What Writing Has Given Me

Yesterday I confessed that writing hadn't brought me fame or fortune--but there have been many pluses along the way, besides the actual joy of writing.

At my first mystery writing conferences, probably in the early 80s, I met Mary Higgins Clark and Sue Grafton. Since these conferences were small (30 people at most) and in a campground setting we not only heard writing tips, but there was ample opportunity to visit. Year later, I saw Ms. Clark at a cocktail party during Edgars week and she graciously said she remembered me from that long ago conference.

For ten years I was an instructor for Writers Digest School. While my students learned, my own writing skills were polished. Because I was an instructor for WDS I was asked to travel to Maui and be an instructor for the Maui Writers week long retreat. Of course I said yes, and brought my hubby along with me. I worked hard at the retreat--but I met some great people and at a lot of wonderful food.

I've made so many good friends over the years, writer and readers. One of our favorite conferences is Mayhem in the Midlands and we've made friends we look forward to seeing every year, some who live in Omaha, and some who come just for the conference. Mystery author Radine Trees Nehring and her husband John are a couple we look forward to spending time with. Mother and daughter Benay and Sara Weiss from Texas are avid mystery readers we love to go restaurant tasting with, and the only time we get to see them is in Omaha. There are many, many more, of course.

I've flown to places I'd never gone to if it weren't for mystery conferences. I flew to Anchorange for Left Coast Crime and met two darling Native girls and kept in touch over the years. When I returned for Bouchercon, I spent a few days with one and met the whole family.

Together, hubby and I have gone to conferences all over the U.S. visiting cities we'd never have seen otherwise, always seeing old friends and meeting new.

I flew to New York and roomed with a gal I'd met on the Internet for Edgar week and Malice right afterwards. Since then we shared a room in San Francisco when we went to Bouchercon.

I've had the opportunity to give talks about writing and my books to libraries all over Central California, spoken and taught at writing conferences, Sold my books at book and craft fares from Sacramento to Temecula.

There is so much more, but I think you get the idea that my life has been enriched because of being a writer.


I can't name everyone I've met


C. N. Nevets said…
What fantastic adventures!
Linda Leszczuk said…
Marilyn, not to put you on the spot but asking as someone new to writer conferences (and trying to pick a couple to go to this year), would you care to comment on which ones you find most worthwhile?
Yes, Nevets, I've really had some great experience I'd have never had if it weren't for being a writer.

Okay, Linda, if you want a writing conference, where you learn about writing, my first choice is PSWA's conference--though it's geared to law enforcement and mystery writers, there will be a bunch of great basic writing speakers and panels. http://www.policewriter.com but there are lots of others too. Marilyn
Oh, wow, wonderful things! I've traveled a little for writing, but not much. I look forward to doing more in the future. Hopefully it's in my future! :D

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