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A Write Retreat

October 20th, 2010

I have more trouble keeping this website updated. As anyone who knows will tell you, it’s not a good idea to let your website go un-updated, because once a reader has seen all you have to offer, what incentive does she have to come back and check you out.

However, life keeps happening to me, as it does to every single one of us, and you just have to keep making choices. At least I do my weekly blogging duty at Type M 4 Murder and at Fatal Foodies . So that’s something, I guess. The reason that this is on my mind is because I just returned from a weekend in Wickenburg, Arizona, where I attended the 16th annual conference for Women Writing the West.

At Rancho de los Caballeros

WWW is an association of Western women writers of all genres, and a good association for me , since all other writing groups I belong to are for mystery writers. It’s useful and instructive to be among the larger writing community and not always be preaching to the same choir. I attended the 2007 WWW conference in Colorado Springs, but had to cancel out of the 2008 San Antonio conference at the last minute due to my husband’s health problems, which were still going on last year as the Los Angeles conference came and went. This year, the conference combined a “retreat” with the traditional conference offerings of workshops, sharing, and learning. It was entitled “A Write Retreat”, and was held at the beautiful Rancho de los Caballeros, which is, for lack of a better description, a ‘dude ranch’ located in the gorgeous Sonoran desert foothills outside of the very Western town of Wickenburg.

Aside from attending for the camaraderie and inspiration one always gets at a writer’s conference, I also was able to present a mystery writing workshop. I’ve done this particular workshop many times, and I love it. I try my best to teach the attendees everything there is to know about writing a mystery novel in one hour or less, and yet to succeed (not in small part because I don’t know myself). But the workshop is a lot of fun and always well received.

Also, my last book, The Sky Took Him, was honored as a finalist for WWW’s prestigious WILLA Award in the Historical Fiction category.

WILLA Finalists Luncheon

There were workshops presented on a variety of topics and for a variety of genres, and also on publishing and marketing with guest editors and publishers, and a wonderful couple of presentations by author and marketing consultant Mara Purl. Perhaps you remember Mara, Dear Reader, from 2007, when she and I did a presentation together at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Colorado Springs.

Lots more to tell, but at the moment life must intervene. I hope to have lots more pictures for you soon, and other interesting information on the horizon.

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