RWA National – Revisited

Today I received a package in my mailbox. It held the MP3 CD-ROMs I ordered this summer at RWA’s National Conference in San Francisco. Each year, Romance Writers of America arranges to have many of the sessions recorded by Bill Stephens Productions so members can purchase them.

And here it is!

Even though I paid for them, somehow these recordings feel like a gift. The speakers – those writers, agents, editors, and others who give so generously to speak at RWA National, whatever their reason – present a precious gift to all who listen. No matter what our skill level as writers we always have something to learn – about craft, career, publishing, the writing life. The speakers make that happen.

A few minutes ago I put a CD into my computer and pulled up the index. In front of me was a multi-page list of workshops I didn’t attend. Here, too, were many I did attend but eagerly want to hear again. Many interesting hours ahead.

Often, RWA Chapter libraries purchase these CDs for their members to borrow. Sometimes critique groups buy them. I do urge you to seek them out. Not quite as good as attending a workshop in person, but close.


I write best by candlelight. Whether in the dark of night or in the early hours of the morning, there is something about the glow of the flame that inspires my soul.

Writing takes incredible focus. For me, the hardest part is finding that focus – sitting down and getting back into the story, blocking out all sounds, all sources of distraction. Returning mentally to the 19th century. Once I’m there, I can write. It’s getting there that’s hard.

The flame helps.

Do you have some object that helps you take off and soar with your writing? Maybe you have a favorite chair or some seen-better-days sweats. Perhaps you have an angel muse perched nearby. Or maybe you find the sweet sound of music brings inspiration. I’d love to hear about what works for you.

Happy writing to all.