Best Moments from the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop,
not in Chronological Order
- When I was sitting in a self-publishing session next to Barbara Cooley, waiting for things to begin and complaining how very social and self-promoting writers have to be now, when she launched into the idea of tweets from famous authors. Hemmingway: "Book out. Buy. Now." I really hope Barbara writes up this concept because it's brilliant. Imagine, if you will, J.D. Salinger's tweets.
- Sitting at dinner with with Nicole Amsler, a fast friend at the conference, when she dished that she was once hired to write copy for anatomical dummies, including one named "Prostrate Paul." This story is pee-in-your-pants funny, and it is her story, although every writer there was itching to grab it. We demanded that she write it. It is basically the funniest situation I have ever heard of in my life. Here's a teaser. "Screwable anus." My stomach still hurts from laughing.
- Listening to Gina Barreca at the last dinner of the conference. She is my new hero. She said many brilliant and hilarious things, but the best by far was when she said (I paraphrase) that for years she had had a sign that said "Work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching" and she thought that it was true but things were in the wrong order. It needed to say "Love like you don't need the money, work like nobody's watching, dance like you've never been hurt." Isn't that so much more true?
- Meeting people. I met fabulous women while I was there. I ate breakfast with Amy, who writes at the very funny blog 4th Frog, and also with Paula Reece of the equally funny Boogers and Burps. I got to know the dry wit of Jeanne of the Raisin Chronicles over a couple of meals and the sharp intelligence and perspective of the author of the Wisdom of Moda. Please check out all of the blogs I have linked to. These are very talented women.
- Ilene Beckerman saying to the audience in her sweet and frank way, " I don't think you're going to make a lot of money writing. I really don't think so." Honesty is so refreshing in a world where everyone wants you to believe the sky is the limit and then buy their book on how to get there.
Since so many of my readers are bloggers, I will work on a post bulleting the top things I learned in my sessions at EBWW, but if you are are a serious writer, you need to get yourself there in 2014. The connections you make and information you glean will be well worth every penny you spend. And, hopefully, you will get to see me.
I plan to be famous by then. Or at least make enough money from writing to buy my own lattes. So I can give up pole dancing on weekends.