Running Around In Circles, Planning

Connecticut Fiction Fest is now only two weeks away.  Melva tells me our workshop is slated for 10AM on Sunday, which suits me fine. A) I am a morning person. B) This will be after breakfast, so I will be properly caffeinated. C) I may very well be hyped up to the enthusiastic anticipation level of a five-year-old at six-thirty on Christmas morning.

All of this means that it is time to crank planning for this event, into high gear. I love planning. I mean love, love, love planning. If I couldn’t be a writer, professional organizer would be a fabulous job. I have pulled friends over to the dark side, purely for the pleasure of helping them find their planner bliss and finding their own aesthetic. Note the planner case, with pen loops, and the blush pink thing I have going on.

Note, also, the kitchen table, which is new. Not new-new, but new to us, and, this morning, the difference between setting up for my Monday planning at an actual table, in an actual chair, and curled up on an air mattress, balancing stuff in my lap, is remarkable. With the heat for the next couple of days here in NY’s Capitol Region forecast in the high nineties, this means rearranging my schedule is going to be a must, so seeing what can be allocated where, for each task to be accomplished most efficiently, is key.

There’s something about getting up in front of a bunch of people, who have paid cash money to learn how to improve their writing game, who have also looked over all of the options available for that slot of time, and picked your fifty-minute chunk, over other options, ranging from presentations by other writers and/or publishing professionals, to staking out a chair in the lobby to actually write, or saying “stuff this” to the planned program, and nipping off with friends old or new, for a beverage of choice, that makes a person want to at least have the appearance of having their stuff together.

Thankfully, this year, I get to go into the event with new releases that are not old enough to go to kindergarten. My Ravenwood novel excerpt is currently available,  My nonfiction anthology piece, “Greetings from Boxville,” is available for preorder, so it does feel like there is, at last, progress. We like progress. Details are still forthcoming on my next involvement with Charter Oak Romance Writers, but it feels good to be asked back, and, also, for a writer friend I’ve previously worked with, to ask me back for more freelance work. These are all good things. Signs of life, if you will.

All of this brings me to this morning, at the kitchen table, with multiple planners open, nudging all (or at least most) of my ducks into, if not exactly a row, then a loose conglomeration, in the same geographical area. I like to know what’s going to happen, when, and who’s going to do it. That means that, this week, I get to go over my presentation with Melva, and plan out what I want to cover in the segments that are assigned to me. In reality, we’ve both going to interrupt each other a lot, and Melva will probably go unintentionally blue, at least once, at some point, but I like knowing how things are meant to go, in theory, even if practice doesn’t always follow the standard practices.

While a good deal of the planning at this stage of the game, for Fiction Fest, involves the practicalities -which route do I want to take to the venue? What am I wearing? What electronics/pens/paper have to come with?- there is also the planning for the post-conference days. Autumn is, and always has been, the season when my superpowers, usually dormant during the summer, come back, full-fledged, and ready to rumble. In my case, that means writing. If any opportunities come from meetings, planned or chance, at Fiction Fest, Melva and I will need to jump on those, because timing matters.

More than that, there is the fact that I will come back from the conference, energized, with new writer friends, maybe new ideas, and my enthusiasm and confidence cranked up a few levels. This is especially important when I look at getting back to Her Last First Kiss, and historical romance, in general. If you think this is going to mean I’ll be re=formatting the planning of how I approach this part of my writing life, you’re right. Do I have any idea what that is going to look like, in a physical sense? Not at the moment, but not the stuff I put together because that’s how it’s “supposed to” work, or because that’s what “real writers” do. The way it’s meant to be is in the best way possible for me to easily access not only the physical documents or files, but the way that makes it possible for me to connect with that special story place, the one that makes me eager to come to the page every morning, and tell these characters’ stories, the way they want them to be told.

The fact that I get to play with pretty pens and papers and assorted ephemera is only coincidental. Really.

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