Observations and Thoughts on #WDC16

This past weekend, I attended the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City. It was my third WDC in a row, and I’ve enjoyed them all. I plan on attending next year as well, as I’ve learned something from each one. You can read my impressions of the previous two here and here.

I think I’ll start with a review of the three sessions I loved (yes, there are sessions you attend and don’t like for one reason or another, but I’m not going to hammer anyone (even though a few deserve it)), and then wrap up with some general observations. Long post ahead, so get comfy (or scroll to the bottom for the tl;dnr version).

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Friday Morning FYI – 8/12/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (super-late-since-I-was-attending-WDC16-this-weekend edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

So, yeah, Writer’s Digest Annual Conference – my favorite writing-related event, the thing I wait for all year and then enjoy beyond reason (though this year I missed several dear friends I also enjoy beyond reason, who I applaud for instead doing important things for their careers). As I always do, I’ll put together and post a recap over the next day or two, but for today I need to decompress. So for this week’s FYI, I think I’ll post what I wrote for a prompt we were given in one of the sessions. The goal was to emphasize how characters of different backgrounds and in different situations would describe the same setting. My group received “Rich lady in a ballroom”. Here’s what I wrote:

The floor plan was perfect, each round, white-clothed table set precisely fifteen feet apart, eight seats around. The center pieces were perfect, tall with pink and purple orchids from the local botanical gardens, wide with sharp leaves hanging broad from crystal vases, full with baby’s breath and dime-sized purple flowers I didn’t know. The stage was perfect, raised just enough to allow everyone to see my speech without feeling dominated, with an enormous American flag backdrop, the generic display for someone about to announce a candidacy.

But none of it mattered. No one would sit at the tables. No one would smell the flowers. No one would hear my speech, because I’d canceled the whole f*cking thing when I got the call that Julie, my perfect daughter, had been in an accident.

Yes, I cheated by adding a twist. *shrug*


Thanks for reading,


Friday Morning FYI – 8/5/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning (yay!) FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

I just signed up for a 200-hour yoga instructor certification course. That’ll add a decent workload to my already-strapped time, most of which is taken with (in no particular order) work+writing+girlfriend+friends. And that’s OK – good, even. That’s brings us to this week’s FYI:

For no discernable reason, James Lipton asking the question, “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?” popped into my head this morning. My first inclination is to hope God would say, “Nice ink, man.” but in lieu of that, I’d be happy with, “You sure used most of your time.” This must be why I have no patience for people who say they have no time to do what they enjoy.

If you want something, make time for it. Fit it in. Yes, it’s that simple.


Thanks for reading,


Friday Morning FYI – 7/29/2016

Welcome to your Friday Saturday Morning FYI (politics-suck-but-people-who-talk(scream)-politics-suck-more edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

I don’t get political, but I’m about to get political, probably in a way you wouldn’t think.

I’m late this week (what else is new?) because I had to take the time to process how I feel about the two political conventions that took place over the last few weeks. I didn’t watch them, mind, because if I wanted to watch primates thump their chests and throw crap at each other I’d go to the zoo where I can find creatures that actually should be preserved. Turns out I didn’t need to, though, because my social media feeds were (and continue to be) riddled with elitist asshats posting quotes and links to partisan opinion pieces, and telling me and everyone else how we should vote. No, that’s not right. That’s not strong enough. They’re on their soapboxes telling us we have a MORAL REPONSIBILITY to vote a certain way. In response I’ve been handing out unfollows like wheatgrass samples in a health food store (that analogy works, I swear) to those people who don’t seem to know how free voting works, what it represents, or how, within a political system as massive as ours, your vote is your only mechanism of protesting something you don’t like. That’s brings us to this week’s FYI:

The upcoming US Presidential election is a sh!tshow, and not just because the leading candidates are a raving lunatic and a habitual liar. No, what’s worse is we still have three and a half months of faux morality warriors panicking, ranting, and flooding us with their ‘I’m voting this way,’ posts nobody gives a f*ck about, ‘You have to read this!’ articles (barely) written by lecturing nobodies on partisan websites, and everything else they’ll use to convince you you’re an awful person if you vote third party or whatever way they’re not. It’s a dystopian nightmare that would sell ten million copies, a six film series, and at least one TV show, probably on FOX or Netflix, if we could only somehow have a love triangle develop and…

Sorry… I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Anyway, my point here is if you’re a rational, well-informed person, these people should be ignored like those Tinder matches you regret meeting, until December. No, blocking them won’t hurt their feeling. They have plenty of other ‘mobilized’ knuckleheads to throw them Likes and make them feel superior to the rest of us who just want to not-be lectured to.

And in November, vote any way you damn-well want.


Thanks for reading,


Friday Morning FYI – 7/1/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Last week I wrote about a friend who was hoping to land free tuition to a holistic coaching education program. She didn’t get it (which is bullsh!t in my never-humble opinion) but wasn’t disheartened. “I made a fun, creative video in a really tight deadline. That’s pretty cool, regardless.” (in your head, hear that quote in a New Zealand accent to make it even better) Yes, she did. Even though swinging the tuition on top of  her normal bills will be tough, she didn’t let getting shafted (as her friend I can be bitter for her) get her down. That’s this week’s FYI:

People say how you deal with adversity is up to you. I agree with that, but there’s more to it – starting with always doing your best. When you do, at least you have that, which no one can take away. We writers know this all too well.


Thanks for reading,


PS – Speaking of writing, I’m late this week because I spent every spare moment yesterday finishing the front story for my new book. A few bits of backstory and this bad boy’s first draft will be done 😀