Earlier today on Twitter I tweeted a teaser that I’d have a fun announcement today on WritersButt Wednesday. Well here I am and I’m so darn excited, I don’t know where to start. So, I’ll start back at the beginning to give you the whole picture.
About 10 years ago, I attended my first big writers’ conference and it was AMAZING. I went to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, which is in Surrey, BC. You guys, it seriously overwhelmed me with awesomeness. I was a fairly new writer at the time and I soaked it all in and just let the experience wrap around me. I continued to attend for many years, skipped a year or two, and then went back again, I think 2008 or 2009 was the last time I went. Each time was wonderful for a different reason. The workshops changed and as I grew and developed as a writer, I got different things out of the conference. Also, this was the annual meet-up for my fantastic, incomparable, critique group. Some of the best moments of the conference actually happened in our hotel rooms on the floor eating take-out sushi (I know a great place if you’re going … ask me in comments!!) and drinking wine. We’d plot, brainstorm, and dissect workshop notes. It was beyond wonderful.
Then my critique group decided to switch gears a bit and we got together for retreats amongst ourselves, or we did smaller events, and as we always did, we were (and still are) in constant contact online.
But that last year in Surrey, late one night in one of our hotel rooms, we said, we’ll get back to Surrey but when we do, we want to be on the other side of the room. Meaning, we want to be a presenter. It was a huge statement because throughout the years, Surrey has pulled in the cream of the crop in terms of presenters. Some highlights for me have been Anne Perry, Donald Maass, Elizabeth George, Elizabeth Lyon, Diana Gabaldon, Jack Whyte … and many, many more!
So, what does all this have to do with WritersButt? I’m getting there, unless you’re late for a workout, in which case, go and work your butt off and come right back.
Alright, so last fall I decide to start a blog. This happens concurrently with the very smart decision to take Kristen Lamb’s two-month long blogging and branding class based off her book, We Are Not Alone. Also at the same time, one of my critique partners was going through some health issues and started talking to me about fitness and nutrition. Then she had the fabulous idea about me helping other writers with fitness and health. Long story short — WritersButt was born and I made it a regular feature on my blog every Wednesday.
How do the Surrey conference and my little blog and WritersButt have any connection.
I’m thrilled, excited, and completely blown away to announce that I will be a presenter this year in Surrey, at my favorite conference and will be giving a WritersButt workshop, connecting the body and mind for writers in terms of more creativity and better health.
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! — Y’all join me screaming, we’re family here! — Woooo-Hooo!!!!!!!
Oh, you want proof? Fine, how’s this?
There it is. I went from newbie writer attending my very first conference in Surrey. To working my craft, taking Kristen Lamb’s class and becoming a WANA, starting my blog and coming full circle and heading back to Surrey.
Here’s another really cool fact. That very first year, at the last lunch of the conference, I sat next to Jo Beverly. We were all told to put our lanyards/nametags on the table so they could recycle them. Jo’s had a presenter’s ribbon on hers and I jokingly said, “Some day I hope to have one of those.” She took the ribbon off and handed it to me and said, “Keep it, focus on it, work at it, and some day, you will.” I saved that ribbon and did all those things.
I think I will cry when I pick up my conference packet and see my own presenter’s ribbon this year. I’m crying already! Maybe I should email Jo Beverly and let her know how that impromptu moment planted a seed that I sowed and made grow into my dream. But not alone, no! The past decade was with an incredible critique group, an amazing family, and now, my new, amazing WANAs, who are like a tidal wave of support and all things spectacular!
It would over-the-top, freak-out-amazing, if any of you attended the Surrey Conference this year and I got to meet you. It’s a stellar conference. Registration opens soon, on June 6th. I’m going to be doing some morning power stretches before the workshops begin and I’ll work with and meet anyone in the gym if they want some extra guidance. So, who’s coming?
Welcome to the WANA1011 Blogfest Awards!
First, you might not know what ‘wana1011’ stands for so let me clarify. A group of 100 writers took a blogging/branding online workshop with the social media Goddess herself, Kristen Lamb. The class is based on her book We Are Not Alone (wana) and we were the class from October (10) 20(11). There is also a wana711 class and one that just started, wana112. We are ALL in this together! How about a group hug!
Why is this a party, you ask? Well, let me tell you. I, along with these great writers, Karen McFarland, Fabio Bueno, Louise Behiel, and Jansen Schmidt, have decided to spread the blog love collectively to our fellow wana1011 classmates. Since taking this amazing class, we have all seen such great success in our blogs and have made amazing connections in the exciting world of social media. In addition and because we all love and support each other, there have been some awards circulating. The five of us got together, prompted by Karen (*high five*), and cooked up this blog fest so that we could pay-it-forward en masse and make sure every one of the wana1011 group had been given an award.
Without further adieu, let the Fabulous BlogFest Friday commence!
I was also honored with the Liebster Blog award by Myndi Shafer. *HEART* Thank you and you know I adore you!
I could not be more thrilled and humbled because I admire each of these women and love reading their blogs. They inspire me. What they all have in common is that each of them is a ‘wana’ graduate. See, I told you the wana-peeps were awesome!
Being recognized with these awards comes with a few instructions. First, you recognize, thank, and link back to the wonderful person who awarded you the blog. Then you get to share 7 random facts about yourself. (I know you’re all dying to learn weird stuff about me, right?) Then, the best part is that you have the fantastic opportunity to pay it forward and pass along your award to other bloggers you would like to recognize. Trust me … it will MAKE THEIR DAY! And you get to put the award image on your own blog! How cool, right?
But before I get to passing out my awards, here are 7 facts about me that you might not already know.
1. I’ve had to break into a hotel when I got home too late and the doors had been locked.
2. I’ve done a ballet act on a water ski (while skiing mind you) in a prom dress and tiara.
3. As a toddler, I fell onto an open tennis ball can and nearly sliced the end of my nose off and have the hairline scar to show for it.
4. I used to read my beloved Harry Potter books during church congregation meetings because they were far more interesting and taught me better values (at the time).
5. I want to go on Amazing Race with my dad because I know we’ll win the million.
6. I have never tried an illegal drug.
7. I took part in a water ski exhibition where we built a pyramid and skied down the Rhine River. (Very fun! But water was kind of gross.)
And now, I would like to award the Liebster Blog to:
Susan Bishchoff, author of the Talent Chronicles series and has such a cool blog. Check it out!
And the Versatile Blogger to:
Teresa M. Owen – With a log line of ‘Putting dancing nuns to good use since 2007’, you KNOW you’re going to get witty, fun and fabulous with her blog.
YiShaun Yang, author of the AdoraPet children’s picture book series. Her blog is so cute and fun.
Thea Atkinson – Lots of great information on this blog about writing and books.
That’s not all, though. On behalf of the WANA1011 community, “the lucky hundred,” we’re awarding a special edition blog award. A unique accolade, bestowed just once, to a unique person.
Kristen Lamb, our instructor and leader by example, author of “Were Are Not Alone”, Queen of Social Media, Patron Saint of Lost Bloggers, Beacon By The Online Sea, you’re awarded the first—and only—Goddess of Awesomeness Blog Award!
Since nothing could really express our gratitude to you, please accept this token of appreciation—from all of us WANA1011 fellows. It’s yours, and only yours.
Don’t forget to visit, Karen McFarland, Fabio Bueno, Louise Behiel, and Jansen Schmidt‘s blogs today to see who they bestowed their awards to. It’s a BlogFest after all. Let’s all celebrate together!!
Have a wonderful, festival kind of day!