September has been turning out to be a crazy month with no stopping in sight.  I’ve been everywhere and done everything but so far it’s all been fun.  This past weekend I attended PBWW.  PBWW stands for the Permain Basin Writer’s Workshop.  First ever workshop I’ve been too and it happened to be local which was icing on a very lovely cake.  I loved the flow and information here.

We had five presenters/amazing authors:

Sarah Cortez

Kay Ellington & Barbara Brannon

Seth Fishman

Stephen Graham Jones

I do recommend clinking on the links each to read more about them.  I appreciate each and every one for taking the time out to host some session for fellow writers.  Having a Writer’s Workshop locally was a dream come true 🙂

So I’m giving myself a limit on five sentences or three things I liked with each session I went to, just to keep this blog short and to the point because I can certainly go on and on.

The ABC’s of Writing Imaginary Critters taught by Sarah Cortez:

This was of course on Fantasy writing which was right up my alley.  I love Sarah Cortez’s voice and how she teaches.  This session taught me how to used my imagination to create my own creatures.  It also taught me to implement my senses other than sight to build a stronger scene for the reader.  I loved everything about this session.

What’s your Editor’s Looking For, and Not taught by Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon:

I loved the way the authors played out the roles of both an author and editor.  It taught me the do’s and don’ts with communicating with an editor.  I learned what to look for in an editor and to be selective when choosing.  They also gave me resources on where to find good editors and a price ranges to look at.  I know going forward that I’m going to need an amazing editor/teammate.

What Happens Between Now and Publication by Seth Fishman:

Even though I was focusing on my novel and creating it and not near publishing, I was still interested in the publishing part of it.  l was surprised with what I learned from literary agent and author, Seth Fishman.  First thing I was surprised to learn was auction part of it where (if you’re so lucky) different publishers bet to see who will get to publish your book.  Also surprising is the length of drafting, negotiating, and revising contracts and getting it approved by everyone takes a couple of months. There’s a lot of stuff that as an author, don’t ever cross your mind that goes on behind the scenes.  It’s a lot of stuff but it’s all to help you out which is what I appreciate.

Metadata Madness by Kay and Barbara:

This was focused on the self publishing side in getting your novel discovered in the mass of others selling on Amazon and other self publishing sites.  They talked about how to pick your category and to reach for the very specific one so that your book can be ranked accordingly.  Also they touched based on creating your author page on Amazon and what to put on there so it’ll look and feel more professional.

Circles of Desire by Kay and Barbara:

This session was what I really really needed.  It awakened the edit’s I’m going to have to make in The Foretold.  Like serious edits.  I loved the way they both taught this and got us thinking in direction of what does the character want and who or what is standing in the way.  Also realized that there are layers of wants on top of wants and how the ‘villain’ may not be directly being malicious, he or she might think they’re doing something for goodness’s sake.


I didn’t get to go to a session taught by Stephen Graham Jones (which I regret because I heard great things) but I did meet him afterwards and got to look into some of his books. His book Not For Nothing my next book I’ll be reading.  I love that it’s in the “you” format and can’t wait to immerse myself inside.  I also started The Well’s End by Seth Fishman and I have been hooked.

Cold Blue Steel by Sarah Cortez is a poetry book I’d like to read as a book to open my eyes to the other side of the police force.  A welcome peek into an officer’s psyche.

I had made a decision with myself to start to read more romance novels just to confront that sensitive side of mine and Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon’s book The Paragraph Ranch is a book I’m going to put on my To-Be-Read list.

All in all, I got a lot of great, great information and inspiration to keep me going.  I came out hopeful about my future as an author and ready to get down to business.  I met some extremely cool writers to connect with.


As we wrap September up, I want to wrap up any blog posts needed to be posted before October hits.  Expect them to be posted before October 1st.  Prepare for October, prepare for the Madness!!


Quanisha A. McGruder

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