Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Are you a Finisher?

Are you a finisher? Do you finish everything you start?

For the most part, I am--or I used to be. Books and movies are pretty much my exceptions. I have no problem walking away from a boring book or movie. But in other things in my life, I almost always finish things I begin--and within a reasonable time frame. Or I did until lately.

Last year, I got stuck on my book in progress and this tile project (hmm, just about simultaneously. Interesting.) and instead of sticking with it and finding a solution to both, I allowed myself to put them aside trusting that solutions would present themselves.

Looking back, it seems pretty stupid. Whenever do solutions to anything ever just pop up and present themselves? When you're not even working at it? Really? What was I thinking?

Was I expecting that some day at Home Depot the perfect sky-colored pink tile would fly off the shelf and drop on my foot? And by forgetting what my story was about, I'd figure out why I'd hit a brick wall? Really?

Then during the spring, I spent an uncharacteristic week indulging myself and reading the Hunger Game Series. I'd been avoiding reading these books 'cause the topic of kids fighting to the death didn't thrill me, but after listening to all the hoopla for months, I read the opening few pages and was hooked.

Later I dissected the first book to learn from it and it occurred to me that I needed to add another character to my half-finished work not-in-progress. I didn't have enough characters. I reread the first 150 pages and realized it's a terrific story and I must finish it. Since recommitting myself to Secrets, I've been moving forward again. I work on it just about every day and if I'm not physically writing, I'm researching or plotting. I'm b-a-c-k!

Now to the other unfinished project plaguing me. I HATE leaving things undone. It bugs me. It weighs on my mind. It makes me feel guilty. It's going to end. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to search for a pink tile that will work and I'm going to give my rams a sky, finish what I started, and lighten my mind.

Whether it be books, crafts, housing project do you leave stuff half done?

Do you, periodically, make the time to complete things left undone like you eat out your freezer and clean out your panty or is that my obsessive-compulsiveness at work?

Do you think having uncompleted things cluttering your life is a problem for certain personality types—like me—or does it bother everybody onsome level?

Do you think leaving things half done or unfinished leaves a cosmic incompleteness that is unhealthy?

What are you like?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The 2012 Crested Butte Writers Conference Recap

The 2012 CB Writer’s Conference was another resounding success—even if I do say so myself. We doubled our attendance to 70 people—still smaller than a Rizzo family reunion, but plenty big . . .

Thanks to the success of The Sandy, we were able to welcome two more agents and editors than past years. We added the Masters Read and Critique class, which seemed to be appreciated by both the agents and editors. This year we were lucky to have seven Sandy finalists attend—two of which had requests for full manuscripts by the editor final judges.

We ate a lot of great food, learned a lot about both the craft of writing and the business, networked a ton and made a slew of new friends!  

All-in-all a terrific time. Thank you so much to all of our volunteers who helped pull this off!  If you attended, please share your thoughts on this conference.

A-N-D . . . brave Agent Lisa Gallagher helped me kick it off in style by trying the new zipline! For full photo details of the conference, check our Facebook page.

Thoughts from some of the presenters:

Writers Digest editor, Chuck Sambuchino says: A wonderful intimate conference with great people and a great locale. A joy to attend. I did a quick post on it and put up photos

Agent, Ken Sherman: First rate organization, thoughtful and curious students, fine location and all around a growthful experience.

Author Hank Phillippi Ryan: Crested Butte was three days of total immersion wonderful. You all are amazing! Amazing. One of the things that always surprises me about writers—is the passionate devoted and never-ending search to be better! At CBWC it’s all about the classes, the conversation, the creativity—and the friendship. I arrived, a total newbie, knowing essentially no one. Within fifteen minutes, I was part of the gang—and by day two, it felt like being in a crowd of best friends. Wait. Not just friends, but colleagues, confidantes, and incredibly talented writers. Thank you. It was unforgettable. And I am honored to be part of it.

Author Kaki Warner: This was my third visit to the Crested Butte Writers Conference, and every year it seems to get bigger and better...although, thankfully, it never loses that close-knit friendly aspect that makes everyone feel welcome. I especially liked the masters critique class—wonderful critiquers and valuable information from the editors. I also enjoyed being able to visit with other presenters on an informal basis at meals and in the relaxing atmosphere of the hotel common areas. The variety of the workshops presented was quitehelpful and the speakers informative and helpful. And, as always, I LOVED seeing my fellow CBers again.

Agent Hannah Bowman: I did have a wonderful time at the conference! It was just fantastic. Thanks again; I really loved being part of your conference.
See you there next year!