The DFW Writer's Conference

So, the whole reason I have this here "Death Writer" blog is because I wrote a book about my anxiety fueled journey exploring death.  I would never have studied death if it hadn't been for school.  I'm the kind of person who thrives in an environment where I'm held accountable. Look at death!  Okay!

One day I hope to sell Death Becomes Us.  You know, so I can pay off those student loans. Grad school was expensive, but totally worth it.  Heck, even if my manuscript never sees the vaguely florescent light of a Barnes and Noble or the computer screen glow from a Nook I'm a much better person for taking the trip.  Ask my family.
Me & Tom French, one of my mentors at school.

And if I'm going to be totally honest, I'd like to see something I wrote in a bookstore. At the rate I'm going, however, I'm afraid by the time this thing makes it into print, print will be gone.  E readers are cool.  I guess.  I don't own one.  I like paper.  But I am not violently opposed to them.  Whatever happens, happens.

Here I am looking at the "stars" on the ceiling at the conference.
I think I've had a glass of wine or three.

So, last weekend I attended the DFW Writer's Conference in lovely Hurst, TX.  I've been to a few conferences in my day, but I have to say that this one was particularly enjoyable.  For one, the Hurst conference center was beautiful and there were snacks.  Lots and lots of snacks.  You wouldn't think that snacks would make or break a conference, but you would be oh so wrong if you thought that snacks were unimportant.  People, myself included, like to eat a cookie or grab a cup of coffee when their brain is on overdrive trying to absorb all the output..  And there was a ton to absorb.

I thoroughly enjoyed James Rollins' Keynote Address.  I've never read any of his books, but that doesn't matter.  He still gave a very funny, heartfelt speech about becoming a writer.  And who doesn't love a man who will openly admit that he approached Ron Howard at his first conference thinking he was someone he knew.  Plus, he used to be a veterinarian and despite the fact that he's now a best selling author, he still volunteers his services once a month at a spay and neuter clinic.

My favorite class was called Fast Draft and was taught by Candace Havens.  This woman is not only funny and an excellent teacher, she's also a trooper.  I'm not going to go into why I think she's a trooper, but trust me, she is. I just figured out the ending of my book after months of pondering and hoping for some sort of miracle happy ending.  Books about death, even ones written in sort of a humorous tone are kind of heavy, and the damn thing was right in front of my face.  Since this is a memoir, there has to be some sort of detachment in order to reflect on the events.  I've finally got it!  And it took one night of fast draft to free myself up.  I figuratively vomited my ending.  Now I'm wading through the mess.  Ewwwwwwww!

I also had three requests for my proposal, but I kind of live by the motto, "Expect nothing and you'll never be disappointed."  So, if anything comes of it, you'll be the first to know.  I'm lying.  You'll probably be the third to know.  Mom and husband come first because they've had to put up with me a lot longer than you have.

Yesterday I found out that I'm going to be able to attend another writing conference in July called the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference.  It's in Texas.  Yee haw!

So, bloggers, what's your favorite conference?  Why?  Are snacks important?  Discuss...

Don't write and wondering where all the death is in this post?  Check back Monday when I hope to have two, count em, TWO posts.  It is Memorial Day, after all.