Review of a Writers Conference

Saturday I attended the 1-Day Intensive Writers Conference  with suspense author Mike Dellosso that I posted about a few weeks ago. It took place in Harrisburg, PA. When we arrived, Mike had a custom-made notebook for us to take notes on all of the topics he covered for the day. It is a very attractive notebook and was extremely helpful for note-taking, with the topic titles and a few main sentences listed.

There was a small attendance, and I have to say that I had never attended a conference that had a single speaker so I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, due to the small group, it was a wonderful opportunity to not just hear what Mike had to present, but also to ask questions.

It was a wonderful experience to learn more about the writing craft as well as the publishing options and marketing ideas. Since Mike has both Traditionally and Indie published, and has worked with an agent, he was a wealth of experiential information. Also, because Mike is very open and honest and has a good sense of humor, not only was the conference educational, but it was also lot of fun.

My favorite thing is that, because Mike speaks from personal experience that comes from nine years in the writing and publishing world, some of what he shares is unique compared to many things I have heard over and over again, that I question. For instance, I’ve been told many times that I should read mostly or only the genre I want to write. I have issues with that because I love many genres. Therefore, when Mike said, “Read in a variety of genres and read to learn, not just to be entertained,” that made sense to me because even though I’ve been told to read mostly or only the genre I want to write, I have continued to read many different genres and I learn something from each one, which is also quite helpful in my editing business because it allows me to be familiar with how different genres are done and allows me to be more effective in my editing.

Mike’s writing tips and advice make a lot of sense and are helpful no matter where you’re at in your writing journey. I have been active in the writing world for four years, even though I’ve been writing since I was in junior high school, and I learned something about how to really find my writing voice, how to be sure each of my characters has their own voice, and how to improve on how I create my setting and mood, which is one of my weaknesses.

Mike has two books coming out in March of 2018. These will be books 14 and 15 of his, not counting the ebooks he has on writing. He’s known for his suspense novels, and one of the upcoming releases will be a suspense novel. He has also written one Southern Fiction story in the past under the pen name Michael King, and one of his upcoming releases will be a Southern Fiction novel, but this time he will use his real name, Mike Dellosso, for this book as well.

If you ever get a chance to attend one of Mike’s workshops or conferences, I highly recommend it. I have heard him several times over the past four years, and I always learn something from him. I appreciate his openness and honesty.


Tea and Books

I do not know if this poem style has a name. Yes, it includes some rhymes, but not in the usual places and not in any sort of scheme. I simply wrote this, freewriting, telling of a couple of things I love. I hope you enjoy it.

Tea and Books
by Kelly F. Barr

Nothing is more relaxing than snuggling in a chair
With a cup of tea and a good book.
Oh the taste of loose-leaf teas in so many flavors
Or convenient tea bags of Oolong, Chamomile, or my favorite–Chai!
And, oh so many books to choose from!

Have you ever taken a look between the pages of a book?
So many wonderful things to find including things that will grow your mind.
Nonfiction choices are informative, inspirational, and educational.
Fiction choices offer adventure, excitement, romance and more.
Fiction can even keep you on the edge of your seat.

Fiction brings you danger, intrigue, suspense, and love.
Fictional characters are heroes, villains, children, youth, and adults
That capture your heart despite their faults.
Characters face trials, disappointments and failures;
They learn and grow and change before the last page.

A good book draws you into the story and makes you fall in love
With places, a time period, or one or more characters.
A good book becomes a close friend and breaks your heart when it ends.
The story or the characters, or both, will linger in your mind and heart;
At least until you pick up the next book to start.

A Book Launch and an Author Interview

I’m sorry this post is late today. I’ve been really busy and, honestly, I didn’t know what to post about until I received some exciting information that I just had to share.

Did you see my book review a couple of weeks ago on Twiceborn by J. P. Robinson? If not, you can read it here.

Would you like to get your very own, autographed copy of Twiceborn? Well, if you live in the Lancaster, PA area, you can do just that by attending J. P. Robinson’s Book Launch of Twiceborn at Rachel’s Creperie in Lancaster this coming Saturday, October 14, 2017 from noon until 2 p.m. J.P. will be there selling and signing copies of Twiceborn for your reading pleasure.

If you would like to know more about J.P. Robinson, you can check out an author interview he did with the “Fiction Aficionado” here. I found it very interesting and educational, and if you haven’t read Twiceborn yet, the information in this interview should capture your interest.

Happy Reading!

The Cause of Violence: A Poem

I’m currently studying and learning new how to write different forms of poetry I haven’t written before. Today’s poem is my first attempt at writing a Prose Poem. I hope you will like it.

The Cause of Violence
by Kelly F. Barr

As we all know, unnecessary violence is running rampant in our world–on the streets, in schools, churches, and theaters. Voices shout, “guns must be made illegal”, while others argue “it is not guns, but people who kill other people”.

However, all of the voices are missing the point, or, more to the point, denying the real cause–the fact that the people, the culture, the government, schools, and yes, even the churches have turned their backs on the truth of God’s word.

Self-centeredness and entitlement have replaced the Ten Commandments. Instead of repenting of their sins, people are reveling and indulging in sinful behaviors.

Even pastors disregard the truth of God’s word and preach that sinful behaviors are acceptable; that God is love and therefore, would never send anyone to hell.

Wake up! Christ is still alive and well! Oh, you say, the Bible’s just a bunch of old stories. It’s time to move on to modern things: cell phones, computers, the information age on the internet.

Not only do you deny the truth of the Bible, but you denounce true history–claiming there never was a holocaust.

You’re marching down a dangerous road heedless of the landmines as you run with your eyes closed.

But what will you do if the true believers are right, and one day you come face to face with Jesus Christ?