Conference Excitement

Two weeks ago I was asked to give a presentation on The Hero’s Journey for Indie Authors Day at the Tivoli Library, near Bard College and about two hours north of me. I thought, “that’s great, I love doing workshops, and I love talking about The Hero’s Journey. A presentation is more like a lecture, but maybe I can jazz it up to my normal style. And it’s just in time to prepare people for NaNoWriMo.” Even though it’s not at Bard, its mere proximity had a special influence on me. I was accepted there as an undergrad, but couldn’t afford it.

I was excited. I AM excited. Especially when I found that it would be far larger than any of my normal workshops. It was a new challenge for me, but I was ready. Later I would be in a panel discussion with other authors, and the whole thing would be recorded and put on the net.

I even made The Watchmage of Old New York 99 cents on Amazon to go with the event (psst, you should buy it. It’s super awesome).


Then I wasn’t ready. My lesson plan (yes, I still refer to it as a lesson plan. Once a teacher…) kept moving away from what I wanted. My style is still deeply rooted in the “I, We, You, We” classroom teaching structure, which isn’t appropriate for a 30 minute lecture. But I was determined to make the presentation interactive. I don’t like listening to someone talk for half and hour, I doubted anyone would want that of me. I was worried that it’d be hard to engage a larger crowd, but still confident that I could.

Then I came down with bronchitis.

I get bronchitis a lot, usually at least once a year. I inherited my lungs from my grampa, who had the same problem. It sucks…really sucks. I sadly told the conference organizer that I couldn’t make it.

She moved the event back to this Saturday (Oct 15th). It turned out that this weekend worked out better for them anyway. All is good in the world! Hooray!


I’m still jittery, but I think I have my presentation down pat. It fought with me all the way. For those that want to know, it’s a lecture/workshop on how The Hero’s Journey isn’t just for sci-fi and fantasy, because it has more to do with character arc than plot line. To help people better understand the HJ, I reduced and renamed the steps, will explain them in plain terms, and then the audience and I will create a character and send them on the journey together (the second part is where I excel, but I was afraid that the size would diminish that).

Eventually, I’ll have the full presentation on my website (Under the Writing Class Section), so you don’t miss out. If you’re in the Upper Hudson Valley of New York and would like to come, it’s at the Tivoli Free Library on Saturday, Oct 15th. They’ll be a bunch of fantastic writers there, and I’m giving out free hugs (I’m a hugger)…oh, and they’ll be cookies.

Hope to see you there.





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