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Chief Scott
So who is GOING to Surrey?

So there are a few of us preparing to submit to the contest, but who is thinking of showing up?

I went in 2010 and had a great time. I met two Forumites in person, had Jack and Anne Perry sit down for a Blue Pencil session, got to know C. C. Humphries ( great guy and a hell of a writer) and learned a lot both in terms of how to organize a conference and where I stand as far as my writing goes. Oh, and the young lady tending the bar made the absolutely finest Crown Royal Manhatten you would ever want to sip.

The North American HNS conference is every other year, so I have a choice to make: attend the HNS board of directors meeting in St. Petersburg Florida or go to Surrey. I'm leaning towards Surrey.

andersm
andersm's picture
Leaning heavily on going

Hey Scott,
I'm 70% committed to going. That will firm up more as time goes forward. I've already announced to friends, family and workplace colleagues that time is reserved to attend the conference.

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Definitely Going

I will be there, as will my daughter who lives in the GTA. She is working on a manuscript and the artwork for a graphic novel. Neither of us is submitting anything to the contest though.
IF we can steal Jack away we can either commandeer a table in the bar, or I'll offer up my room for a mini gathering. Thursday night Jack comes to Diana Gabaldon's mini gathering where we honour her, Jack and the Sladster, the last two years Diana's son, Sam Sykes has joined us as well. So Friday or Saturday night, but there is usually a something special going on both evenings. Do you think we can convince Jack to join us for breakfast?

Jack Whyte
Jack Whyte's picture
Join you for--Did you say Breakfast?

Sorry, Vicki, but that's pretty much a non-starter. By the time I get my tuckered-out tail to bed every night in Surrey I'm absolutely wiped and thus I slumber slothfully thereafter, refusing to crack the coffin lid open much before 9.00 am. I'm a confirmed believer in the philosophy Polonius originally proposed to his son Laertes... It's been corrupted in the interim to deal with borrowing and lending but the original exhortation was "Neither a riser nor a shiner be, for rising breaks the fragile thread of rest and shining doth piss off the careworn sloth..."

So perhaps for lunch?

andersm
andersm's picture
Lunch would work

Well, my little drummer boy, we will march to whatever tune you want to play. You are the central character and if breakfast is not to your liking, then it will be lunch or even a drink at the lounge late afternoon or evening when the day winds up. I'm not much of a breakfast eater anyway . :-)

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Didn't think that would fly!

So breakfast is definitely out, and I doubt very much if they have a schedule set up yet to know when you would have free time. May we shanghai you for lunch? Can we convince Beverly to join us? There is a bit of time before hard and fast decisions need to be made, so mull it over and let us know when the best time for you would be to have a confab with us. I doesn't sound like it will be as wild and crazy as Thursday evening...I'm not nearly as inventive. I can't speak for the rest of the crew though.

By the way, I love the quote, I have the added advantage of coming from a different time zone, so already can catch an extra hours ZZZZs, without having to use an alarm clock. My daughter Theresa will have an extra advantage of coming from further east, and has youth on her side as well.

Splynter
Splynter's picture
I wish

I wish I was going but I just can't see it being possible. My story will be there. Me? Only in spirit,,,,,sigh. : (

John

Cathy
Cathy's picture
Well ...

If you're going to be attending, Chief Scott, then I'll be dropping by for a visit like I did last time you came up for the conference. I'm still not in any kind of financial position to attend though.

Guess I won't be having to lug around a big satchel of books to be signed by Jack and Slade this time though.

Tyner
Surrey

Chief,

I've been there for the last 5 years, and I'll be heading there again this year. In fact, I would not miss it.

I think we oughta partake in one of those Manhattens you mentioned.

See you there,
Tyner

Chief Scott
Well then

I suppose I should make a decision on this soon.

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
It is October

We do have a bit of time, I don't think you can even register before July. Or did you mean decide between the "wet coast" and Florida.
I really do think the SiWC is head and shoulders over other writer conferences. Most of those seem to be talking heads. This one has hands on workshops, lots of rubbing shoulders with presenters and participants alike, blue pencil opportunities and pitch sessions. I think I am probably preaching to the choir here. Hope to see you there!

andersm
andersm's picture
Your Judgment

Vicki, I'll rely on your judgment. I've been to exactly zero writer's conferences and as much as I'm loving the idea of meeting Jack in person, I'm equally looking forward to the educational aspects. I appreciate talented authors like Jack and Diana take the time to attend these workshops and share their insights on writing.

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Many options per time slot

I love that there are usually 8 different choices per time slot. Every once in a while there are three different sessions in the same time slot that I would like to attend! That is what brings me back year after year. It is slanted to writers, not fans....but you write, so no worries!
Have you been checking back on the SiWC blog. They have been introducing presenters, some new faces that I am looking forward to seeing/hearing...maybe presenting something in writing to show. *G*
If you are staying with a friend (not at the hotel), you can use my room to dump your coat and extras baggage while attending. We'll co-ordinate with cell phone on vibrate! *G*

andersm
andersm's picture
Vicki

I've made several visits to the SiWC website and I see they have more information posted. They have classes on the 18th and a few of them might be just what I need. For a price of $99 per class (early registration) that's an inexpensive way to learn some solid writing techniques.

Thanks for your generous offer to provide a parking spot for my stuff - do people generally bring laptops to this conference? It would be great to hook up with you at the conference - and anyone else from Jack's forum. When we get a little closer I'll send you my contact information via personal e-mail. Maybe we'll even end up in some of the same workshops. :-)

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

andersm
andersm's picture
SIWC appointments

Those who've gone to the SIWC before, can you explain what goes on in the Blue Pencil Cafe and Editor/Agent/Producer Appointments? I expect you need to take a sample of your work, but how large a sample, from the first chapter or anywhere in the WIP? And what's the sequence of events? Do you pre-submit or you start from scratch when you sit down?

Thanks in advance for any enlightenment you can provide.

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Blue Pencil Cafe

You bring 2 pages of your manuscript. Doesn't have to be the first pages of the first chapter, you sit with the person with whom you have an appointment, they make suggestions or give feedback on your writing. If it is an agent or a publisher, and they like what they have read, they may ask for more.
I haven't done a "pitch" so far, but one of the time slots early on in the conference is "how to pitch" your book or screen play.

Tyn or Scott can probably fill you in a lot more as could Jack.

You do not have to book which presentation you want to go to, so if you find the session isn't what you thought it would be, you can leave quietly and go to another. The blue pencil appointments are "scheduled" and so people are frequently quietly leaving and then coming back into a session. Most are courteous enough to sit near the door if they know that they have to leave.

Hope that helps somewhat.
Vicki

andersm
andersm's picture
Thanks - that does

Yes Vicki, that does help. I appreciate the information. I'll be in the 'pitch your work' session and then go from there.

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

andersm
andersm's picture
John

Where hae ye gone, lad?

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Would you survive in the middle ages?

Sure is quiet around here. I got to thinking about the different things that happened in my life, and was wondering if I lived during the 13th century how old would I be before succumbing to what are normal childhood (and maybe not so normal) diseases.

I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't make it past my third year. Pneumonia would have taken me out. If I survived, then measles would have probably done me in at age 5. Several bouts of Tonsilitis through to adult hood...wasn't that called the "Morbid Sore Throat"? Then there was appendicitis, at age 22. That one for sure would be fatal then. So the oldest I would have made it to was 22.

Rather morbid, but an interesting exercise. I'm thankful I'm living where and when I am now.

Vicki

andersm
andersm's picture
Age 22

By age 22 you would have had a few children at least. Didn't women get married at an extremely young age back then? Poor nutrition must have meant late maturation and as soon as development began, out the door you go.

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

andersm
andersm's picture
Surviving

You pose an interesting question - I would no doubt have died in childhood. I was sick all the time with very bad tonsils. Morbid sore throat. At age 13 they were removed and my health bloomed. I'm rarely ill now - I lay it to the fact I had every disease there was when I was a kid.

Yes, it's become a lot quieter all of a sudden. For me it's because it's tax time both for me personally and my business. Like I don't know it's coming, right? Cripes - I shouldn't even be here now! Well, back to calculating CCA. :-(

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

Cathy
Cathy's picture
13th century life

I doubt very much if I would have survived much past birth. My mother went into labour with me 12 weeks before her due date. They shot her full of drugs to suppress labour, and bought me another 2 weeks in the womb. If I'd have been born at 12 weeks early in the 13th century, I doubt very much if I would have survived.

And then again, my mother may have never survived long enough to give birth to me, as she was very ill throughout most of her pregnancy with me.

andersm
andersm's picture
Early Birth

Without question you would have perished in the 13th century - and I have my doubts you'd have made it even in the 19th and early 20th century, for that matter. How long did you have to stay in hospital after you were born - ten weeks early is about 2 1/2 months. You must be one resilient woman!

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

Cathy
Cathy's picture
Hospital stay

I don't think I stayed that long - maybe a week to a week and a half - not much longer than a normal birth back then. I would have been a large baby if I'd gone full term. I weighed a little under 4 lbs at birth. I was so strong that they released me when I was still under 4 1/2 lbs. I believe they usually insist on a baby being at least 5 lbs before being released from the hospital.

As it was, I was not put in an incubator, I was put in something called a Haven. It provided heat, but not light. What the situation would have been had I been born 2 weeks earlier though, I just don't know.

But, according to my mother, I jaundiced something terrible. I guess my skin was almost the colour of an orange.

They didn't have my official baby portrait taken until I was a year old though, as it took that long for me to look like a totally healthy, nice sized, well-nourished baby. When they first brought me home, my head was about the size of a teacup, and I slept in a doll cradle that my father had made for one of my sisters, as they were afraid I'd get lost in a proper crib.

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Wasn't child mortality around 50%

If you and your mother survived birth in the 13th century, you still only had a 50% chance of becoming an adult. If the Mother didn't survive but the child did, it would depend on if there was another nursing woman around whether or not the baby made it. Makes those that did survive and go on to great things all that more heroic. Or is that just my naivety showing through.
Vicki

andersm
andersm's picture
Mortality

You're not wrong about the high child mortality. 50% is entirely plausible. I dabble in genealogy and it's fairly common to find families in the past with a dozen live births and only four or five children survive to adulthood. I've run into a few instances of a man being widowed two or three times having sired two dozen children over his lifetime and perhaps three children make it to marry and propagate the family. And the real tragedy is that after the struggle just to survive the slings and arrows of childhood, war took large numbers of people. In the Thirty Years War (1618 - 1648), some countries in Europe lost 2/3 of their population from war casualties as well as from disease and famine as a secondary effect of war. Soldiers were amazing disease vectors because of their mobility.

Morbid, I know, but I find that kind of thing interesting. :-o

Marlene

PS: I creeped out my sister by telling her about the human head living for 18 seconds after being severed from the body. You were right - that has a high horror quotient yet as executions go, that is likely one of the quickest ways to die - as long as the executioner makes a clean cut, which the guillotine did.

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Guillotine vs the axe or sword

King Louis invented the guillotine as a more "humane" way of execution. At first the blade was straight across instead of slanted, it crushed the neck rather than cut it. Having the slanted blade made a quick and more reliable way of removing the head. Now go to sleep! Wasn't Mary Queen of Scots that the executioner had to try repeatedly. A terrible verse says it took forty wacks! Don't think it took that many, but still!
On that gruesome note. Good Night!

Jack Whyte
Jack Whyte's picture
Forty Whacks...

Hi, Vicki:

That looks like someone O.D.ing on The Sopranos... But wasn't it Lizzie Borden who "...took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks..."? Mary QoS got off rather lightly, compared to that.

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
I Stand Corrected *G*

Of course....it was Lizzie Borden! Thanks for stepping in with that. Still a messy business and the human body is tough even against sharp objects unless expertly wielded.

Eric Rappe
Eric Rappe's picture
Surrey

could someone send me some info on this event? I am in oregon, and interested in the prospect of attending, but I know nothing about it really. If someone could give me an web address, or email me some info I would be very appreciative. Thanks everyone! Email is [email protected]

Cathy
Cathy's picture
Surrey info.

Eric ... you'll find all the information for it on the SIWC website:

http://www.siwc.ca/

Eric Rappe
Eric Rappe's picture
Thanks

thanks. I will check it out right now!

Eric Rappe
Eric Rappe's picture
cost.

This does not look as spend as I had anticipated......I thin I just went from 40% to 60%. Now the other 40 is in the hands of my wife. haha.

Cathy
Cathy's picture
Cost

Well, if she goes there with you, it could turn out to be more expensive than you think. The hotel where it's held is just across the street from a sizable shopping mall.

;o)

Eric Rappe
Eric Rappe's picture
uh-oh

Consider this noted. haha. That could get me in trouble fast. although it would be a good arguing point in getting her to let me go.....decisions....

Eric Rappe
Eric Rappe's picture
nogo

I am sad to say that I am not going to make it. Just to much going on. Give Jack my best for me and I hope you all have as great a time as I know you will!

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Maybe next year?

This conference is an annual event, so even though you can't make it this year, mark it on your 2013 calender. It is the best "bang for your buck" as far as conferences go with multiple workshop/panels/info sessions. Not just a bunch of talking heads that come to give their sessions and then leave. Take a look at the short story writing contest as well and send in something next year.
No I am not associated with the conference in any way, except as an attendee. I am not published, as I write family related material not for the general public, but I have learned so much from attending this conference that I can't stop telling folks how great it is.

Eric Rappe
Eric Rappe's picture
maybe next year

I will try for next year for sure. I would love to go! One thing I have learned is "no matter what you know, you don't know it all" I am excited about the prospect of it.

Cathy
Cathy's picture
Scribes is online

If you want a taste of what goes on at the Surrey International Writer's Conference, a film called SCRIBES that was filmed there a number of years ago is now uploaded to YouTube in its entirety.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yiv_9b55yyw

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Thanks Cathy!

My daughter is coming to Surrey for the first time, this is perfect to give her a "sneak peek" at the conference.

Eric Rappe
Eric Rappe's picture
Scribes

Thanks Cathy! I will check that out later today!

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Registered for Surrey

We (my daughter and I) are registered and blue pencils and ptiches are picked out. Nite Owl sessions have not been announced as of yet, so don't know how our days are planned out. Looks like a lot of interesting sessions. With several of us going maybe we can share notes?

Jack do you have any idea of when you might have some free time? Probably a little to soon to ask, but I thought I would try.

Tyner
Booked and Attending

Hi,

I've officially got my time off work, the conference (including Master Classes, Blue Pencil Appts, and Pitch Session) is booked, and my hotel room is reserved. I've even managed to snag a table at the Saturday book signing, where I'll have a few copies of my recently released book.

Looking forward to seeing a few of you there. My first name in my day to day is the same as the name I use here, and if you can't find me, I'll be the guy wearing the scarlet tunic on Saturday night.

Talk soon in person, I hope.
Tyner

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Congratulations!

Loved your commentary on getting your book published. I will definitely pop by for an autographed copy!
See you in October!
Vicki

Tyner
Vicki,

Vicki,

I'm delighted to hear you liked my blog post. I can only express gratitude to the SiWC board for putting the link on the website so a few more people could see it.

I'll look forward to seeing you at the conference.
Tyner

andersm
andersm's picture
Tyner

Tyner, I'm delighted you're going to Surrey. It'll be my first time at any kind of writer's conference so you'll recognize me as the person walking around dazzled by everything.

I'll look for the guy in the red tunic.

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

Tyner
Bedazzled...

Marlene,

This will be my 6th year going to the conference, and I still traipse about with a stunned, open-mouthed expression on my face. I take away something substantial, some new knowledge or skill, from every subsequent conference, and my writer's toolbox gets a little bit deeper.

I don't actually have any formal training in composition (I studied English Literature in university, but never finished my degree, and never took any creative writing courses), but I've managed to write, and have published, a novel. I owe this success both to my own effort, but also to the education I've received at this conference.

I cannot say enough good things about it, and you're going to have a great time, I'm sure.

I'll see you there,
Tyner

andersm
andersm's picture
Seasoned Pro

Tyner,
Heck, you could be a tour guide at the SIWC. Kidding aside, when you get to rub elbows with the professional writers who know their craft inside out, you always tend to be in awe. With a published book you're on your way to walking among the awe-inspiring rather that the awe-inspired.

You note you have no formal training in composition. Seems like that hasn't held you back. You have a gift for storytelling and that is surely more important - it's the difference between an architect and a carpenter. :-)

Cheers,
Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

Chief Scott
Committed!

I've finally been able to get an idea of my schedule for the fall and it's now official, I'm headed for Surrey! Arriving Thursday night because getting there the day it starts just never seems to work for me. Perhaps we can firm up a meeting place for everyone as the event gets closer?

andersm
andersm's picture
Chief

Fantastic to hear you'll be there. We'll need to figure out how to find each other. Is there a message board placed in some central area so people can communicate with each other? Other than that, we can exchange cell phone numbers through private e-mail.

Marlene

Marlene
"How you do anything is how you do everything."

lolvickib
lolvickib's picture
Message Board

There is a message board in the lobby, not sure it will be up and running Thursday though. I too am coming Thursday evening, still have yet to book my room, guess I better get on that.

It'll be great to get together sometime during the conference. These things have a way of sorting themselves out. I'm delighted you are coming to the conference Chief, and by the way thank you for making the blog work.

Vicki

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