This is a hard post to publish. I rarely speak about personal matters on this blog, and I don’t plan on changing that, but fact that I am afraid to publish this post tells me I need to. There’s a fear in telling someone you have epilepsy, an assumption you will be judged. And there is fear for those around you when they find out you have epilepsy. In publishing this post I hope to stamp out some of the fear for all of us (fist pump).
I started writing in a journal when I was in grade 3. One of my teachers took my parents aside on parent-teacher night and suggested that they get me a notebook so I could write my ideas down. I think this came about because I wasn’t paying attention in math class, but it in hindsight it was likely one of the events that lead me to writing.
I journaled daily for years — until my mid-twenties, in fact. I have boxes full of journals of all shapes and sizes stored in a basement somewhere. There are the pink, sparkly ones of high school days, filled with “I love so-and-so’s,” and lots of stickers, the angsty tirades of my early 20s, the day-to-day scribbles of my early 30s. I reduced my journaling to a few times a week as I grew older, and recently, I stopped.
What’s the best way to get 3 full days of advice on writing, publishing and promoting for $65? Attend the When Words Collide Conference for writers and readers in Calgary, Alberta!
I attended When Words Collide (WWC for short) last year. It was my first-ever writers’ conference, and I was nervous, awkward and unsure right up until the day I arrived. I had a million newbie questions like:
- What do people wear to writing conferences? (Answer – Really whatever you want as long as your undies aren’t showing.)
- Should I bring a book? (Answer – Maybe, but at WWC there’s not much time for reading.)
- What should I say to Jack Whyte, one of my favourite authors who was at the conference? (Answer – “Hello I love your books,” seemed to work just fine.)
Thankfully all my fears were squashed as soon as I arrived and I was greeted by friendly people (like Randy McCharles, the conference organizer) and began attending sessions. Lots and lots of sessions.
I’m very excited (and a bit nervous) to let you know that one of my short stories has been published in a journal called Full of Crow.
I have been submitting my stories to journals for just over a year now, so I was thrilled when I heard that my fictional story Tiki Bar had been accepted for publication in Full of Crow’s winter issue.