Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Not Easy Being Green: Motivation 101 for Writers

Remember when you were a kid and your mom warned you that you wouldn’t always get what you wanted? You were determined to prove her wrong. And she ended up being right anyway.



Not one of my favorite life lessons. But over the years, and maybe especially because I am a writer, I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to wait for things you really, really want. Sometimes you have to work a lot harder to earn them. And sometimes you have to stop thinking like a spoiled brat (which of course you aren’t) and edit your expectations—or even completely rewrite them.  

Two years ago, I attended my first Left Coast Crime writers conference in Portland, OR. I loved every minute of it—especially being introduced to so many amazing authors and their books. I swore to my new BFFs that I’d be back for the 2017 conference. Destination: Hawaii! (cue Tiny Bubbles)



Well, to make a long story short, that didn’t happen. I spent the conference weekend not in balmy Paradise, but home in freezing New Hampshire, working on a manuscript that’s due in 15 days—not that I’m counting or anything—and trying very hard not to be jealous.



But the truth is, I wasn't. (I mean, okay, maybe just a little.) That’s because two of my West Coast cozy mystery writer BFFs, Ellen Byron and Marla Cooper, were nominated for Lefty Awards—Ellen for Best Humorous Mystery and Marla for Best Debut Mystery—and I was over the blue Hawaiian moon for them. Here are their books, by the way:


Plus, I got to attend in spirit, thanks to the miracle of social media. I heard about the awesome panels, the food, the exotic cocktails, the broken Starbucks machine, the welcome luau on the beach (with fireworks!), the whale watches, the convos at the bar. It was the next best thing to being there.


(photos courtesy of author Eleanor Cawood Jones)

Marla even brought along her ukulele and wowed everyone at the Reader Connections:



On Saturday night, I tried to stay up for the Lefty Awards live. Honolulu is 6 hours behind EST, so I didn’t quite make it. At 2 am, though, I rallied, stalking the Twitterverse and waiting for texts with the results:



Due to an unusually long salad course at the awards dinner, I unfortunately dozed off again--but woke up Sunday to the news that Ellen had won for Best Humorous Mystery. Yay!



As I type this, the Left Coast Crime 2017 attendees are packing their bags for home. Have to admit, I’m feeling a bit of post-conference letdown. But I’ll see many of these very same writers in Bethesda, MD next month for Malice Domestic.  By then, of course, this ms. will have been completed for 26 days (again, not that I’m counting). No way am I missing another chance to hang out with my favorite writer and reader peeps.



And next year, Mom, I will be at Left Coast Crime 2018, because I’m feeling lucky. That’s right, folks:  It may not be quite as exotic as Hawaii, but Reno, here I come!


So what's especially motivating YOU right now, writers? And have you ever felt a tiny bit green? 'Fess up in the comments below!






14 comments:

Ellen Byron said...

Thanks for a great post! I especially appreciate the pix, since I didn't see any of that. Talk about a quick visit! But I did make sure to walk along the beach so I got at least a small taste of Hawaii!! And now... Bethesda, here we come!

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

You bet, Ellen! Love the icon. Congrats again on the Lefty for BODY ON THE BAYOU!!

Rita said...

Yes there are times I do feel a bit green. Motivation comes from many places - sometimes i have trouble locating it. :-) Great post. Thanks.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Haha - love the Reno 911 gif! ;) I'm sorry you didn't get to go to Hawaii, but I'll be rooting for you in Reno! And how fabulous for your friends - congrats to them! And good luck to you with that deadline. :D

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

Thanks, Rita. I had to click a few Hawaiian pix again today to get myself going!

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

Thanks, Anne Marie. And yep, Reno, baby! Hopefully same time next year I'll have another deadline to whine about.:-)

jean harrington said...

What a delightful, witty and colorful post, Lisa. Enjoyed it!

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

Thank you so much, Jean!

Marla Cooper said...

We missed you, Lisa! I bet social media was absolutely lit up... and funny that you know about the Starbucks machine all the way from New Hampshire!

C. T. Collier said...

LOL!!! A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! I knew Hawaii was out of budget for me, but Toronto's an easy driving distance, so I'm "settling" for Bouchercon 2017. Hope some of you will be there? I'm just thrilled for Marla's nomination and Ellen's win. Y'all are such talented wonderful Chicks. --kate

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

Aw, thanks from all of us, Kate! I'm hoping to make it to Toronto.

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

Hey, Marla, congrats again on that nomination, and good luck for the Agathas at Malice Domestic! And yeah, Catriona let it slip about the Starbucks machine, ha. I was devastated long distance.

Shari Randall said...

No Left Coast Crime for me either but I'm looking forward to Malice and Bouchercon - hope to see you there. Thanks for sharing the wonderful pics. And that Reno 911 gif - HA HA!

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

Can't wait to see you again at Malice, Shari!