Whew. When Words Collide in Calgary is the most comprehensive, well-organized, affordable reader/writer conference anywhere!

Three days of non-stop activity, starting with a Master Class facilitated by Marty Chan, who writes plays for adults and children. He started out penning interactive murder mysteries for dinner theatre and had to learn to layer on action, mystery and clues to keep patrons coming back for more.

But talk about tumbling down the rabbit hole!

Is this the way the world is going

With 180 sessions on a variety of topics (12 going concurrently) in 50-minute sessions, it was a mind-boggling task to pick out just one to attend in each time slot.

It was wonderfully chaotic. Can you imagine – 700 participants and meeting rooms in two separate buildings of the Delta South hotel. It was good to see familiar faces and catch up with what long-distance writer-friends have been doing.

The first workshop I attended was Finding Your Ideal Reading Audience with Angela Ackerman.


Besides being a warm and funny person, Angela is incredibly talented. Her Thesaurus books are best sellers, for good reason. She knows her stuff. The room was packed and the Q&A was added value.

I went all FanGal and had my photo taken with her, too.


By Sunday evening, I had a head stuffed with information, fatigued fingers from note-taking on my iPad and seriously numb bum.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll post my notes: Blending Genres, Time Travel: Not Just a thing of the Past, …And Then the Fight Began, Sensuality and Sexuality, The Business Side of Launching a Book, What do Readers Like in a Romantic Heroine, DirtyBit Podcasting, World-Building, Branding, The Seven-Sentence Short Story, The Ethics Behind the Story, Writing Trilogies, Hero.Anti-Hero, Digital Self-Publishing, Memoir & Creative Non-Fiction.

Until then, I’m on vacation. Shopping, sleeping in, leisurely dinners out, reading and knitting, getting the news about family doings, talking recipes and books.

And as an added bonus, the weather in Calgary is relatively normal – mid 20s. Everything is green and lush because it rains almost every day. But the spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains make up for that.


Staring from the balcony window at a double rainbow that hung in the sky for about an hour was a rare treat.

The inner ring pulsed and glowed in a most other-worldly way. A message from beyond, perhaps? Years ago, we spread my mother and father’s ashes in the Bow River at the base of the mountains. I’d like to think they are still close.