Sunday, October 4, 2015

Reviewing Word Vancouver 2015

Word Vancouver 'is Western Canada's largest celebration of literacy and reading'.

photo by Leanne Dyck

Once again this year I was only able to attend half of what I wanted to. There was just too much happening. Inside the library there were author readings, workshops, presentations and panel discussions. Outside there were information booths for a diverse collection of groups from publishers to literacy advocates. Plus a stage for performers and tents for author readings.

Saturday I arrived half an hour early. I was eager for the day to begin. First up was a consultation with an established children's literature author. Because I was early I was able to score the third time slot. I was forewarned that ten minutes flew by so I spent the waiting time preparing a point form presentation about my experience, my manuscripts and my goals. The consultation was time well spent. I received validation for the work I've done and encouragement and inspiration to continue working. After the consultation I planned to grab something to eat but instead was pulled into an engaging workshop on how to get out of your own way and write the unexpected. In total, during Saturday and Sunday, I attended three workshops, three panel discussions as well as networking with publishers and fellow authors. 

It's interesting what you can learn if you listen...

A panelist said that she had received over 400 rejections. Another panelist dumped a large bag of mail on the floor.

He said, "This isn't fan mail."

It was rejection letters.

They told the room full of authors not to listen to naysayers and to never give up. They advised us to work towards our future success and prepare to make sacrifices to reach them. They stressed that writing isn't a hobby and it isn't part-time.

It's during events like this that I realize (once again) how truly blessed I am. I'm doing what I love, surrounded by a generously supportive community.

I'll write about what I learnt during Word Vancouver on...
Developing Your Characters on Monday, November 16th
Never Write Alone on Monday, November 30th

Next post:  What I'm thankful for this year

Sharing my author journey...

I'd like to thank you for your kind words regarding the death of my furry companion -- Ticky. He gave so much to me over his long life. And I knew I had do something with all that love. And so... Drum roll...

I'm pleased to introduce you to Bim.

photo by Leanne Dyck

Bim is a nine year old apricot Miniature Poodle cross. I think the other breed is Maltese.

For those of you interested in details...

On September, 15th I emailed the Victoria branch of the SPCA. I explained that I wanted to adopt a Miniature Poodle cross or a Maltese cross from approximately two to seven years of age. I also wrote that I understood that it would take some time to find a suitable companion.

They emailed back and advised me to continue to log on to their website.

That I did and found three suitable candidates, a few days later. However, I was told that these dogs were in other locations.

A few days later I found two other candidates. But was informed that both of them were in foster-to-adopt homes. 

Then on September 20th I saw Bim for the first time. Under his photo his bio explained that he wasn't interested in playing dress-up. And that he wanted humans to know that even if a dog is small he's still a dog. Well, I agreed with him and wanted to meet him. My husband and I planned to visit him on October 2nd. But due to an usual set of circumstances, we visited him a week earlier on Thursday, September 24th.

My husband and I arrived at the SPCA with an armful of donations--cat things (left by Ticky, Joey and Sammy). After depositing our donations, we were led down a long hall to the last cage. That dog took one look at me and began to scratch on the door of the cage. The door was opened and I squeezed in. Well, the furry, bundle of joy plopped down on my lap and that's where he's been ever since (more or less). It was mutual love at first sight. And now I have a new writing companion.

photo by Leanne Dyck