I am cautiously typing this from my regular computer, trying not to breathe on the processor in fear that it will go off again and not return. (The IT guy told me never to turn it off again!) We shall see.
So. I promised a post about Surrey this week, and here it is Friday--so here we go.
I first heard about the Surrey International Writer's Conference from the folks over at Compuserve's Books and Writers Forum many years ago. Every year in October a bunch of them trooped off to Surrey, British Columbia (part of the metropolitan area of Vancouver), hung out for a few days, and came back enthused and invigorated, full of energy for their writing. So of course I wanted to go too.
I was all set to go in 2001, but turned up pregnant with Child and decided not to. I should have, because I hadn't realized how much harder it would be with actual baby rather than baby-in-belly, and I was unable to go for 2 more years. Finally, in 2004 I convinced hubby that he needed to watch the 2-year-old nonstop for 4 days so I could jet off to Canada. It was an excellent decision.
Surrey is...a haven for writers. A speaker mentioned it at that first conference, and it still rings true to me: there is nothing like being in a room full of people who understand you, who are trying to accomplish the same thing that you are--or who have already accomplished it. I felt vindicated as a "real" writer. The talks turned my WIP in a whole new direction, deepening and strengthening the plot and the characters, and solidifying my resolve to finish the darn thing.
In fact, I finished a first draft in the year after that, and made my first pitch at Surrey last year. I got some excellent responses, but also some feedback. This year I've been working on those changes and querying it, as well as researching and beginning Book 2. I'm ready to learn more this year and pitch it again to different agents, and I'm excited about that.
Then there's the famous authors who come. Surrey's small enough that you actually get to interact with them, which is amazing. Diana Gabaldon, Jack Whyte, Anne Perry, Jenny Crusie, Jean Auel, Bernard Cornwell...
But you know what the absolute best part of Surrey is, though? Shhhh...this is secret! It's meeting my friends there. There's a group of us that hang out online all the time throughout the year, and it's our only real chance to meet up and spend face time together. I love it. Writer chat, girl chat, beverages, gossip...it's all necessary to keep me whole, and during the year I long for Surrey to come around again so I can get those 4 days.
So it's almost here again...October 19-22. In less than two weeks I'll be there! Woo-hooooo! (I hope to see you there, this year or next!!)
Medieval Word of the Day: fullfreme: To accomplish, fulfil, perfect.