all about. It isn't a feeding frenzy, it isn't football overload, it isn't pecan pie… I'm thankful to men who've fought for our country, for soldiers who continue to keep us safe and free.

Saturday I have a booksigning at the Borders Bookstore in Lee's Summit. It's back to the grind, back to the highway, back to the world of 8 Days, Slipping, and Dregs… I'm thankful I have a reason for such demand, that I chased my dream and it came true…

I'm thankful for the time, the energy, the motivation, and the support network to live this dream, to pursue my PhD, to enjoy the rewards of it. Imagine living somewhere that not only didn't allow me the luxury of chasing such a dream…Imagine living somewhere that discouraged dreams altogether… I'm thankful I don't.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Conferences, Events, and Networking…oh, my!

For the past few weeks, I've been doing different writerly things. Instead of the usual Borders signings or talking at schools, I've gone to a library signing with a group of other writers, and this past weekend, I attended the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers' Guild conference (The Write Direction). It was the first conference I'd gone to in forever as a participant and not a presenter, and for once, I could relax, listen, take notes, and not be worrying about the session I would be giving later.

I got pumped about writing the screenplay for 8 Days. I was inspired to do more with my website, and when the day was done, I had 6 pages of notes of all the things I wanted to do. Of course, during a conference, I'm always prone to making To-Do lists (at the top is always Blog on Monday) but for the most part, I was engaged the entire time and felt inspired by the day. I wish published writers could get together more just for time to bounce ideas off one another and not feel pressured to sell, sign, and smile all day long!

Of course, I love the smiling and signing part…it's the selling that gets wearisome. But then again, it's better than the alternative, right? Yep, when I get tired after a weekend writing event, I have to stop and remind myself what life was like BB (Before Books). I might've had more time and not be forced to watch recordings of Mizzou or the Chiefs, but then again, I wasn't living my dream either.

You just gotta pinch yourself sometimes!