That's when I saw a need for writers to teach at Harlequin's Camp Gonnabe. It was like deja vu all over again since about twenty years ago, I wrote an article for RWR magazine about being a gonnabe instead of a wannabe.
A gonnabe learns the craft, reads in all genres and joins writers groups to learn everything about writing from plotting to characters to handling a small business. I don't like the term "I'm a wannabe." I didn't like it twenty years ago. I told people who said that "Be a gonnabe." I believe if you truly want to be a writer (and I've met many people who thought they wanted to write but they really wanted other things) then you will have to tell yourself that one day, you are gonna be a writer. Become a writer before you even pitch your first proposal.
So anyway, I decided to volunteer to conduct a workshop at the camp because it was for those who couldn't be at the RWA conference. I thought if I stayed busy that week discussing writing, I wouldn't be so lonely. And boy, was I so right! I'm so glad I took on this task. The lovely and sweet Heather Rae Townsend was my moderator and after a brief panic on Monday morning when I couldn't get signed on and had a frantic discussion with a nice customer service person only to find out it was operator error (me), I taught my first workshop at camp. It was so much fun. I had about five or six very serious students and some friends dropping by. I wanted to discuss a lot and we did that. I tried to tell them in an Elnora way what I know about writing. Which isn't much, actually. But we got going and broke down plots, rebuilt them, twisted them and ended up with some really good ideas.
I looked forward to each day. Monday, we talked about hooks and themes, Tuesday was beginning, middle and end. We eliminated another negative phrase--the sagging middle. That is now the Meaty Middle. On Wednesday, we did Wacky Wednesday stuff such as what to do plot-wise, sensual-wise and length-wise in a Love Inspired story. Then we had Throwback Thursday where we discussed the Classic Themes and how to twist them into modern stories. On Friday, we had a wrap-up and a fun question and answer session and I gave away prizes because we had pop quizzes all week and homework, too. My girls did me proud with both so I tried to reward everyone with either an ebook or a paperback. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these seriously gonnabe ladies and I made them promise to let me know when their stories are in print.