Milestone Birthdays and Donald Maass

It’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.  ~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

My darling boy is nineteen years old today. In my part of the world that’s a big deal because it means you can walk into a bar and legally order an alcoholic beverage. Sigh. He’s just finished his first year of university with plans to switch to technical college. Two days ago he started his first full-time summer job.

Thank goodness he stills lives at home and we have that reality to deal with or I might completely collapse into a whimpering, simpering puddle of where has the time gone. Okay, I’m going to do it anyways. Just not here.

Instead I’ll tell you how excited I am to be getting ready to attend a Donald Maass workshop given by the Calgary Association of the Romance Writers of America. I’ve got my copy of Writing 21st Century Fiction and my half-written manuscript, Obsession, ready to go.

The characters who resonate most widely today don’t merely reflect our times, they reflect ourselves. That’s true whether we’re talking about genre fare, historicals, satire, or serious literary stuff. Revealing human truths means transcending tropes, peering into the past with fresh eyes, unearthing all that is hidden, and moving beyond what is easy and comfortable to write what is hard and even painful to face.

Get out of the past. Get over trends. To write high-impact 21st century fiction, you must start by becoming highly personal. Find your voice, yes, but more than that, challenge yourself to be unafraid, independent, open, aware, and true to your own heart. You must become your most authentic self.   Donald Maass, Writing 21st Century Fiction

We’ll be making the 8 hour trip from Regina to Calgary Friday morning. Three of us are traveling together. That means talking writing all the way there and all the way back. Yay!  Then back in time for extended family birthday celebrations.

Here’s hoping you have weekend plans of your own?

4 thoughts on “Milestone Birthdays and Donald Maass

  1. So envious, Karyn – have been since the moment I heard what you all were going to do this Spring! Have a fabulous time – and report back with all the details, k? Oh, and good luck pitching your work!!!

    PS – say ‘hi’ to the girls for me 🙂

    • Will do, Janet! Hopefully, I’ll be filled with inspiration when I get home since I want to be done the first draft of this manuscript by the end of June.

  2. I love the quote from Donald Maass. ‘Our most authentic selves’. It’s exciting and scary and challenging all at once.

    Karyn, have a wonderful time in Calgary and learn lots. I’d love to hear all about it when you get back.


    • Great quote, Jana! Those three words exactly! A great time was had by all! We learned lots and had great talks on writing on the drive there and back! I’ve got lots of great ideas to share.

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