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Passing the Reins of Leadership

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Some of our members at a book launch Last month, I stepped down as the leader of my local South Carolina Writers' Association (SCWA) chapter. For ten years, I led this critique group, and for two years prior to that, I served as co-leader. Last month, one of our members asked how it felt to not prep for running the meeting. My response? "Wonderful!" I loved leading this group, and I plan to still participate, but I need to devote more time to my writing as opposed to running the chapter. That role became much more time-consuming when we moved to virtual meetings instead of in-person. I'm thrilled to say that two members have stepped forward to run the meetings, and the woman who has assisted me in the last two years agreed to continue, and actually expand, her role. I'm very thankful to them and their willingness to accept the reins of leadership! Whether in-person or virtual, my chapter has been the core of my writing tribe. We teach, encourage, and cheer for ea

Coincidental Meetings: Stranger Than Fiction

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This past Saturday, my grands and I took my husband on a Dessert Tour in downtown Greenville as part of his birthday present. A young couple were also part of the tour. Before we discovered the truth! While we ate our first desserts, the tour guide told us stories about the Poinsett Hotel, the starting point for the tour. After she finished, I turned to the woman on my left and introduced my family. We learned their names were Brook and Jake, and they were celebrating Brook's birthday. As we chatted, the typical question came up: what do you do? Here's how that played out. Me : I'm an author and corporate trainer. Brook and Jake grinned at each other. Jake : I do book cover design. What do you write? Me : Fantasy Their grins grew bigger. Jake : I do fantasy and science fiction. Me : Really? We talked about his artwork a bit. Then... Me : Whose covers have you done? Jake : (provided a long list including Shannon Mayer which impressed me quite a bit) Jake : Who's your pub

Remembering the First Steps on the Moon

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Photo: BVE, All Rights Reserved On this date, in 1969, Neil Armstrong took his famous first steps on the moon proclaiming, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." I have distinct memories of that night. My parents decided to take us on a traveling-around-Florida vacation that summer, and the night we saw this on TV--I can't believe my parents let us stay up for it--we were somewhere near Cape Canaveral. I have vague memories of touring Canaveral and seeing the size of the doors where they wheeled the rockets out of the building. I have a photograph of that building and those colossal doors, but I'll search for that on another day. My other memory from that night? My older sister nicked herself badly while shaving her legs. I half expect my sister or older brother to tell me I have these memories wrong, but the two remain intertwined in my memory: a fuzzy image on the TV and a scary amount of blood. Throughout the next few years, every time NASA launched

Imaginarium: Panels, Workshops, and Family

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The Imaginarium Convention 2022 is in the books. As I told you last year, this conference offers so much excellence, camaraderie, and encouragement to the creative community that I feel blessed to have found it last year. I'm doubly blessed to be invited back this year. Special recognition must go out to Stephen Zimmer and Holly Phillipe, the brains, backbones, and muscle behind this amazing event. Last year, I met Holly and Stephen in person and made friends with so many of the Imaginarium family. It was great to catch up with them. They seemed as thrilled to see me as I was to see them after an entire year's separation. There were new faces this year, and I enjoyed meeting the participants who came to my workshops (shout out to the loyal ones who stuck it out for my 3-hour character development workshop and the determined writers who let me talk grammar as well as other submission error issues on Sunday morning).  If you're looking for a writing conference that offers so