The Progression of a Play, a Conference and a Novel

I know my 3rd novel just released under a week ago! I know I should be promoting it like crazy. I feel guilty for not doing more. But I have my reasons.

Yesterday was the last day for registrations for the 2013 Ontario Writers’ Conference. I’m the registrations coordinator. I spent most of my ‘free’ time copy/pasting info to create attendance sheets for all the workshops, master classes, etc. AND last night I attended the first rehearsal for my 2013 InspiraTO Festival play, PERFECT TIMING. The play is being directed by Kim Sprenger. I won’t announce the actors yet, as I’m not sure that’s appropriate.

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I venerate actors so much it’s ridiculous. I can’t help it. Having said that, I don’t think I venerate actors enough. After a short greeting at the rehearsal last night, the two actors for my play began a run-through of the lines and it was brilliant. I am always amazed by the way actors can immediately interpret a role. They were both just SO perfect. The female character is extremely off-the-wall and out there. If you’ve seen any of my previous 5 plays, this won’t come as much of a surprise to you. (-: But last night, watching the ‘sedate’ male character come to life on the stage…I realized just how much talent is involved in bringing every nuance of a character to the role. My droll little character got a serious injection of hilarious in the more than capable hands of _____________. (Really…once I know it’s okay, I will definitely let you know who the performers are.)

As the night progressed, each actor added little bits of stage business that infused the play with life. And the director seemed to know each infinitesimal moment that something could be tweaked just right. She’d say, “maybe you could just…” and sure enough, it would be the PERFECT addition.

I honestly don’t know how they do it.

I felt like an idiot just sitting there and laughing. I arrived with the notion that the writer is the bottom of the totem, that I should be seen but not heard. Apart from the laughter, I think I did a pretty good job. I was observer. And I was in awe of all three of those present. I could tell that PERFECT TIMING was in perfect hands. These 3 are going to knock it OUT OF THE PARK! Brilliant people!

Enough of plays! I feel a plug for my novel is now in order. Speaking of brilliant, I was blessed to have an exceptional editor for my 3rd novel, THE REASONS. Helen Hardt was a complete blessing during the editorial process. Like Kim Sprenger knew just how to tweak my play, Helen Hardt knew just how to tweak my novel. I suppose that’s what an editor is, really…the director of the book. Anyway, I am extremely pleased about THE REASONS. It’s been getting some excellent feedback this week. The 5-stars are appearing! It’s such a quirky book, I was afraid what would happen to it once it saw the light of day. It’s dual narrated, and one of the narrators just happens to be certifiably insane. I took chances with this one. I’m beginning to hear that they have paid off!

If you click on the book cover below, you will be taken to my AMAZON page, where all three of my books will be listed. If you purchase The Reasons, you will be saving me from my guilt! I should be promoting this more…my publisher, MUSA PUBLISHING, is fantastic. They deserve my full attention and I certainly wish I could give it to them. (You can also purchase the book directly from the publisher…at this time it seems to be the first book listed on their home page, in the FEATURED BOOKS section.)

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So with registrations closed for the 5th ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE, we are on the home stretch. The conference is, at the time of this writing, eight days away! Friday night’s FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS will be a splashy gala with wonderful authors reading and entertaining. The amazing TED BARRIS will be interviewing the readers this year. Festival attendants are in for a great surprise. Ted’s a fascinating interviewer…highly respected! If you’re not registered for Saturday‘s conference, you CANNOT come. Sorry. You missed the deadline. The good news is, tickets are available at the door for the Festival of Authors! ($20 each)

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I think it’s okay to mention here that this will be my last year on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Writers’ Conference. Having served on the board since its inception, the conference is–and will always be–a passion of mine. I just felt it was time to move on for now. A great board is one that changes. I will definitely be attending the conference next year…as a registrant. I’m looking forward to it…seeing the conference from the other side. (-: Speaking of board changes, I have put my hat in the ring to serve–once again–on the Board of Directors for the WRITERS COMMUNITY OF DURHAM REGION. This community is another passion of mine. With any luck, I will get a board position. It’s time for change–for me. I felt the perfect transition from serving on the OWC board would be to serve on the WCDR board. Wish me luck!

This concludes my regularly scheduled convoluted post about all the things going on in my writing life!

5th Anniversary Conference – Ontario Writers’ Conference

When I first met with the rest of the planning committee for the Ontario Writers’ Conference, I had no idea the conference would be so successful, so appreciated, so fulfilling. Coming up on our 5th conference (and our 7th year of planning), I see that we have become a vital part of the writing landscape of Ontario. And I’m so very proud of this fact.

We recently announced the recipient of our 2013 Student Scholarship to the conference. If you missed the boat on this one this year, keep your ear to the ground next winter. We announce the nomination process for this scholarship early in the winter. You can read a bit about this year’s recipient, SPENCER HAZE, here: OWC STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCED

We’re thrilled to have WAYSON CHOY back with us this year. Wayson has been with us since the OWC’s inception. His giving heart and open soul have supplied many a magical memories for our attendees (not to mention the committee–who are still thoroughly enthralled with Wayson). Never was this more visually obvious than when those leaving Wayson’s lecture series last year came out of the room waving origami butterflies in the air. It was an amazing moment. Adults went into that lecture, but children came out. Wayson has that ability.

The committee is always committed to finding the best speakers, facilitators, panelists, agents, mentors, venue, etc. We do it because we attempt to create the one yearly event that we ourselves would want to attend. We do not get paid for this. We are an army of volunteers…and we love creating this space for writers to converge on every year. Yes…it’s a tiring job. But it’s also an exciting thing to see the conference come together every year. I am constantly amazed on the day of the conference–to see it all operate so efficiently. Sometimes I just sit there and think, “we did this!”

That we is a royal we. Not only does the committee come together every year to knock this thing out of the park, but we are also blessed with an amazing cavalry of student volunteers, sponsors, venue staff and the like. It takes a community to run such a stunning ship. And I do believe that we are blessed to have the greatest group of registrants one can imagine. Every year, it’s the people who attend our conference that make it special and magical. I can’t wait to see what this year’s crowd brings to our abundant table! I hope you count yourself among our fearless attendees!

REGISTRATIONS FOR THE MAY 3-4 CONFERENCE ARE STILL BEING TAKEN. BUT YOU MUST REGISTER BY APRIL 24th! DON’T MISS OUT IN THE MAGIC!

Don’t forget to LIKE us on FACEBOOK!

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OWC Honorary Patron - WAYSON CHOY
OWC Honorary Patron – WAYSON CHOY

Speaking of Word Clouds, a Glimpse into The Reasons

After creating a word cloud to celebrate National Poetry Month, I wondered what CHAPTER ONE of THE REASONS would look like as a word cloud. Would it give away any secrets? Would it be compelling? Evoke curiosity?

THE REASONS hit ebook stores this month! April 19th, to be exact. Here’s chapter 1 as a word cloud:

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Oddly, Worditout.com chose the right colour to display this particular word cloud in. It matches nicely with the cover of the novel. (-:

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I posted the book trailer for The Reasons a few days ago. If you scroll down, you can find a link on this blog.

It’s been a great ride bringing this one to fruition. It began as a 72-hour novel, written during the 2008 Muskoka Novel Marathon. It won the BEST ADULT NOVEL AWARD for that year. It finally celebrates its ‘Birth’day in 18 days. I hope you enjoy it!

To add THE REASONS to your GOODREADS SHELF, click this sentence.