- by Mmmelinda
In coping with the economy, some new NINC members may wonder what they can cut back on to make the St. Louis conference and have their chocolate, too. However, savvy NINC conference veterans might say instead, “Even if I had to sell my last kidney, I’d cut back on anything else BUT the NINC Goes Platinum conference. And bonus, I can get my chocolate and other small pleasures at the NightOwls sessions!”
WANTED: Writers Seeking Small Pleasures and Other Conference Fun in St. Louis
A recent BBC news article reported that in tough times people turn to small pleasures like chocolate. The article quoted a chocolate lover who said, “We can just take a little and it makes us happy. I won’t cut back on chocolate. Anything else but chocolate.” Good chocolate isn’t the only afterhours treat conference attendees can enjoy in St. Louis.
Starting at 8:00 pm on Thursday and Friday nights, NightOwls sessions offer rare treats that are more informal and experimental from daytime programming. Currently, seven presentations/discussions are scheduled, and if another meeting room is available, two more programs will be added on Thursday. On Friday night if we have another room–preferably a public one instead of a president’s suite entirely too scrutinized by hotel security–NightOwls can play the infamous-to-some Writers’ Game of Mastery and Mayhem for huge fun and very little profit, other than possible blackmail of members performing Stupid Author Tricks. (No worries, UNoWhoUR, I can’t find those photos from last year.) In any case, here’s what the facilitators/moderators have planned for NINC NightOwls in St. Louis:
NINC NightOwls Sessions, Thursday 8:00 –9:00 pm
Conjuring Characters with Tarot Cards-Charlotte Hubbard, Facilitator
“Characters, conflicts, backstory and other fuel for fiction are at your fingertips! Using Tarot energy, we’ll arrange card spreads to create characters who work/play well with others–or not! The images on Tarot cards are great catalysts for creating story ideas or cranking up stalled plots, using right-brain magic similar to collaging. NO knowledge of Tarot is necessary! Bring any deck(s) you have (I’ll bring 3), or come deckless and buddy up to brainstorm. This is a fun, hands-on session with take-away idea sheets. Want a deck? Look on www.aeclectic.net/tarot. Questions? E-mail Charlotte: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
NINC’s Own Online Critique Group Discussion-Pat Rice, Moderator
Trying something new? Need an extra pair of eyes? Lucky conference attendees have a chance to learn about NINC’s Yahoo invaluable critique group that started years ago.NINC members are very laid back and cooperative and the group has no rules. We just all contribute what we can, when we can. Join us and discuss what NINC Critique Group is and what it can be.
Thursday 9:00- 10:00 pm
Grumpy Ole Writers Discussion-Jasmine Cresswell, Moderator
“Once upon a time, when you were an unpublished writer, do you remember how you thought that making a living as a published novelist had to be the most wonderful career in the world? Now you’re older and a lot wiser. Even if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid the standard hazards of writer’s block, demented editors, and unhelpful agents, you almost certainly haven’t escaped scathing reviews on Amazon; fan letters that suggest the signatories reside in secure, locked facilities, either padded or barred; not to mention the PR effort that ate up your life, stole your sanity, and didn’t increase sales. This is the NightOwl Session for Old Timers, the grizzled veterans with ten, twenty or more years in the trenches. Writers who feel like the wrung out survivors of a very long and hard slog are welcome to join us, even if it’s only a couple of years since their first book was published. We’ll discuss problems big and small, from the relatively minor irritants mentioned above, to larger issues such as what happens when you’ve written so many books that every scene and every character seems to have appeared in a previous story; whether burn out can be overcome when it occurs late in a career as opposed to the middle; and what might be signs that it’s time to retire.”
De-Stress and Re-Create Yourself with Self Hypnosis–Melinda Rucker Haynes, Facilitator
Life and career stressing you out? Has the Muse fled to calmer creative climes within that you can’t seem to find? Do you feel the need to recreate yourself in a whole new “brand” but haven’t a clue where or how to begin? Don’t worry, you don’t need pie and a flash from a deneuralizer* to put yourself right. Let certified hypnotherapist MMMMelinda safely sooth you into a state of writerly bliss with her magic voice and teach you how to easily enter into this harmonious creative state of self hypnosis whenever you need to relax, refresh and re-create yourself. *Men in Black reference
NINC NightOwls Sessions Friday 8:00-10:00 pm
Collaging–Charlotte Hubbard, Facilitator (Two Hours)
Take a self-guided magical mystery tour via right-brain visualization! You might come away with that one missing ingredient for your WIP, or an entire plot for a new book! Seasoned collagers and newbies alike are astounded at what jumps out at them as they sift through magazine images and other stick-on doodads…cut and paste, like in kindergarten when stories were FUN, and then take it home! NINC provides scissors, glue, markers, a stash of magazine pix and some backing materials, but PLEASE bring old mags and crafty what-nots to share!
The World May End Tomorrow, But I’m Writing Today Discussion–Pat Rice and Thea Devine, Moderators
Learn survival tactics from the experts in pessimism and optimism. Will publishing as we know it end tomorrow or are we on the brink of a Brave New World? Will you have another idea that has as good a chance to sell as anyone else? Can you be replaced? Or if you write what interests you, will you interest readers? Can you reinvent yourself? Do you need to? Join us for a discussion of how we’ll move forward in the face of uncertainty.
Feng Shui Your Career-Kay Hooper, Facilitator
“Can you see over the clutter on your desk? Do you work with your back to the door? Do you know what one thing you can do to “energize” your cover flats or jackets? Do you know which corner of your office is your prosperity area, and what steps you can take to “invite” prosperity and career success into your life? Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice whose simple motto is “Energy Follows Intent” can change the way you look at the space around you – and change your life. It’s also very sensible and a lot of fun. Let’s talk about it!”
Check the NINC Goes Platinum conference webpage often for program schedule updates and more small pleasures in St. Louis. For information on NINC NightOwls sessions or to suggest session topics and presenters, email MMMMMMelinda, NINCon 09 NightOwls, at email@example.com