Tag Archives: Authors

The Power of Determination

Flower fun

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

                             ≈Ella Fitzgerald 
Keep following your dreams of becoming an author. Write, write, and write. When you think your story is finished write some more! 

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Road Trips Rule!

Mississippi River Writers - Lyle Ernst, Kimberly Sigafus, and Anthony Wedgeworth

Mississippi River Writers – Lyle Ernst, Kimberly Sigafus, and Anthony Wedgeworth

I made a solo road trip to Dyersville, Iowa for the Mississippi River Writers conference. I don’t normally go on road trips by myself, but since this was a working weekend for me my husband stayed home.  I started out a little apprehensive because I was taking a different route than I normally do so I wasn’t sure where along the way I would be stopping.

My first stop was about two hours into my four and a half hour trip. I accidentally stopped at a truck stop. I swear it looked nothing like a truck stop so I had no idea until I was eating my lunch and overheard someone paging number 33 to shower number 3. I almost giggled because it was so out of the ordinary. This happened not only once, but twice while I was there. I stood in line at the counter after I finished eating to buy some water and a soda. There were two men in front of me. The first man was buying a power converter and the cashier was having trouble with something so the line stalled, and by stalled I mean it didn’t move for about ten minutes. The second man tells the first one that he just bought that same power converter so he could plug a Crockpot in and cook while he was on the road. Both men are discussing food and waiting patiently while I’m getting antsy. Hurry up! I need to get back on the road! I’ve been stopped for too long and I’ll be late for the presenter meeting! During my silent rant, I happened to glance behind me and notice the line is at least ten men deep behind me and all of them are waiting patiently. At this point I’m chastising myself for being impatient. All of these men have every right to be impatient because they all have deadlines to get their loads somewhere and they were all being polite and patient, I could wait patiently too. First Lesson: I can be patient, slow down, and take time to smell the coffee. Everyone has somewhere they need to be too and it’s not the cashiers fault.

As I travelled East across Iowa I was struck by how bright green the grass was compared to Minnesota. I passed miles and miles of tired barns with sagging roofs and natural skylights, two wind energy farms, and in my 70 mph streak, a sign about Field of Dreams. I had no idea exactly what the sign said because I caught it while I was going past it, not coming up on it. I wondered how far the Field of Dreams field was from where I would be staying. I reached the hotel, checked in, and asked. I was in luck, it was four miles away, free, and open for two more hours. I called one of the presenters I was meeting and found out everyone was about an hour out so I hightailed it out to see Field of Dreams. It is early in the year so it was pretty empty. There were two cars in the lot when I pulled in and when one left another one drove in. I was so excited to get perfect pictures because it was empty, but when I reached into my purse for my camera I pulled out a camera with dead batteries. Unfortunately, my camera uses a special battery so I couldn’t buy some in the gift shop. I was bummed because I made it there and couldn’t take pictures to share with my husband. It then occurred to me to use my phone. I’m trying to snap pictures with my phone and grumbling because I can’t adjust the light to get them to come out right and I want my REAL camera. The pictures I’ve used here are the ones I took with my phone.

Field of Dreams House

Field of Dreams House

Field of Dreams House & Bleacher

Field of Dreams House & Bleacher

I decided I just needed to enjoy the scenery and forget taking pictures. I spent a little time talking to the gift shop cashier. She told me that if I can I should come back in August when the corn has grown. She said it’s packed with people from all over and people play ball with each other on the field. She shared with me that the farm has been sold and there are plans to make a bunch of ball fields in the middle of the corn and have tournaments starting next summer. They will be preserving the house and original field. Lesson Two: Never leave the house without charging the camera battery.

Field of Dreams House & Bleacher

Field of Dreams House & Bleacher

I had dinner with the presenters and we discussed the presentations and schedule for the conference. I wasn’t supposed to present at the conference, just be there for questions and help out. Guess what?! I ended up helping present material on self-publishing. The presentation was a lively, interactive discussion and I wish I would have had the examples I needed but it went well and everyone took away the answers to their self-publishing questions. Lesson Three: Always come ready for anything to a conference, you never know when you will need to help out.

My Friend Travis

My Friend Travis

I received a message during a break that it was snowing in Minnesota. I really wish Summer would come. I’m wondering how the drive home will be when I see this picture my friend posted. Saturday was Minnesota’s Fishing Opener, which is a holiday in Minnesota. I knew when I saw this picture the snow wasn’t staying because Travis had been on the lake in a boat catching fish. For those of you who do not live in Minnesota, yes we do dress like this (shorts and a winter coat) once the weather starts climbing out of the frozen tundra and looks hopeful.

Peter &Jill

Peter Receiving the Grand Prize

I had so much fun at the writers conference Saturday that I can’t wait for the next one. I came away energized and ready to work. I met many authors and enjoyed talking with them all. I enjoyed reading all the entries for the short story contest. They were all so different even though every author had the same characters to work with. Peter Woodruff won with the short story Hairline Estate. Lesson Four: Attend more writing conferences. They are full of energy and it’s fun to meet other authors.

I am looking forward to the next road trip and attending the next conference. If any of you have topics you would like covered please let me know and we will try to accommodate.


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Dreams Do Come True

This post has nothing to do with writing, but it’s full of inspiration to never give up.

The Chicago Steel proudly announced they drafted Jack Jablonski yesterday. I was in awe and almost speechless when I heard this.

Growing up in Minnesota to me meant spending hours and hours at a hockey rink watching my brother play and my dad coach every year. I know hockey inside and out and love the sport.

Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen. As did the night of December 30th, 2011. Jack Jablonski, a forward for Benilde-St. Margaret High School, was hit from behind into the boards during a game. Jack has been paralyzed ever since, but his story doesn’t end there.

The hockey community rallied behind Jack with benefits and support. If you are involved in hockey you have probably heard his name and story. He had been told he would never walk or skate again, but he continues to make strides toward rehabilitation. As of April 30th, 2013, Jack has been able to feel tingling in his toes and the top of his foot. And on his CaringBridge page there is a picture of him kneeling with very little support.

United States Hockey League

United States Hockey League (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 6th, 2013, Jack sent a tweet that read: “Dear USHL teams, Just thought I’d let u know I am eligible for tomorrow’s draft. Sincerely, Jack Jablonski.” That tweet landed him a spot on the Chicago Steel hockey team!

The Chicago Steel stated on their website that “Jack was the winner of the 2012 Courage in Sports Award and has been considered an inspiration for his work ethic and passion.”

Maybe this post does have something to do with writing. Writers, strive to be more like Jack. Never give up and keep working toward your goal. You never know when your dreams will come true.

Congratulations Jack Jablonski!

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Keep Believing!

“This is for writers yet to be published who think the uphill climb will never end. Keep believing. This is also for published writers grown jaded by the process. Remember how lucky you are.”

– Terry Brooks


Snowman (Photo credit: andreasmarx)

Minnesota is getting rain and snow again…yes it’s May. I think nature forgot it’s supposed to be warm here. Even though I am tired of Winter and think it won’t ever end I need to keep believing Summer will come. I remind myself daily how lucky I am to be where I am today no matter what the weather is doing to drag me down. This quote from Terry Brooks is fitting not only for writers, but everyone. Happy writing everyone. Keep believing!

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May 1, 2013 · 9:20 AM

Spring Writing Conference

Mississippi River Writers is having a spring conference in Dyersville, Iowa on May 11th. The day will be filled with learning about writing, editing, and publishing. The three presenters will be Lyle Ernst, Kim Sigafus, and Anthony Wedgeworth. All three are authors that have written fiction and non-fiction, are self-published and traditionally published, and between the three of them have marketed books via hardcover, paperback, eBook, and audio. This trio of authors is ready to pass on their vast knowledge so you can learn from their mistakes. Conference attendees may enter a Writing Contest with submissions due by May 3rd with the winner announced at the conference. More details are available on their website. If you are new to writing and want to learn more about writing and how publishing works this is the place for you. Spend the day soaking in information, networking, and writing with people from all over the Midwest. I will be there for the entire day, go register and come say hi.

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