Posts Tagged ‘Cathy Sikorski’

Library Humor…

I want to introduce you to humor writer and librarian, Roz Warren. We have been Facebook friends for quite a while and to my delight, over the summer we met in real life at a lovely tea house to celebrate the release of mutual friend, Cathy Sikorski’s  book Showering With Nana (good book)

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Writing Wednesday…Post PWC

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us in the comments…

Post Philadelphia Writers Conference

I hadn’t attended the Philadelphia Writers Conference for a few years because my schedule and life got in the way. This year I was determined to make it and I am so glad I did.

No matter where you are in your writing career, a beginner or a best- selling author I believe there is something we can all learn by networking with other writers.

The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference represents a broad range of writing categories, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as editing and public relations.

The annual June conference attracts conferees from most of the United States as well as a few from Canada, although the core of attendance is still from the Tri-State area.

The conference was held at the Wyndham Philadelphia. I decided to stay in the hotel this year to get the complete conference experience. I was a bit disappointed that so many writers chose not to stay in the hotel.

Our room was beautiful but I have to say the service at the front desk and of the hotel in general was horrible. The restaurant was atrocious. We ordered lunch, only salads and after an hour and ten minutes we had still not received them and in fact they never arrived. We attended our afternoon workshops hungry.

I shared a room with Toni McCloe, a friend from the Lower Bucks Creative Explorers writing group. Toni is the author of Rude Awakening. (A powerful story with Philadelphia roots.)

We checked into our room at 8:30 Friday morning, dropped our suitcases off in the room and hurried down to the lobby to meet fabulous friends, Kelly Deeny, Helene Cohen Bludman and Cathy Sikorski.

PWC Friends

The opening speaker was Sara Shepard. Her bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line. The book series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name.

author sara shepard book cover

 

In a more informal session later that day Sara shared some tips on protecting ourselves and our work should we be lucky enough to have interest from film or TV producers.

author sara shepard 2

The workshop that I got the most out of was short story writing facilitated by Fran Wilde. I signed up for this workshop because I needed some inspiration to get some of the shorter stories I have rolling around in my head on to paper, before I forget what those ideas are.

Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy.   She’s taught writing and digital media at two colleges, a high school for the creative arts, and a long-distance program for young writers.

Her first novel, Updraft will be published by Tor in September 2015.

I also signed up for a Free Verse workshop. Ken Pobo teaches courses in literature and creative writing at Widener University, where he has won the prestigious Lindback Award for teaching. The award was well deserved he was very inspiring and his workshop sessions went SO fast. I used to love writing poetry. The last poem I wrote was for a memorial service for my brother who was murdered in a road rage attack. Since then I haven’t been able to write poetry. I needed inspiration to try again and for me the class was a success. Ken and other attendees have inspired me to try again.

Apples to Writers, a sort of writing prompt game was hosted by the brand new PWC Board President, Jim Knipp. Jim is the author of over a dozen short stories and several novels. I was so nervous to participate but it turned out to be a lot of fun. How could it not be, Jim is fabulous!

I love all writers and have very few favorites. Stephen Fried is one of my favorites so I was thrilled that he was the keynote speaker for Saturday’s Awards Banquet. Stephen is an award-winning investigative journalist and essayist, and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism. He is the author of the highly praised books Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, The New Rabbi, and Husbandry: Sex, Love & Dirty Laundry—Inside the Minds of Married Men.

author stephen fried

Stephen’s best-known magazine article is “Cradle to Grave,” his investigation into the deaths of all ten children of Marie and Arthur Noe, which led police to reopen the 30-year-old Philadelphia case as a murder investigation. The day after the story was released to authorities, the Noes were taken in for questioning and Marie Noe confessed, and later pleaded guilty to multiple charges of murder. For his role in the case, Fried received a medal—he became the first journalist ever to receive the Medal of Honor from the Vidocq Society, the elite international group of criminologists, pathologists and police investigators.

Fried’s wife, Diane Ayres is a fiction writer and the author of Other Girls. He shared some funny stories with us on what it is like to be a nonfiction writer living with a fiction writer.

I am a fan because Stephen writes about mental health, crime and the pharmaceutical industry and that is what I write and like his writing has done I can only hope that my work will one day make a difference the way his has.

Author Stephen Fried Cover

Another exciting but extremely nerve wracking event was the opportunity to pitch a literary agent. I have no idea why I let my friends talk me into it but I did and it went well. Do I have a new agent? Stay tuned, more on that experience later.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Ayesha Hamid, editor of Philadelphia Stories. I am looking forward to submitting an essay to them later this month.

Philadelphia Stories

Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting Facebook friend, Kerry Gans who is also fabulous as well as several other social media friends. I just love meeting people that I feel like I already know, in real life.

The conference was a great experience and I got out of it exactly what I needed which was the inspiration to go home and write like crazy.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

 

Girlfriends, Showers and Horses…

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

Friday Fragments new logo

It’s not too late to join in on the fun and we would love to have you!

Just when I started to have a glimmer of hope that my Phillies might be turning a corner and starting to click because they won six games in a row they went and lost two games. It’s a bit too early to be looking forward to the Eagles and Tim Tebow so maybe tonight…

Phillies ball

Did you watch the Madmen finale? It took me until the next morning to get it. I think it was because I was so sad to see it end.

We started to watch Halt and Catch Fire and by the 3rd episode we were hooked. The 2nd season starts next week, can’t wait.

https://youtu.be/qJN2JN3_N_4

The past few years I have volunteered to wrap up the gift baskets for fun charity event, The Girlfriend Gala. It is an annual celebration of our girlfriends and a fundraiser. The host of the Happy Hour Radio Show, author, speaker and friend, Annmarie Kelly founded the annual celebration several years ago. When I first attended the event I was brand new to this county and only barely knew two people at the event. This year I knew almost everyone and still met four amazing women that I hope will become good friends before next year. Do you have an event in your area that celebrates girlfriends?

Gift Bags for Gala Gift Baskets for Gala

This year’s benefactor was the Phil*Hanna Fund, which was started by another friend, Pam Mariani. The fund was started to memorialize Pam’s mother Philomena and her birth mother, Hanna. The fund is a semi-annual scholarship for a non-traditional nursing student at Delaware County Community College.

The comedy portion of the event was provided by elder attorney, brand new author, speaker and friend the hysterical Cathy Sikorski. If you are looking for something different, (and very funny for a change) to read check out Cathy’s book, Showering with Nana.

http://www.amazon.com/Showering-With-Nana-Confessions-Caregiver/dp/0692440410

Author Cathy Sikorski Cover

What a difference a few years can make. I was so homesick and lonely and here I am blessed with the best girlfriends a woman could ask for.

This weekend I am going to attend the Devon Horse Show for the first-time as an adult with the most fabulous girlfriends. Yikes, I really need a hat. What do you have planned for this holiday weekend?

Have a fabulous and blessed weekend,

Doreen

 

 

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