The Bookpocalypse–What to Do When You Realize Your Story Might Be DEAD

The Bookpocalypse–What to Do When You Realize Your Story Might Be DEAD.

Kristen Lamb must be fly on my wall!


WANACON, Part Two: A Writer’s Dream Turned Nightmare

Return to Sanity, Step One
Return to Sanity, Step One

Saturday, February 23, 2013

“Holy Cow!”

A geyser soaring from the base of the toilet spread into a puddle, a sudsy  amoeba sprawling onto the kitchen tile and seeping into the living-room carpet.

All right, Kim. You’re  having a nightmare. Just open your eyes.

On Day 2 of WANACon,  I woke up pumped and ready. After starting a wash load, I fixed toast, coffee, and orange juice, settled into  my recliner, and fired up my laptop.

First up — Jason Chatraw, with “9 Ways To Make eBooks Pop!”  After  calling the home-warranty company to request a plumber, I focused on the presentation: audio, video, “Easter eggs”, and other bells-and-whistles inspired me to post a question about my own eBook-in-progress:  a book that directs my reader to turn it upside down for the second half of the story?”

Meanwhile, the river crested in the kitchen crested. Wading into  the bathroom, I yanked down every towel, dishcloth, and wash rag I owned and hurled it to the water-logged tile. .At that point,I still perceived it as only a leak. A simple fix.

“We’re dispatching a plumber, He should be calling you, soon.”

But Jason’s gig ended.  No peep out of the  plumber.

“No one has answered our dispatch,” Rep number-two said, with a sigh.  “If you don’t hear anything, call back in another hour……”.

So, back to the conference. To Lisa Hall-Wilson’s  “Facebook: Page or Profile?”   Since Facebook is my favorite social network, I absorbed all I could. But I had turned fretful as a tired toddler. .

Aaron Patterson’s “How to Profit Using Amazon” came and went.  So did Allison Brennan’s “Villains”, foiled by slick floors and leaky plumbing.

Von would be here soon.  He would know what to do. So I texted him as I waited for Candace Havens’ gig to start.

“Give Chem-Dry a call.” he replied. “I’ll cover it. Just plan to hang out with me, this weekend.”

So, I packed a bag with everything I would need for the conference: a toothbrush, change of clothes, and my laptop.

Around 3:00 p.m,stuff started happening.  First, Chem-Dry called. Then, the plumber.

At 4:00 p.m, Rodney and Ray from Cornerstone and Jim from Rescue Rooter — turned my house into Grand Central Station..

Jim’s job was easy. Once he located the pipe, he removed “soft blockage” and collected his fee.

But  Rodney and Ray’s  work was just beginning.

“Ma’am, this spot on the carpet’s the least of your worries,” Rodney said. As I watched, the men detected water in the walls of my living-room, water-heater closet, and kitchen closet. With my guidance, they cleared out each closet, set up seven, monster fans and a dehumidifier.

“See you Monday,” Rodney said, as he and Ray hopped back into their vehicle. “We’ll get someone out here to clean up for you, next week.”

It was already 5:00 p.m: time for Candace Havens. But I’d have to wait for the re-run.

After asking a neighbor to watch Russet, I headed in to Von’s house. Although we’d missed “Revision Hell,”  we’d get in on Susan Spann’s double-feature, “Contracts and Copyrights” and “Law For The Lone Wolf”. Thank goodness, the presentations would be recorded.

With my tummy full from Von’s  delectable dinner —  steak, potatoes, and wine — my attitude was right-side up and my eyes, sleepy. The nightmare was over.

Tomorrow, the dream would return.


WANACon 2013, Day One of A Writer’s Dream

My own munchies
My own munchies


Love the thrill of writing conferences but not the hassles or expense?  Yearn for reclining seats? Would you attend more of those  shindigs if  you could shun Spanx for pajamas?

Well, thanks to Kristen Lamb and Chad Carver,  I did all that and more on February 22-24 at WANACon 2013.

The first-ever of its kind, WANACon 2013 united writers worldwide by offering the best of both experiences: the “feel” of a traditional conference, complete with a “lobby” (chat-room) so real that I  forgot it was virtual. Thanks to “Tech Surgeon”, Jay Donovan, the WANA International website with its BBB (Big Blue Button) rocked with activity! Also, with Jami Gold’s expert moderation, each presentation flowed seamlessly.

A college English professor who teaches night classes, I look forward to sleeping in on Friday. was different. Up at 6:00 a.m., I jumped into  my sweats, fed and walked my dog, and fixed breakfast. I didn’t want to be tardy to the first class, 7:00 a.m. (Texas time). Settled into my recliner with Cuppa number-two,  I logged onto WANACon.  and let the inspiration happen.

Counting one seminar in Digital Room B, reserved for pitches to agents,  all eight presentations were top-shelf. Among them, I’ll focus on five I found especially  helpful on the first day of this all-out write-a-rama:

First, at 7:00 a.m, Jared Kuritz’s “Publishing 101” enlightened me to the costs of  traditional, self, and independent publishing. In fact, the stats about traditional publishing sent me staggering!

At noon, while mainlining peanut-butter from jar to mouth,  I tuned into Joshua Graham’s  “Indie versus Traditional Publishing” seminar.  He must have been a fly on the wall of my brain, knowing that I have flirted  with going Indie. His notes, entailing the pluses and minuses of indie versus traditional, even included a  third option: ‘hybrid” publishing — a mix of traditional and indie.

At 4:00 p.m, Candace Havens, with her exuberant, can-do attitude, exploded onto my big-screen t.v. Her keynote address, “Dream Big.”  After meeting her at DFW Writers Conference, I remembered her “Fast Draft” and “Revision Hell” presentations as “standing-room only”. With her coaching, I will  gag that  old  “English-teacher-prune” and listen to my subconscious brain, instead.

At 6:00-7:30, agent Helen Zimmerman offered her expertise in  “How To Find an Agent”. With a relaxed and approachable manner, she shared advice about pitching to an agent and composing a query.

Topping off the night, Jenny Hansen presented the Cliff’s Notes version of “LinkedIn: Your Professional Identity”.  A LinkedIn member, already, I noted changes to make in my own profile.

After a brief chat in the lobby, I turned in. Friday had been an all-out write-a-rama, I drifted dreaming of the goodies Saturday would bring.

Sound inviting? For more information about Kristen Lamb, WANA International, and WANACon, follow the links in this blog.  So, writers and readers, what would your  dream conference look like?