Friday, August 5, 2016

A report about summer camp--Lenora Worrh

I took this summer off after finishing a multi-book contract. Both my brain and my body were seriously tired. After we kind of impulsively bought a brand new house in March, I decided not to attend RWA this year. I've been every year for twenty years, so this was not a decision I took lightly. But I refused to sit home and pout. We worked on getting this house organized and furnished (and the money I saved by not going to conference helped to fund the furnishing part.) But I needed something else, something to keep my writing blood churning.

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.



So that's what I did at Summer Camp. While I missed RWA, I think God put me right where I needed to be that week. He reminded of the many things I love about being a writer. And one of those things is how I love GONNABEs!!! I like serious writers, not those who are just messing around with a dream. Writing is about goals and accomplishments, not just dreams. I told my students to dream big, but set small goals. These girls were amazing. And Rae and Danica came to my rescue when I needed them. I didn't drown in the camp lake. I resurfaced and did a fist pump, ready to get back to writing again!!! Thank you, Camp Gonnabe Girls!!!


9 comments:

  1. how fun! Is there a way for us to go in and read your lessons?

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  2. Hi, Pamela. We held camp on the older forums. I'm not sure how to get there but Danica (Dream) might be able to explain that. I will ask Rae, too!! There were several other Harkequin authors teaching and I visited some of their workshop too. All around great and serous discussions!!

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  3. Harkequin?!? My phone typing skills crack me up!! Harlequin, of course!!

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  4. Lenora,

    It was fun and I learned a lot from you!
    BTW - have you mailed the books yet? Curious because last month the mailman delivered an Amazon order to the wrong house!

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    1. Hi, Marcie. I have a note by your name. Did you email me your mailing address? I don't think I ever received it. Email me at through my website and we will proceed from there!! So glad you alerted me!!

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  5. Lenora,

    I just emailed you through your website. I originally emailed you July 15, but not through your website. Hopefully it makes it through the cyberwebs this time.
    Thanks!!

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    1. Got it. Your books are in the mail!!

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  6. That sound fun! And a great idea. The attendance at RWA was much smaller this year. The venue was lovely though.

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    1. I know. So wanted to see San Diego!! But we had fun at camp!!

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