Posts Tagged writing moms

Writing Conferences Mommy Style: WANACon–The Answer for Writing Moms

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Today we are super fortunate to have a guest post from one of our WANA International Artist Instructors. Natalie left her life in PR to become a multi-published author, blogger, and mentor to writing moms all over the world. Those of us who write while juggling babies, diapers, laundry and bottles know that we have unique challenges. People like Natalie are a real treasure. She dedicates her life to teaching writing moms how to balance life, work, writing and family and not go off the deep end.

Take it away, Nat!

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I love conferences. I enjoy dressing up in my beautifully professional suits, meeting new people (or maybe agents) in the Starbucks line, going over and planning my workshops out to detail that could rival my old college course schedule and yes, I really love laughs with new friends at the bar.

That was the outlook of my younger self. Now I have one BIG issue keeping me from most conferences and it’s comes in a small, blond and highly energetic package.  Conferencing it up as a mom is very difficult. However, thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web, conferences are becoming more virtual. Parents are finding it easier to maintain a professional presence while cartoons blare from the next room.

WANA International, which “empowers artists of a digital age” is hosting the first WANA Con: Worldwide Writing Conference starting tomorrow. This is a conference that accommodates writers that may not be an easy flight to a big city. I definitely understand if you are shaking your head to this one; I live and work from Saudi Arabia. WANACon is the perfect conference for writing moms (and dads, too) who can’t easily leave because of a child, dependent furry children and/or needy spouses.

Sure you pay a registration fee but look at the money you save on travel, food, that pretty new “power suit” you’ve had your eye on, etc. From the comforts of your home or as WANA Mama, Kristen Lamb says, “a party in your P.J.’s, the ultimate writer fantasy.”

And you’ll still get that networking feel (just provide your own “adult” beverage.) WANA A.I’s or “artistic instructors” will be in the virtual “hallway” and “classrooms” chatting with attendees. You’ll have web time with instructors of various topics. This is a great opportunity to learn about future workshops prior to signing up. There’s no better person to ask such questions to than the instructor.

WANACon also is bringing the benefit of agent pitches right to your computer. Really! You are getting those benefits of a great conference experience without leaving your home!

So when you’re tired, struggling to write thanks to your third cup of coffee and praying your toddler honors their bedtime, take a big breath. There is a conference for you that no tantrum can ruin. Dust the Cheerios from your shoulder and brush up on those pitches. It’s time to sign-up for WANACon.

P.S. Anyone who signs up for WANA Con is eligible for a special discounted rate of my upcoming “Writing Moms (and Dads!)” workshop as well as the consultation component. Just let me know when you want to sign-up for my workshop and I’ll ensure you get the discount.

Oh and there is a pajama contest during the conference. Yep, you don’t want to miss this! Sign-up for WANA Con!

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Natalie C. Markey is an author, mommy, wife, animal lover and chaos manager extraordinaire. After a career in professional dancing and public relations/television in New York City she successfully turned her part-time writing career into a full-time career. She is the author of ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog’ and speaks on the topics of time management for writing moms and busy artists.  She also writes YA and MG fiction with a new non-fiction dog book on the way and holds numerous local and National freelancing contracts. Natalie graduated from Baylor University. She is thankful for the support of her husband, daughter, dog and two very hoppy bunnies.

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What to Do When Your Christmas Tree Wants a Bass Boat

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My Valentines Day Tree. It’s a tradition…in Finland…ok the insane asylum.

Yesterday, I did an author interview (here is the link if you care to show this sweet new writer some blog love) and one of the questions was:

Kristen, I have four children and a full time job to juggle alongside my writing, so I can understand how busy life gets, but you, you are a business woman, a wife, a mother, a role model to all of us. How do you find time to juggle all of this and still stay sane? 

My first response is, “Who ever said I was sane?” Yes, I work hard, but this idea that we are going to work a day job, write books, blog, build a platform, be the perfect mother, spouse and have a Martha Stewart home is absurd. Yes, I confess. It is now Valentines Day and my Christmas Valentines Tree still proudly stands in my dining room.

Exactly how long can one leave up a Christmas tree before you are officially white trash?

I know that, technically, an artificial Christmas tree isn’t a living thing, thus shouldn’t evolve, but yesterday I heard Willie Nelson coming from the dining room, and, when I looked closely at the tree? I saw it had sprouted THESE:

Stop standing there like a GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE and get me a BEER!

Stop standing there like a GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE and get me a BEER!

To keep my tree from shooting in the air and playing banjo, I had to come up with a plan.

Take down the tree.

*clutches sides laughing*

Are you kidding? I have writing to do!

So I distracted the tree with Bud Light and some glittery nail polish from Wal Mart and took it to Pic Monkey for a Makeover:

Evolution of the Christmas Tree...

Evolution of the Christmas Tree…

And now my Valentines Tree allows me to happily live in denial. It also no longer swats me in the @$$ and asks me to cosign for a bass boat.

I think the Easter Tree will be AWESOME.

And the whole “I am a role model to all of you” part? I think it gets clearer by the day why I wasn’t allowed to play with the other neighborhood kids.

So what about you? What is the longest you have ever left up your Christmas tree? Did it like to sing Stand By Your Man and watch fishing shows? I figure if I drag this out long enough I won’t look like a slacker. By the end of October I will be a role model! :D

Confess! Tell us about the Christmas lights still on your house or the plastic reindeer still munching your grass. Oh, and Happy Valentines Day! You know I love each and every one of you and THANK YOU for blessing me by coming to my blog.

I LOVE hearing from you…

To prove it and show my love, for the month of February, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of February I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.

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