Getting Ready for the Tempe Desert Nights Rising Stars Writer's Conference

In just a few days I will be attending the Desert Nights Rising Stars Writer's Conference in Tempe, Arizona.  I am both excited and apprehensive.  It will be quite an adventure and one I have anticipated since my early registration back in October.  I have never attended a writers conference and am taking advantage of this local opportunity since I will not be in New York any time soon (the mecca for all things "writerly").  I am a novice in the writing world and will be searching out others in my position as well as those already published for guidance.  Intimidating!!!  Wow, but inspired and willing to learn!!

So, I am hopeful, intrigued, open and encouraged (and yes, just a little intimidated...).  I will be blogging about my experience and anyone with their own personal experience at their first conference, feel free to share! 

Thursday, March 3, is the registration and welcome banquet.  We lead in to full days on Friday and Saturday, then a half day on Sunday. 

What Writing is to Me.

What writing is to me:
Writing is = standing at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, a cool wind with a hint of warm undertones catching my face and just enough slack in my body to propel me over until I can only embrace the fall, hoping I will land with head and limbs intact.  In my hunger for tapping in to what it is that makes us write; what it is that makes us struggle with this internal voice that pushes us to a fever pitch of go… go.. go… I look to other writers for clues.  Although not answers, the book, The Eleventh Draft, edited by Frank Conroy, gives me a moment to converse about the art of writing with others experiencing the same conflict and passion and what it means to each of us. 
I have an unlimited amount of material at my disposal including my observations of society at its bare nakedness as a police officer and a mother of a chronically ill child.  I feel my way through these daily episodes and experiences with a pencil, a pen, the blank page and a keyboard.   The mere act of writing, just jotting down what I ate today is cathartic.  It goes without saying that by doing this in public, it lends more to the goal of being called a “writer”, it is publicly announcing to all passing by that, “this lady crouched over her journal is WRITING!”  But is it being a writer?
I only recently re-discovered my love for writing.  I have journaled since I was very young and keep those snipits of my life, evidence of my territorial existence, close to me.  The entries from the 1970’s to present indicate a place in time that once was my entire world and now show how far I have come.  We will never be in the place we are today and it is so important to use those experiences in our work.  Writing is an art.  Any artist, in an effort to improve and potentially have others appreciate their efforts or more importantly, relate to it, must practice.  I have learned the blank page can be deafeningly silent.  It can scream.  It can heal and visit you in your sleep.  I only desire to continue to tap into the art of writing, learn from those who have gone ahead and maybe one day, just maybe propel off that cliff into the free fall that produces a work that makes a connection with persons I have yet to meet. 
That is what writing is to me.  A dream worth following.  Please take a moment to read George Orwell’s essay Why I Write.  I would love to know what writing is to you.  

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I figured things out late in life, like what I wanted to do, getting married (age 30), having kids, (36 and 38) and changing degrees about 3 times. Now as a cop of 19 years and in my mid 40's, I am finally figuring out some things. My first career or dream of becoming a writer is playing more in my head and daily life than ever. I love it. Thus the blog. It is all mine. I also love being a mother. They are all ours. I love my husband and as a cop, wow.. have I seen some things. Street degree. I got it. Let us learn together. I also am on She Writes.