I love writing conferences. Every writing workshop I attend leaves me feeling energized, inspired, and armed with, well, armloads of useful information. This time, I can add one more take-away to the list: the endorphins from laughing until I have tears running down my face. It is the final day of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop and I am surrounded by the largest group of funny people I have ever seen assembled under one roof. I have looked forward to this particular conference for over a year. The chance to meet like-minded writers, authors, bloggers, speakers, columnists and comedians? Whoa. *Highly recommended experience*
I particularly enjoyed these speakers:
Tracy Beckerman, author of Rebel Without a Minivan and the blog Lost in Suburbia as well as the syndicated column of the same name. Very funny lady who makes me feel better about a life in the ‘burbs. (Much like Erma herself.)
Donna Gephart, author of several successful middle grade children’s novels that incorporate humor. I feel optimism about my work-in-progress nanowrimo middle grade novel, based on her presentation. I think I am on the right track with the characters, format and plot.
Karen Walford and her beautiful blog chookooloonks — this was a delightful look into how a woman with a passion for writing and photography can leave a former career behind, and follow her heart.
Wade Rouse, author of several best-selling humor memoirs. This happens to be my new favorite genre to read. He reminds me of David Sedaris, except Wade lives in the woods, and I don’t think David would do that. This break-out session did involve an unfortunate incident involving a TV camera and me reading aloud our “assignment” for the day — a personal essay on one of our greatest fears. All in good fun except I started crying while reading mine, which can lead to my next great essay about my new biggest fear, which is crying in front of a TV camera and room full of strangers while reading out loud. But he was great.
Add in the chance to talk to the most helpful editor of a regional parenting magazine that I could hope to meet, and hear Gail Collins, Bill Scheft, and many other authors… I need to go lie down somewhere before my head explodes.