Thursday, October 26, 2006

Conference Bookstore

Now that I've been back at home for a few days and have sorted through life a little, I'm finding time to explore some of the books I purchased and received as gifts from generous WWW writers. (Thank you!) It was also a delight to read the inscriptions from signing authors. I would come back to next year's conference just for the bookstore. I wonder if it could be open to the public for one day. The thought nags me that the Pioneers Museum gift store manager would have loved a visit to look at these titles. Anyway, here's a shot of the loaded tables of tomes that tempted us. I gave in with abandon. ;-Dani

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Member Comments about Conference....

Here is some old and new members had to say about the conference:

I trust you all arrived home safely after the weekend in CO Springs. It was a joy to meet everyone and a blessing to take part in the great sessions held. Thank you all for your graciousness -- it was wonderful to be around so many talented, successful writers who share the same passion for the written word. I look forward to the conference next year, here again in CO Springs! May you all have a successful year of writing and publishing 'til then. What a terrific group this is.

Pamela Cosel
WWW Conference Bookstore Liaison - 2006

The conference was wonderful, awesome, inspirational!!! Thanks to all who worked so hard to make it possible. Thanks to the speakers and the panel presenters--great job.

I enjoyed the weekend so much, and the best part really is reconnecting with old friends from past conferences and making new ones. This is such a terrific group--Kudos to you all!!

Heidi Thomas
WWW Catalog Editor

I agree with others who've talked about the great conference in Colorado Springs. It was the most upbeat, positive, rewarding conference I've ever attended. Thanks no doubt to our great leader, Jane K. and her hardworking, wonderfully friendly crew. Thanks a bunch, you guys -- oops gals!

Irene Bennet Brown
WWW Member

Speaking for myself, this was a fantastic conference. They are all wonderful and each have had their spot of glory and special events. Members gathered, hugged, exchanged experiences, news, ideas, even a few shared disappointments, the thought ran through my head as I observed these exchanges: WWW Conferences are like a huge family reunion, without the squabbles. And, to my knowledge, this year brought the largest crowd yet. If that's incorrect please correct me, ok? Hopefully, we'll top that next year!

To all members who couldn't be there for whatever reason you were missed.

See you all next year, same time, same town, same location with a name change .

Priscilla A. Maine
WWW Treasurer

Hi! My name is Gayle Gresham and I am one of the newest members. I discovered Women Writing the West 2 weeks before the conference, and since I live near Colorado Springs, I mailed my registration and joined right away.

It was hard to walk into a conference where I didn't know a soul, but I was enveloped by the sweetest and most welcoming women. I was amazed that every officer (that I know of) of WWW made a point to stop and visit with me when they noticed the green dot on my name tag. Thank you for your sincere and generous spirits.

I know others are anxious for reports, so here is one from a newbie. I arrived Friday afternoon and immediately had 2 editor
appointments. Because of these I missed much of the programing. I did see quite a bit of the dramatic reading of Desert Dwellers Trilogy by Harriet Rochlin. It was very well done.

On Saturday, I attended Cyberspace and You by Donna and Rosemary. So interesting and informative. Even though I'm not a poet, I attended Wordsmiths Ho! by Peggy Godfrey and Jane Morton just because of their great personalities. I knew it would be fun and rich in the value of words. I was amazed by the women in the class who, when given an assignment, were able to write touching, honestly revealing poems in a few minutes time and courageously shared them with the class. Wow... The Memoir/Creative Nonfiction class by Shannon Applegate, Liz Duckworth and Dorothy Solomon was fascinating.

I couldn't return this morning, Sunday, because I had to sing and play guitar with my bluegrass group at church. I'm really sorry I didn't have a chance to tell many of you who I met good-bye. I am thrilled to be a part of this organization. And I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you.

Gayle Gresham
WWW New Member

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pioneers Museum

Someone mentioned Helen Hunt Jackson's reconstructed house at the Pioneers Museum, one of my favorite exhibits. I happened to get a few pictures of the interior space. It was also interesting for me to see the murals again as I interned for the artist, Eric Bransby when I was in college and modeled for a number of the female characters. We didn't get a chance to visit the archives downstairs, but I can tell you that if you're researching the history of the area, the lower level is like a sanctuary. You'll love the time you spend there.

Raffle Delights

It's true what I just read on the listserv.... the Raffle was a huge success and the prizes seemingly endless and so desirable that I was practically wrestling early travelers for their raffle tickets before they left for the airport. Okay, I'm kidding. But Ann and I probably ended up with 300 raffle tickets by noon on Sunday. Here's a picture of Dear Ralph, who won the editing basket. The Tired Old Ass Herbal Soak in the basket of goodies was probably more to his liking than the Official Editing Hat Complete With Editor Star. Har! Ralph, you're a good sport for modeling this "thang" for us. Next year I'll get a picture of the table of treats... and help wrap up all the goodies everyone brought. Wow, that must have been a job!


It was a GREAT conference!!!

Compliments to all who helped make this year's Women Writing the West Conference so good. We enjoyed a dramatic reading from Harriet Rochlin's Desert Dwellers Trilogy books. It was a selection about pioneer Jews, performed by local actors and directed by a WWW member. It was terrific. Indeed I would love to see more of the same --- more poetry, more drama, more selected readings --- at future conferences.

It had been 30 years since I visited Colorado Springs and wow, has it grown a lot. (The pioneer museum we toured had a great display on Helen Hunt Jackson, the novelist).

BTW, for all who didn't come to the conference this year, think again about coming in 2007. Try to find a way to do so. You'll meet agents & editors as well as other members of WWW, and gain the support, inspiration, and tools you need as a writer of the West. It beats other, non-organizational writers conferences by ten miles. And if you're a WWW member, do think about using the listserve to get a roommate or a ride in order to cut expenses for next year again in Colorado Springs. I shared a ride with someone I hadn't met before, Heidi Thomas, and had a great time getting to know her and her writing (about oldtime rodeo gals who competed equally riding broncs with men, not in sex-segregated contests). Plan to come next year --- attending the conference is a valuable experience as well as an investment in yourself as writer. Ooooh, did I mention nonstop FUN ?

Penny Sidoli
WWW member in Santa Barbara

Monday, October 23, 2006

Such good panels

Women Writing the West

I have to say that the agents and editors panels were a goldmine for this newbie. I had no idea they would be so interesting and so full of really useful information. I can only say that one can read all the publishing how-to books in the world and gather every bit of information and advice available... it doesn't quite replace seeing a face live and hearing a voice in the same room with you. To that I would add that meeting ono-on-one with the editors and agents was a marvelous experience for me. My first-time live across-the-table meeting with Danielle Egan-Miller, who was so gracious and kind, prompted me to jump in with both feet and talk to three more... and I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of those connections. I mean, they were such nice people! Who knew? Why is it that the purple monsters in our closets often turn out to be so cuddly? Agents and editors are great folks, too. :) I know these grand encounters will color all my future connections with anticipation rather than dread.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Women Writing the West

Women Writing the West

Just a few comments tonight to add to Donna's post. Her session with Rosemary was excellent.... just way too short. :) The signings in the wonderful bookstore seemed to be a big success. I snapped up one of the Arctic Lace books even before the signing, which turned out to be a wise move. Need I say that I bought more than one book? More than three? How about six? I have a great photo of Donna talking to Judith Keeling, editor-in-chief of Texas Tech University Press. It's always nice to meet more passionate knitters... even at writing conferences!

Quick Visit to the Women Writing the West Conference

Today I spent four hours driving and six hours at the Women Writing the West Conference in Colorado Springs. It was well worth the drive. Since I joined Women Writing the West 4 or 5 years ago, I've attended the conference every year. But this year October was booked for me, so I decided not to attend. That is, until I was asked to give a presentation on internet marketing for authors. Still swamped, I thought I'd just drive down for the day instead of spending the weekend. It worked out well, but I didn't want to leave this afternoon and now I'm dead tired.

I got up at 5:30 (which is my usual time to get up so no great sacrifice there, except that I usually sleep in until after 6 on Saturdays), picked up my friend Rosemary Carstens, and headed out for Colorado Springs. The weather report was for snow, so I was a little worried about the drive, which goes through an area known for bad roads. But my little Mini Cooper did great and even though the roads looked slick, I didn't feel any slipping or sliding at all.

Rosemary had agreed to come with me to the conference to help me with my presentation about internet marketing. She had self published her book, Dream Rider a few years ago. Her website and marketing were so successful that she sold most of her print run in a short amount of time. Since then, Rosemary has started an email newsletter called Feast, that is about food, books, films, and travel (yes, she ties them all together beautifully), that has over 1,000 subscribers. I wanted Rosemary to talk about both of these projects.

After her part of the presentation, I also talked about my own online marketing for my second book, Arctic Lace that was published on October 1, 2006. I have been talking about the book on the web since April, 2004, when I went to Alaska to kick off my research. Since then, I've kept my website and book info in my email signature, written about the writing and publishing process on my blog, plugged my book whenever I could on listservers and discussion groups, and kept my readers up to date in my own email mailing list. As a result of my online marketing, Arctic Lace is already going into its third printing. I also have a friend who has set up a Knit-a-long blog, because the book includes knitting projects in addition to extensive historical information. Coming up soon, I also have a blog book tour, where Arctic Lace will be featured on 20 blogs in 20 days.

(For those of you who are WWW members, I'll be writing up more detailed information about starting and maintaining a website, setting up a blog, and many other ideas in the upcoming newsletters and adding links and tips to the "members only" area of the website. For those who are not members, you'll have to join to get access to all of this great information!)

Besides giving my own presentation, I also attended two others. The first was a panel of editors talking about the publishers they work for, what kinds of books they publish, and what they want to receive from authors. The second was a panel on writing for film and television.

While I was signing books, one of the editors came up to buy my book. Unfortunately, I'd just signed the last copy for someone else! The editor told me that she'd love to talk to me about future book ideas because her press was very interested in publishing more books about textiles and history. I also to talk to a producer/writer from the second panel I attended, who is interested in talking with me about a possible travel TV show about textiles around the world. Needless to say, it was a very exciting and productive day to me and I am SOSOSOSOOSO glad I decided to drive down for the day!

On top of all of that, I got to catch up with a few great friends and meet several new e-mail friends in person. If you've never gone to a WWW conference before, you really don't know what you are missing. It is the best networking and most inspiring writing conference or workshop I've ever been to. I hope to see you all -- old and new friends -- at next year's conference.

Donna Druchunas
WWW website coordinator

Friday, October 20, 2006

Women Writing the West

Women Writing the West

Women Writing the West

The first day of conference is over and what a day it was.... busy, busy, busy. My pedometer says we walked 4.23 miles and a lot of those steps were at the Pioneers Museum. The exhibits are as wonderful as ever. Ann Parker and I had lunch at La Baguette in Old Colorado City, then back to the hotel for readings and fascinating panels of speakers. Oh, and the bookstore! What a collection. Someone take my charge card! We've been taking pictures and will post some here as soon as we can figure it out, so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Packed and ready to go!

I'm just hoping I can fit that editing basket for the raffle into my little VW Golf! ;D I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and checking out the bookstore. Have packed lots of sweaters as we're due for some chilly weather over the weekend according to the weather report. Rain and snowshowers and highs around 40. But, it's supposed to be sunny and nearly 60 degrees for the excursions to Garden of the Gods, Old Colorado City, and the Pioneers Museum on Friday. Hooray! I just read on the list that the construction has now moved into the hotel lobby! Ann Parker and I will be reporting more as the conference progresses and hopefully we'll figure out how to post some pictures, too! More to come ~ Dani

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

WILLA Celebration at Tattered Cover in Denver

Thursday, October 19, is the big day! Members of WWW will join past and present WILLA Literary Award WINNERS and FINALISTS for a WILLA Reunion and Celebration at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in downtown Denver (LoDo). Conversation, coffee, and book signings begin at 4 p.m.

Two of our WILLA Award winners — Paulette Jiles and Sandra Dallas — will speak on literature, women, and the West. Paulette’s topic is “The Quest Tale Told from a Woman’s Viewpoint.” Sandra’s is writing from “A Sense of Place.” The program begins at 5 p.m.

Mayor John Hickenlooper will join us and welcome WWW and its special guests to Denver.

Celebratory cake will be served, as well as good literature and good conversation. Meet the winners and finalists and talk with them about writing the stories that are an integral part of the women’s West.

No reservation necessary. JUST COME!!!

Sarah Rickman

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Peak Experience--see you in Colorado Springs

The annual Women Writing the West conference is coming up--this weekend. October 20-22 at the Wyndham Hotel in Colorado Springs. If you live in the area, I hope you plan on attending the whole conference.

If you aren't able to attend the conference, there are still a couple of ways you can participate in the fun. On Thursday, October 19 from 4-7, there will be a reception to honor past Willa Award recipients at the LoDo Tattered Cover Bookstore, 1628 16th Street in Denver. To learn more visit the WWW website.

On Saturday, at the Wyndham Hotel in Colordo Springs, this year's Willa Award winner and finalists will be signing their books at the Conference Bookstore. I'll be there signing my two Willa finalists, Loving Mercy and Loving Miranda as well as my new anthology--My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Release

Join Ruth Elliott as she steps into retirement, moving past fear and family crises on a journey to build and new future. What Next,Ms Elliott? a new novel by contemporary western writer, Jo-Brew is now available through her web site and from on line book stores.