Sunday, April 26, 2009

Report from Dogwood

The short version of my report: Wow. The Dogwood Writing Conference was great. Definitely want to go back next year--balcony or not. (And even if the laptop refuses to connect to the internet.)

Here is Jennifer Johnson holding her wonderfully funny romance, The Jinx. I put a recommendation here a few weeks ago. Run--do not walk--to Amazon or Wild Rose Press and buy your copy. This was my first in-person time with Jennifer, with whom I've conversed online for a while. When she walked into the room and someone confirmed for me who she was, I had to go give her a great big hug. What a wonderful young woman. And--oh! Happy birthday, Jennifer!

Here is a picture from the interactive workshop Maddie James did, on "Ditching the Rules" of writing. Excellent, excellent workshop! I told her she should take this one on the road. All the Saturday presentations were great, and the Friday writing exercises were fun (yet educational) workouts of our writing muscles.

Saturday's keynote speaker, Tara Taylor Quinn, also participated with us on Friday. In fact, she altered her Saturday presentation to meet the needs of our group. I was very impressed by that. Of course I didn't manage a picture of her, but you can see one and read about her at her website.

Here is Cathie Shaffer, doing her workshop on "Setting the Hook with Setting." I was enthralled. Cathie is one of the fun, energetic people of KYOWA who put on this conference each year. So is Jennifer. I'm a member, but this was my first time to even attend a meeting... oh yeah, we didn't have a meeting, just the conference. So I still haven't attended a meeting. But just have to say, KYOWA is an amazing writers' group.

Cathie also gave me a tour of Downtown Greenup, Kentucky, which totally made up for not having a balcony room. And losing my name tag. And not being able to sleep well, or make coffee in the little coffeemaker. Downtown Greenup is just that amazing.

Meet KYOWA member Mary Shortridge and her brother, Robert Hendricks, Fire Chief from Lexington/Fayette County. He was a Saturday speaker. Mary gave a workshop Saturday, "Creative Journaling--Preventing Writer's Block." And she led us through some of the writing exercises on Friday.

I wish I had a picture of Angie Lewis, who led another Friday exercise. She also designed the official bookmark for the event, which is a keeper for sure. So talented! I'd like to see Angie design book covers.

Oh, looky! I do have a picture of Tara Taylor Quinn! She's way in the back, toward the right--in the dark suit and white collar. But my purpose in taking this photo was to show how hard everyone worked. See Jennifer Madden at far left, with her nose to the grindstone? Not sure if this was before or after she told me to get a real camera instead of taking pictures with my phone. That's Lori next to her, and Helen, and Roger.

Gotta go, but I wanted to let you know some of how it went. I don't usually post on Sunday, but I was having withdrawal.



  1. What a wonderful recap, Magdalena! It was a great conference and I look forward to going again next year. Best of all, it was a pleasure sharing the long ride to and fro with you...and eating hotdogs in the car. :)

  2. Hey there, Maddie! I'm glad you didn't get too tired of me. Thank you again for the ride, and for letting Liberty Ann stay in your nice garage. She enjoyed her weekend, too!

  3. Wow! Hey! Big kiss to you for everything! I am rejuvenated and ready to write on some stories! What a pleasure to be with all of you. Now I'm off to look at the Sister Writers blog to learn of the infamous Liberty Ann.

  4. Liberty Ann isn't infamous, Jennifer. Golly. She's just as sweet as can be.

  5. I learned soooo much at the workshop, and enjoyed the heck out of everybody. My biggest complaint is, the things are never long enough. I'm sure the presenters can't wait to be done, but my head is screaming for more.
    I guess I won't complain about your camera. It does take pretty good pictures.

  6. Thanks for the conference report, and the pictures! I see some familiar faces there that I haven't seen in quite a while. Glad you all had fun!

  7. Jennifer, please go ahead and keep picking on me about the camera. I enjoy the attention. What I really, really want is a camera that looks like an ink pen. Have I mentioned that before?

    The event did go quickly. If we'd had another day, that would have been great. Plus the overlapping of workshops forced me to make decisions, which I'd rather not do. Much better to just do everything.

    Next year you should take the evening outing to Greenup if there is one. Did you take the jail tour?

  8. Devon, you should know that my life won't be complete until I see you at one of these things. That's just the way it is. I'm glad you enjoyed the report and photos.

  9. I wish I could have gone. It sounds like it was great!

  10. Oh, Mary, it was great! If you're ever able to make it, that would be so cool!

  11. Mags, what a lovely thing to say! I would love to be able to make it to SOMEthing. Maybe one of these days...

  12. Thanks, magdalena, for that great write-up of our conference. Twenty-four hours before the opening session, it always seems like things will never be done - it's the hard work of some very special people that makes it possible and the wonderful people who come in to meet with us and become an integral part of things that make the magic happen.

    I think we might try to do something in the fall, so watch the loop.

    We'll do it again next year for sure.

    Mary Shortridge

  13. Welcome to Magdalenaville, Mary! Thank you for stopping in. This was my first time seeing you in action and I was very impressed. Sometimes we participants were like overly chatty school kids, weren't we?

  14. Magdelena, I know I'm late to the party and commenting. I'm recuperating from knee surgery this past Thursday.

    Next time there is a conference do let me know? I'm not that far from kentucky, and maybe I could meet up with you guys and follow you down the rest of the way. I'd love to go.

    Looks like you had some good speakers. So, does Maddie have a recording of her presentation? One she'd like to share?

  15. Sia, I hope your recovery continues to go well. You're always welcome to the party, no matter what time you get here, of course! ;)

    None of the presentations were taped, as far as I know. There is some talk of KYOWA doing another writers' event in the fall. Maybe that's one you can attend. We found this to be very educational, as well as fun.

    For an event that's more social than educational, but in the area (depending on what area you're talking about), check out Lori Foster's Readers and Authors Get Together, near Cincinnati:

    Registration closes May 19.

  16. Sorry - I sure didn't mean to be heavyhanded! Sometimes it's tricky to try and make sure everyone has a chance to talk, especially the quiet ones, when the more assertive 'kids' get wound up. I'm usually a much nicer person, I think!

    I hope you all had as good a time as we did.

  17. Mary, Omigosh, you weren't heavy-handed. You were perfect! I loved watching you do your thing.