Writing Workshops and a Great Review

As usual, as it becomes time to write my blog, I wonder what I’ll write about.

Today, I’ll be talking about something only vaguely related to writing.

Recently, I presented two workshops with a writing partner at a writers conference. Both presentations were exactly what was advertised. In the morning we gave a talk on marketing, what that meant and ways of doing it, and the fact that most publishers today want a marketing plan submitted along with a query. Our afternoon workshop was about alternate means of getting published–and that’s exactly what we presented.

A fellow presenter who is also a friend was promoted as writing a book based on a screen play. And yes, he did speak about that, but then he gave an impassioned plea about being against the death penalty and coming up with some way to rehabilitate young people who have committed crimes. His theme was that anyone can be rehabilitated–something I don’t feel is true–but no one was given the opportunity to rebut.

I certainly agree we should have a better plan for rehabilitating any one who crimes and I don’t like the death penalty–but I don’t think that was the forum for that particular presentation. That topic certainly wasn’t presented on the writing workshop schedule. I know the author is passionate about this cause–but not only did he make many uncomfortable, but he also made a few in the audience angry.

When he began going over time, I finally spoke up and told him he needed to return to his topic and tie things up as he was infringing on the next speakers’ time. (Granted, the one in charge should have done this, but she was rather overwhelmed by him.) No, I don’t like stepping in like this, but I’m old and seem to be able to get away with being bossy.

My point, I suppose is, if you are asked to give a workshop or a speech on a certain topic, stick to that topic–whatever it was you were supposed to do.

If you have a particular movement or political passion, find the proper venue to present it. Don’t embarrass yourself or the group that invited you to talk about one thing and then go on and on about something completely different.

Once again, I’ll step off my soap box–at least until my next turn on this blog.

Oh, and by the way, I got a wonderful review for my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Kindred Spirits, on Reviewing the Evidence. Here’s the last paragraph:

“This is the seventh title in Meredith‛s well-received Tempe Crabtree series. As in all of her books, Meredith explores Native American culture, in this case, the history of the Tolowa tribe. She addresses the difficulty Tempe faces while trying to be true to both her Native American side and her white heritage. As the wife of a Christian minister, Tempe must also deal with her husband‛s own views on Indian culture and spirituality. Hutch and Tempe don‛t always agree on these matters. But in this novel, Hutch becomes more supportive of Tempe‛s work while shedding some of his opposition to Tempe‛s views on life. The two make an unusual couple, but their very uniqueness lends reality to the mystery. As people, they can‛t be pigeonholed into one group or another and thus bring a feeling of freshness to the protagonist‛ s role. Any story featuring these two is a welcome addition to the mystery fan‛ s library.”
Reviewed by Mary V. Welk, November 2008

Marilyn Meredith

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