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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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surrey writer's workshop

Hey, guess what? Jodi, Allison and I have been invited to be Filk Guests of Honour at Ad Astra in Toronto next February! We're very honoured. I'm pretty tickled; Ad Astra was the very first sf convention I ever attended.

The weekend after, we're Guests of Honour at Consonance in California (this time without our winter gear in tow, woohoo!).

The Surrey Writers' Conference was lots of fun. My workshops all seemed to go pretty well, in spite of the fact that I hate public speaking. At the end of my last workshop, an older man stood up in the audience. "I have a criticism of your workshops," he said, and I froze, awaiting the axe blow. "Do you think you could put more ENTHUSIASM into your presentation?" There was a moment of silence, and then the rest of the class burst into laughter. And I was mightily relieved. I, um, tend to get kind of carried away being excited about the potential of the Internet for writers. :-)

I got to meet people I've been e-mailing with for ages, like Gordon Kirkland and Devorah Stone. Gordon is touring with the Rock Bottom Remainders next summer (Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, others). I might be a part of a Canadian equivalent he's putting together, we'll see. :-) I also might be collaborating with another musician-writer on his CD of songs about and for writers.

By accident, I ended up sitting beside Diana Gabaldon at lunch during the only day she was at the conference (Diana is the author of the Outlander series). Very nice woman, sharp sense of humour. Also enjoyed meeting Sarah Ellis, a children's author whose book, "Next Stop", was recently illustrated by my sister Ruth.

It was also fun to see how many people I recognized. Last year when I arrived, I knew NO ONE. This year, it was gratifying to actually to be able to remember people, and to be remembered by people. The Surrey Writers' Conference people are incredibly friendly and welcoming.

The conference was helpful to me on many levels. For one thing, it helped remind me why I started Inkspot in the first place. I'm also realizing that I really miss my own writing. Weird to say that, since I basically write all day and have a book coming out any day now. But I miss my children's writing.

I met a woman named Christie Bowling during the conference. She's going through something similar (overscheduled life, not enough time doing the kind of writing she likes). We've made a vow to each other that the next time we meet, that we'll each have gotten back into our own kind of writing (we even got into specifics, like stage in writing and revisiion, etc.).

Today's blatherpic:
Morning announcements at the Surrey Writers' Conference in B.C. yesterday.

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