Marsha Ward

Historical Novels with Heart & Grit

Category: Events (page 1 of 3)

Business of Writing Workshop

During the last half of October, I took an epic road trip to attend an 8-day workshop in Lincoln City, Oregon, hosted by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, two writers I count as mentors in the business of writing. I’ve learned so much over the past four or so years by reading their blogs regularly, but an opportunity came up to attend this workshop on the Oregon Coast and meet them in person, and I had to jump on it.

The venue for the workshop was the Inn at Spanish Head, a ten-story resort hotel on the beach built into a cliff. On the landward side, the reception area is on the ninth floor. The conference room is on the fourth floor. I wasn’t the only one who became confused about whether one went up or down when entering the elevator.

The overall theme of the workshop was Time, since it’s in such short supply for writers, whether indie, hybrid, or traditional. From 7 pm on October 21 to 9:30 pm on October 28, in three sessions a day plus late-night networking, I, and about forty-nine other professional writers, madly took notes on such topics as productivity, tracking output, deadlines, writing process for both linear and non-linear writers, health, separating the businesses of writing and publishing, making short- and long-term business decisions, structures of corporations, estate planning for authors, copyright, trusts, triage as a business plan, branding, virtual assistants, and the true meaning of hybrid.

Workshop attendees

Faces erased at the request of attendees.

Please note that we covered that extensive list of topics by the end of Monday’s sessions. There were a ton more each day, and I’m still working my way through the incredible amount of knowledge and information. I expect it will be a year-long endeavor.

One thing that was impressed upon us is that we must not make any business decisions and change up our plans for at least the two weeks minimum that it will take for our brains to heal from exploding with the input of all the new facts. Another was that “should do’s” and “supposed to do’s” are deadly, evil beyond imagination. We must choose to do only what works for our style and methods of writing and publishing.

Since I traveled for several days before arriving home, my brain still hasn’t adjusted to all the new knowledge. I have my work cut out for me as the holidays approach. I must not be pressured, though, by my inner panic to DO SOMETHING NOW! I have to study and decide what will work for me.

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Labor Day Weekend

Up here on Rim Country, the Labor Day Weekend is the last hurrah for many “flatlanders,” as we call summer and weekend visitors. 

We can count on traffic jams, with more than one vehicle at a time on the roads. Speeding is a problem, because many of the visitors can’t seem to read. At least they don’t read and observe the 35 mph speed limit on The Loop. 

Worse then that are the under-age golf cart and ATV drivers, who don’t know how to drive the 10 mph limit on the interior roads. Sometimes they are so young they can’t reach the brake pedal. Talk about lack of responsibility on the part of *coughparentscough*.

But Labor Day Weekend also brings certain perks. For example, I attended the local HOA meeting this morning. They fed us lunch afterwards. 


Tonight the LDS Church has a free community barbecue. They provide the steaks, burgers, hotdogs, baked potatoes and corn on the cob. Also the live music. Attendees are invited to bring a side dish or dessert. These affairs are well attended. 


With the blessing of good weather, my neighbors are having a yard sale. There’s quite a range of goodies, including lots of glassware. 

Do you get away on holiday weekends? Remember to observe local speed limits and other laws, and try not to annoy the locals!

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Tax Filing Day Approaches

Taxes! I don’t mind paying my fair share to support the constitutionally required services of my country, but I hate doing the paperwork! I favor a 10% flat tax. If that’s all God requires, it should be good enough for the U.S. government!

I received the booth number this morning for my appearance at Phoenix ComiCon, May 25-28.

Come see me in the Lower Level Exhibit Hall, Hall 6, on the south end against the wall in Booth #1797. The booth carries the name Four Carat Press. Two of the authors in the booth are with that publishing house. I’m not, but I’m excited to invite you to explore your inner geek with me.

Here’s the map (click to expand view). Scroll down, down, down:

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