Monday, April 7, 2014

Close Encounters, Part I

I had the pleasure recently of attending a writer's conference at which Brian Klems spoke. If you don't know who Brian Klems is, I won't fault you, but go get your Writer's Digest on, or check out his blog. He's funny. He's approachable. He's a writer. And his daughter and I have the same bathrobe. (I kid you not. Tara, don't look at it. Your eyes will burn. And I want to keep my bathrobe, thank you.)

Anyway, as I sat through his session (I make that sound like it was painful to listen to him, which, by the way, it was not. Quite the opposite, in fact.), I realized that if nothing else that day went well, I would come away from a writing conference with something valuable: ENTHUSIASM.

You see, we just dug out of a very cold winter and have, so far, been experiencing the lovely (not so much) spring rain that naturally comes with the month of April. I was tired of the cold, and I'm already tired of the rain. Especially the cold rain. (Hmm. I'm sensing a pattern here.) It's the kind of precipitation that bites at your skin as you try to run through it. The kind that keeps everyone inside. The kind that makes me crabby and unable to find the energy to write.

But seeing Brian speak--about publishing, marketing, agents, blurbs, and his own book--caused something quite extraordinary to happen. I got excited again about writing. I sat in the squeaky chair of that drafty seminar room and thought that even though he started out one step ahead (he is, after all, a Writer's Digest editor and a journalism school graduate), if Brian could make it, then so could I. Brian Klems effectively gave me back my mojo.

I didn't sign up for a manuscript evaluation with him because, frankly, I'd just paid someone else to read my piece. But I would have him evaluate a manuscript of mine, in a heart beat. I'd probably even have him babysit my four children, although he'd be hesitant to do that, considering he already has three daughters of his own (although maybe we could swap some dress-up clothes, tiaras, or jewelry). And those of you who know me realize that if I'm willing to let you watch my children, I must trust you.

The thing I'm trying to say here, and quite badly, I might add, is that if one session of Brian Klems can inspire me, than he can do the same for you. Help the man out by spreading the word and buying his book. Follow him on Twitter, see if you can friend him on Facebook. Help him with his brand (he hates that word, by the way) even though he doesn't need the help. And after you've done so, you might just say thank you to me for introducing you.

Three things for you to know:
  1. I never even had the chance to go up and introduce myself to Brian, even though I had plans to do so.
  2. Therefore he did not pay me (nor did he even ask me) to write this.
  3. This post holds the record for the greatest number of links within any of my posts, EVER.

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