The Write Track

I just returned from UW-Madison’s 29th Annual Writers’ Institute where an incredible lineup of guest instructors offered a wide array of sessions for people at every point on the writing spectrum: from “thinking about it,” to multi-published, and every possibility in-between.

In addition to engaging breakout sessions where the attendees learned tangible tips and actionable techniques, the conference offerings included critique services, agent pitching opportunities, page and poem contests, and a book signing event.

Courtesy of Kristin Oakley—Writers Institute Bookstore. I had the good fortune to sit with one of my early writing mentors, Laurel Yourke.

As well as teaching four sessions, I had the privilege of closing the conference by introducing a writing mentor experience—Pathway to Publication—an exclusive opportunity for 30 attendees of the 2018 Writers’ Institute.

Chris Norbury, the author of CASTLE DANGER, captured this photo of “Laurie bookends:” me at the podium “grilling” Laurie Scheer.

Chris Norbury’s Castle Danger can be purchased here (click).
Laurel Yourke’s Beyond the First Draft can be purchased here (click).

Whether verbal or written, excellent communicators always answer two questions:
1. What is the point?
2. Why does it matter?

Are you an excellent communicator?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Sidekicks and Sidecars

After the Writers’ Institute last week, Len and I rented a car and drove to Crown Point, Indiana to visit with dear friends. Along the way we saw the following sight: a man with his companion animal in the sidecar of his motorcycle. It’s hard to see in the photograph, but that’s not a muzzle on his dog; it’s straps to hold on his goggles. I love it!

Traveling companions

We smiled, waved, and laughed, as did other people in the cars around us. Clearly this traveling duo enjoy each other’s company—immensely. It was a real “feed good” moment to witness.

Len and I travel together well. Sometimes—especially when he flies—I’m in his “sidecar.” Other times, he’s in mine. Regardless, we always have a wonderful time.

Who frequents your sidecar?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Showing Up

Walking across one of the many bridges that spans the Boise river, we spotted something bright red in the distance. Drawing closer, we saw that it was a nylon camp chair—empty. We looked in every direction for someone who might be the owner, but there wasn’t a soul in sight.

IMG_9205

During one of the classes I’m teaching at UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute in April, 2016, I’ll share that life is about showing up. So is writing. Failure to show up—be present—yields puny results. For a writer, that equals a blank page.

There are many different ways of showing up. We can arrive with a chip on our shoulder and a cup-half-empty attitude, or…

Remember Aunt Clara on the television series Bewitched? She may have fumbled and bumbled and usually arrived—covered in soot, hat askew—after tumbling down the Stephens’ chimney, but she showed up with a positive, go-get-’em attitude and a ready smile.

How do you show up for life?

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
Find me on Facebook