I was in the presence of the Dalai Lama and sitting with Lama Tara when I opened the email with the shocking personal news.
Lama Tara comforted me and said, “We live lives of fearless hope and hopeless fear. You have felt both”.
With a new reality dominating my synapses I switched gears and headed to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. I buried myself in the workshops and meetings and conversations and beer. I arrived and within minutes was sitting down to a lovely dinner with Anne Perry. The magic was in full force.
Yes, there are the banquets, keynote speakers, workshops and master classes. Then there are the bonus bits. I got to meet with Don Maass, New York agent extraordinaire and also Anne Perry’s agent. He banished any hope I had of a traditional writing path. A harsh reality check, but he didn’t tell me to quit.
That afternoon was my meeting with Robert Wiersema. (Your ticket allows you the opportunity to have one of the conference presenters critique your writing.) Within minutes he had revised my book’s first page. Transformed it to brilliance. His input alone was worth the conference’s fee.
At lunch the next day I sat at a table with Gordon Warnock, Agent/Partner at Fuse Literary. His advice and counsel gave me direction and conviction.
The dinner that night was filled with connecting my new work at Cuffed with my old friends in Surrey. They merged better than I could have hoped for.
All the intertwining minutes were spent talking about a writing life with the people who come together to find their place in this community. We are writers and want to be heard. This is where it starts. This is where important people listen. This is where lives are changed.
Inspiration runs amuck.
I left the conference and walked straight back into the arms of the email’s message.
Fearless hope won the day.