Another UnCon, Come and Gone.
Writer Unboxed = Family
Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA = Home
You know that feeling, the one where you walk into a building or room, and you’re immediately at peace. Take a minute to remember that deliciousness. I imagine you smiled with the memory. Maybe your heart-rate slowed. Maybe it sped up. Maybe you sighed with contentment.
On November 6th and 7th, over one hundred magnificent, curious, fired up people arrived at the Hawthorne Hotel to attend the second Writer Unboxed UnConference in Salem, Massachusetts.
A home-coming. The sensation is extraordinary — like being gifted all your favourite things simultaneously. You’re swaddled; safe and content.
Before you register at the front desk, you’ve already laughed and hugged old friends. Perhaps smiled shyly at prospective new ones – those wearing an Author In Progress lanyard with their name tag. You step into the elevator, hasten to dump your bags in your room before descending to the library to register.
One person waits. She shimmers in magic. She’s the Mama, the Nurturer, the Heart of UnCon and her hug, the first of many, is the hug you clutch like a precious gem. Therese Walsh, founder of Writer Unboxed. Event-maker extraordinaire.
Soon, your name is called from multiple directions. The days whirl by in a cacophony of group learnings, walks with friends, meals together, all culminating in the Bowie Dance!
This is what family reunions are all about. Loving. Joy. Connection. Nurtured, you step out of your comfort zone – into possibilities.
That was my experience.
Craft = skillfulness, mastery
Writing = work in progress
The theme was Author in Progress, a reference to the brilliant new book of the same title by Writer Unboxed contributors. You can find it Here.
Workshops and sessions were either On the Page, craft-related sessions, or Between the Lines, topics which affect the writing mindset.
I filled myself attending sessions on:
- Wrangling with Plot – A. Greenwood Brown
- Write-Life Balance – Cathy Yardley
- The Impact of Language on Storytelling – Keith Cronin
- Emotional Turning Points – Kathryn Craft
- Writing With The Senses – Juliet Marillier with Liz Michalski
- 4-hour workshop on Story Genius – Lisa Cron
- Spotlighting Techniques – Kathryn Craft
- Secondary Characters Subplots and Flashbacks – Lisa Cron
- Character Layers And How To Use Them – Donald Maass
- Revision Boss – Cathy Yardley
- Pushing Through Resistance – Keith Cronin & Sarah Callendar
- A Reader’s Manifesto – Lisa Cron
- The Unboxed Story – Donald Maass
What a line-up! These were half the sessions available!
I struggle to regroup and ground myself. Return to the here and now. I’m moderately successful. I savour and treasure the myriad memories and images which surface and swirl in my mind.
I continue going over my notes, jotting snippets I want to recall onto file-cards. Guaranteed: It will take time for this rich information to sift and settle within me.
Aside from the brilliance and caliber of UnCon, what strikes me is the sensitivity and compassion given on election Tuesday. A day made bearable by being surrounded in like-minded souls wholly immersed in their passion — writing.
I cherish the vibrant laughter, animated voices, and huddled deep conversations all mingling and ricocheting about the rooms. Introverts — bah!
Another UnCon, Come and Gone.