I was privileged to attend the live conference of the Catholic Writers Guild this year. It is held in tandem with the Catholic Marketing Network and this year was in Lancaster, PA. I am currently working on a memoir of my child -bearing years; over the course of 6 pregnancies I spent 1 1/2 years on bedrest! I also converted to Catholicism, and received 2 medical diagnoses that could have been devastating. The book will tell how we managed and, I hope, be a tool for women put on bedrest in their own pregnancies.
I learned much at the conference. I signed up for a non-fiction critique group July 31, and really scrambled to get 10 pages of my manuscript ready to go. Arriving at the group, the leaders had no idea who I was, and had not received my manuscript! We agreed O could audit the session. It was God's hand! As I listened to the conversation and took notes, I realized, my work is not ready to be critiqued. It needs real reworking. I intend to join the Guild, join the online non-fiction critique group, and submit my manuscript a piece at a time then.
The first day of the conference was informative and interesting. I may have found a niche for myself. I wish we could have stayed longer. We took it as a girl's trip, with my mom, two daughters (we celebrate each girl starting her period by including her on a trip: one more daughter to go), and myself. My eldest daughter and I attended the conference; she is a poet. There was a poetry critique group scheduled, however, my daughter was the only signee. She was rewarded with an hour of one-on-one time with the leader, an established poet. An excellent confidence builder for my girl! But my mom had to be home for another obligation, so we had to leave the second day of the conference. And, although there is ample opportunity for Mass, we didn't get to attend this time. We had a lovely time anyway.
I am now in a fibromyalgia flare because we drove from IN to PA in one day. I can't get my mom to understand my limitations. We did break up the trip back; after 8 hours we found a motel. We were heading to IL and 12 hours driving was a little more than mom could do. So I am in pain and fatigued. Apparently, the conference has been in Schaumburg, IL in the past. Perhaps it will be moved back. Lancaster was difficult to negotiate, we found. Still, a good time.