Coffee and Conversation: Do You Write? Do You WANA?

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again –   time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my familywas driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own…

No, I didn’t misspell that last word. WANA stands for We Are Not Alone; and it’s the baby of WANA Mama and Social Media Jedi Kristen Lamb -. It’s a space for loving expression, support, learning, and companionship for writers and other creatives. You can take classes, or pick the brains of people who’ve been where you are, working through the same questions that are plaguing you. You can meet up with other WANAs on Facebook, Twitter, and at WANATribe – our own WANA social media hub.

Photo Credit: Lynn Kelley Author; courtesy WANA Commons, at Flickr.

And then there’s WANACon – the all-online writer’s conference chock-full of terrific presentations on every aspect of writing and publishing – and, so far as I know, the only one that encourages participants to attend in their pajamas! =D

Last weekend marked the third WANACon. I attended a single day of the inaugural conference. I got so much out of that day, and I was eager to attend again.

So, when I knew that the February 2014 WANACon would fall during Jim’s vacation, I dipped into my personal savings, and registered for the full conference. I knew I wouldn’t make every presentation, but it was well worth the price – Kristen has arranged for all the presentations to be recorded, along with the chats and slideshows, and these are part of the registration fee. So, I knew that whatever I missed, I could catch later, at my own pace.

Photo credit: tdthread; courtesy WANA Commons at Twitter.

That turned out to be a very, very good thing. Last Monday morning, I started coughing – a deep, hacking cough followed by chills, sweats, a head emptied of everything but feverdreams, and an utter lack of anything remotely resembling energy – unless it was for still more coughing.

I am also deep in the process of working through my pre-revision checklist for a novel-in-progress, which I will be revising next month.

And, somehow, in all the muzzy-headedness and scene-plotting, I forgot when WANACon was, and I overlooked the various neon-lit, personal reminders.

I finally “remembered” when Kristen posted at the end of Day One. When I woke up Saturday morning, the kids, who were getting sick themselves , were streaming videos…they were sick, too, so I waited until they were finished, and then I caught the final three presentations:

  • Kait Nolan, ROW80 goddess, who spoke on self-publishing with great skill and a delightful Southern accent.
  • Julie Duffy of Story A and Gabriela _Pereira, of DIY MFA, speaking about the structure of the revision process – perfectly timed for my first “big-girl” revision effort (and Julie possesses a lovely Irish lilt; a terrific bonus for my ears!).
  • And, to wrap things up, our own WANA Mama, Kristen Lamb, on blogging for authors – with a lot of attendant silliness and cow trails along the way.

Afterward, I caught up with Jay Donovan of Tech Surgeons (and another homeschooling parent!), who had me laughing with my poor sore throat, and made generous offers of advice and testing space that might finally help me overcome my terror whenever I contemplate the process of establishing a writer website. And I got to know a couple of other WANAs, too!

It was, for the circumstances, the perfect amount of learning and social interaction. I couldn’t have held any more.

And yet, when I’m ready, there is so much more to partake of, and to immerse myself in…

If you write, and you feel alone, WANA might be the perfect social and learning resource for you – and you may make lifelong friends, too! For those of us who write, WANA is a wonderful resource – free for the taking!

What about you? Do you have a passion? A society or group where you always know you can find something new to learn, someone to chat with – talking shop, or about anything else? I’d love to hear more about it – and I promise to sit a ways away, in case I’m carrying lingering contagion!

Photo credit: Eden “Kymele” Mabee; courtesy WANA Commons at Flickr.


    • Gretchen,

      About WANA – what you said!

      About WANACon – I think you would love it!

      About the post – thanks! It was a fun one to write.

      May all your travels be delightful and safe!

  1. Aw, I hope you’re feeling much better. Good thing I read this post, because it reminded me to take my last antibiotic for today. I was sick in bed for a week and a half with a cough and cold and then sinus infection. No fun! But WANA is fun, and I love WANA and love Kristen. Jay Donovan is a tremendous help, and I’m so glad I switched to Tech Surgeons! I wasn’t able to attend this last WANA Con, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Take care and feel better.

    • Lynn,

      I really do feel much better. This winter’s been a bit of a grind – I’m usually not sick this much in an entire year!

      Happy to serve, even if unwittingly, as a medication reminder service! =) Hoping that you’re up and around, and free of the sinus ick, by the time you read this. Not fun, indeed!

      I love WANA. And Kristen. And, in a very platonic way, Jay, too. He just exudes such confidence, and there is such fear in my soul on the website issue.

      If you do get a chance to attend a future WANACon, I’m sure that you won’t be remotely disappointed! =)

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