Tag Archives: SIWC

Surrey International Writers’ Conference

I went to SIWC this year.  It was a very good time.  I got to see good friends and I got to spend a day in Vancouver where my friend and I rode a tandem around Stanley Park while wearing helmets and looking totes fab.  I’d never been on a tandem where you could change gears.  I guess I still haven’t technically because when I tried, the chain came off.  But a nice guy helped us get it back on after my friend was already covered in grease.  We only thought we were going to die twice and the poutine we had in McDonald’s afterwards was poutine from McDonald’s.

Good Times.

I’ve got to say I love Vancouver.  It has the greatest little water taxis and people are incredibly nice and the food was amazing.  We even got to walk East Hastings Street which we found out very quickly, one should not do.  And if one finds oneself on said street, one should go to another street.  But I did find a great place to buy gear if I ever decide to become a stripper.

Then we went to the conference and Jasper Fforde. was there.  I love Jasper Fforde.  He wrote The Eyre Affair and tons of other books.  You should read them.  They’re amazing.  But this was the first time I was going to meet an author I had read before finding out they would be at the conference.  And I was very excited.

And I let everyone know.

On the first day, when they introduced everyone, I watched for him and memorized what he was wearing so that during lunch I could stalk him.  But then his name tag was turned around and I wasn’t positive it was him.  Luckily the author/SIWC board member in front of me asked how I looked familiar and I said I was a Calgary writer wanna be and then I told her I was trying to stalk Jasper Fforde.  She then politely called over to him so that I knew that was him for sure and asked him a question.  It was all very well done and not creepy at all.

Then I went to the two panels he was on that day.  Or maybe it was only one.  When I saw him in the hall, I started talking to him and we had a wonderful chat and I knew that my plan to go to every one of his classes was the correct one and still not creepy at all.

And just to show how not creepy I was, I even saw him in the club room and didn’t go and try to steal the egg roll off of his plate.  (Seinfeld reference there.)

The next day I went to another panel class and then it was time for the “Lunch with a presenter” lunch.  They make the presenters sit with us commoners.  And I wanted to sit at his table.  But he kept talking to people in the buffet line.  So luckily a SIWC volunteer saw me and asked how my stalking was going and if I was going to sit at his table and I said yes but I didn’t know which one it was because he wouldn’t get out of the stupid buffet line and then he finally did and actually sat down right behind where I was standing which didn’t make it awkward at all to turn around while holding a plate of food and nonchalantly sit across from him.

Then I went to two more of his classes and then asked him to sign four books and then I walked away to never see him again.  Sort of.  I mean there was still half a day but I’m only good at stalking for two days.  Then I get tired.

Overall, it was the most successful stalking I have ever done.  (It’s actually the only stalking I’ve ever done unless you want to count volunteering for Montana Book and Toy bookstore so I could be near David Sedaris all night Tuesday, but that was more a civic duty.)

And I feel good about it.

I should get these for stalking

I should get these for stalking

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Heading to Writers’ Conference

I am off to a writer’s conference.  It is my second one ever.  I didn’t think I felt very nervous about it but I think my chocolate cake and cheetos lunch may have proven otherwise.

Last year I went to see what it was like and to see if this is what I wanted to do.  I left invigerated and excited.  I was over excited and tried to increase my blog readers and pretty much I was social networking more than actually writing.  Then summer came and everything came to a hault.

This year I am going for the education of it.  I don’t spend much time with adults who enjoy writing like I do and it is so nice to spend three days talking about things I enjoy, not that I don’t enjoy talking about dentistry every single day of my life.  BRUSH AND FLOSS PEOPLE; BRUSH AND FLOSS.

I also enjoy going alone.  I think everyone needs something that is just theirs and this conference is mine.  Spouses don’t go because even while eating you are selling yourself, your work, making connections.  Children don’t go unless they are part of the youth writing conference so there is no crying (except for in the pitch sessions when editors and agents tell you they aren’t interested.  But that is only in one room. I guess it does carry over to the bar as well, but that is all in one general area.)

So I am pretty excited to go to a writer’s conference where I will spend the next three days never leaving a hotel and listening and talking about writing from 8 am to 10 pm.  I probably won’t be able to do it again for a few years so I am going to thoroughly enjoy this one!  Wish me luck.  It’s in Canada and you know how hard it is to get in and out of that country.