Nailed It!

My most recent, “nailed-it” moment was when I typed The End on my first fiction novel—book one in a suspense/thriller series. After fist-punching the air, I burst into happy tears.

Nail it!

I wasn’t alone in my writing effort. At last year’s UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute, I was honored to promote the Pathway to Publication program and signed up for it myself. My coach was Christine DeSmet. She figuratively held my hand through the new-to-me fiction territory, taking the fear out of it and making it a distinct pleasure.

Now I’m working on book two in the series.

What’s your most recent “nailed it” moment?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Walk on the Wild Side

I’m excited to share that I’ve signed my third publishing contract. In the photo below I’m mailing it back to the publisher. This book is slated to hit the shelves in August 2020. I’m over the moon with excitement—Woohoo!

My first two books are nonfiction.

For my third book, I’m taking a walk on the wild side and writing a suspense novel that takes place in the Pacific Northwest. No spoilers here, that’s all I’m sharing right now. Stay tuned for carrot-dangling details.

This book wouldn’t be possible without the Pathway to Publication program at the Writers’ Institute and my writing mentor, Christine DeSmet. We’ve worked together before, and it’s a privilege to work with her again.

The next Writers’ Institute is April 4-7. I’ve attended as a student and as a teacher—both. I can tell you experientially that it’s one of the best writing conferences in the country!

A few months before publication, I’ll be looking for mystery-suspense-thriller authors to read my third book for potential author endorsement blurbs. If you fall into that category and are interested, please let me know via email by using the contact page.

Have you ever written or considered writing a book?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

 

The Case of the Missing Dongle

I love teaching at UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute. This year was my third time, but my first time using a projector. Everything was taken care of in advance: conference rooms, projectors, screens. Nothing was left undone.

Imagine my surprise when I went into my first room, set my laptop on the podium and wondered, How on earth do I get what’s on my screen to “talk” to the projector so it can show the audience?

I ran to Laura Kahl. She’s like a kick-butt, young faerie godmother, and MacGyver combined; she’s the maestro that keeps everything and everyone in harmony! 

Way too polite to point out that I was supposed to have brought an adapter, she immediately pointed out one of the Madison Concourse Hotel IT guys. “He’s got a dongle,” she said. My eyebrows shot into my hairline. “He’ll get you set up.”

A dongle is an adapter that connects to another device to provide it with additional functionality.

I approached the handsome young IT guy and said, “Pardon me, do you have a dongle I can borrow?” He answered with a great big smile, “I’d be happy to loan you my dongle.” And we both burst out laughing!

That little piece of equipment is what kept my audience connected to what was happening on my laptop screen. At the end of the conference, I returned the adapter to the technician. The first thing I did when I got back to Boise was to purchase a dongle of my own at the Apple store. 

What keeps you connected?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Le Plume

I just attended the ever-phenomenal Writers’ Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. When not hosting a session, I made a point of meeting people. A diverse group, I’m confident that every literary genre was represented at this heavily-attended event.

One of the things that all of the attendees had in common is their interest in writing. Another similarity is their love of writing implements! I saw pens from:

  • disposable to incredibly expensive
  • ballpoint to roller ball, gel, and fountain
  • retractable to cap-top
UW-Madison's 27th Annual Writers' Institute

UW-Madison’s 27th Annual Writers’ Institute

I saw two left-handed pens (not kidding), and one pen that wrote with an antiqued brown (think sepia tone) inkAmazingly, one author/speaker, Bradley Beaulieu, did his book signing in calligraphy!

My favorite is the Jetstream pen made by uni-ball. Simple, I like its retractable style and the quick-drying ink leaves a smooth writing line. I’d go to the mat for my pen!

Do you have a favorite pen?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Write Time – The Write Place

WHO
You are cordially invited to attend

WHAT
The 27th annual Writers’ Institute — click on this LINK for registration and speaker information

WHEN
April 15-17, 2016

WHERE
UW-Madison

WHY

  • To improve your writing craft.
  • To pitch a book to a literary agent.
  • To meet other writers and find your writing community.
  • To learn publishing tips.
  • To have your work critiqued.

HOW
Any way you can!

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One of the best writers conferences in the United States, the Writers’ Institute has something to offer each and every person who’s interested in writing. I’ve attended as a student and as a speaker — it’s wonderful no matter how you slice it!

This year I’m attending as a speaker and I’d love to see you at one the sessions I’m presenting. Click on this LINK for details.

Many Tuesdays With Laurie readers are writers. This week’s question for you is: Why do you write?

Many Tuesdays With Laurie readers are not writers. This week’s question for you is: What is your creative outlet?

 

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
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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.

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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
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Not just for Writers — Criticism versus Critique

When I spoke at the Writers’ Institute at UW-Madison, one of my topics was why critiquing is necessary. My presentation included defining the difference between criticism and critique:

I represented CRITICISM with scissor blades facing the recipient — putting a person on the defensive. We typically react (knee-jerk) to this style of communication, viewing it as an attack. Criticism is problem-oriented, negative, and critical.

I represented CRITIQUE with scissor handles facing the recipient — putting the person at ease. We typically respond (thought-filled) to this style of communication, viewing it as a gift. Critique is solution-oriented, positive, and helpful.

When you provide feedback (at home, work, or in a writing situation), is your message respectful, honest, useful, clear, and specific?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com