Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference 2018, Ridgecrest NC

This week (Sunday-Thursday) I had the joy of attending, presenting, renewing friendships, making new friends, and meeting with writers at the annual Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (#BRMCWC) at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, North Carolina.
There's too much to say about a wonderful week, so I'll let the photos do most of the talking (photo above by Marcie Warner Bridges, used with permission).
Monday morning at breakfast I was joined by ten of the fourteen clients of mine who were at the conference. Some I met for the first time, face-to-face.

On Genre Night (Tuesday, I think. Hard to remember. My brain is fried), many of us dressed in costumes related to our genre. Or not. After the general session those with books in the conference bookstore joined for a book signing. That's my dear friend Cindy Sproles (or, as she calls herself, "C&D") sitting and signing next to me. (photo above by Marcie Warner Bridges, used with permission).

Lighthouse of the Carolinas publisher and editor Eddie Jones regaled me with a wildly inappropriate story. That's usually my shtick. But okay  (photos above by Marcie Warner Bridges, used with permission).
And what fun I had tossing (and occasionally catching) with my dear friend, Scott McCausey. Man, you shoulda heard those gloves (and my joints) popping!



Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop 2018

I have wanted to participate in the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop in nearby Dayton, Ohio, ever since I first lined of the conference. This year I did.
It happens on the River Campus of the University of Dayton, in the beautiful alumni center off Patterson Blvd. (Did you know that Erma was from Dayton? And that both she and her husband were alumni of UD? Well, now you do). About 350 writers attend, and the faculty is top notch.
The Powers That Be invited me to participate in the three "speed dating" sessions, in which writers can by advance registration sit down for rapid-fire five-minute appointments with editors, agents, and authors. Sure, I had to awaken and get dressed in the actual A.M. for two of the sessions, which began at 7:45 a.m., but I survived. As did most of the people with whom I met.
Some of the workshop sessions included actual writing (unlike many writers' conferences, which boggles the mind, right?) and covered such topics as "How to use  humor in the dark places," "Developing the writer's eye," using social media effectively, branding yourself as an author, and even stand-up comedy training.
The meals and keynotes were outstanding, and the conference was run efficiently and effectively. I think every part of the conference I attended started and stopped on time. And only a few of us spilled things on ourselves. I was thrilled to meet a few already-friends (I would call them "old friends," but they're all women, and you know how sensitive those people can be), meet many new ones, and make some energizing connections with industry professionals.

The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop takes place every other year, and sells out every time. I hope to return in 2020, if my dementia hasn't advanced too much by then. I hope to return in 2020, if my dementia hasn't advanced too much by then.