A few weeks ago Michele and I were invited to speak at the Panhandle Writer’s Association conference going on today and tomorrow. Originally Michele wasn’t sure if we were a fit, and I eagerly steered her towards – YES, we are a fit. Being the total nerd, I couldn’t wait to go rub elbows with other writers. Of course, she agreed. It was great exposure for the magazine, plus we could potentially get contributors from it. We put together a “writing for niche publications” piece and spoke today to a wide range of nonfiction writers, including two high school seniors who are the editor and assistant editor for their paper. (Sweet!)
The hour-long session went by quickly as Michele and I bounced back and forth between talking about our own experience, what a niche magazine looks for in a writer, and how to discover your own writing style. I could’ve talked for days with those people, if only to be around all that creativity. We’ve been invited to sit in on a panel discussion tomorrow afternoon, so I might check out some other sessions prior to that. After all, if I ever want to get my children’s book published, I need to meet with people who might help make that happen.
I cannot fully express the joy in my heart to introduce myself as a writer. Even though I’ve been a published writer since 2000, I don’t always consider my experience as a columnist to count. It was so easy to throw together a first-person piece the morning of deadline and email it in without a headline. It may not have seemed easy at the time, but compared to what I do now, it was cake. My job is so multi-layered at the magazine but the root of it all is writing. I called myself a writer today. I’ve wanted to do that since high school.
In other news, the house has been so quiet – almost wrongfully so – since Jeremy’s been gone. Jackson wanders the house, playing with random toys in whatever room he stumbles into. When they see each other on the webcam they giggle and laugh. The honestly miss each other, which is a sweet thing to see. I could tell in Jeremy’s voice tonight that he misses home, but it’s also because he’s exhausted from almost two full weeks of constant play. By the time we head home from Kansas City in a few weeks, I suspect he’ll be entirely worn out. (Which means lots of sleeping in the car!) I miss him so much… his hugs, his giggles, his big blue eyes with unmistakeable long eyelashes… I even miss (some of) his questions. By the time I see him, he will have grown. I can feel it.