Inspiration with Great Desserts

42-16039120I found that and more at the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America (WisRWA) conference, held in Green Bay this past weekend. The hotel was too marvelous for words, the food was tasty, but I was so excited I found eating distracting.  The desserts were too scrumptious to resist. 

Sherrilyn Kenyon was the keynote speaker.  Her words brought tears to many of us and she spoke of never giving up, the toughness of the journey writers take, how a book that might be rejected for years becomes “golden” and a best seller in a different market and time.  I’ll never forget how Kenyon used Katherine Hepburn’s words as Eleanor of Aquataine to Peter O’Toole as King Henry II in Lion of Winter

Henry II: The day those stout hearts band together is the day that pigs get wings.
Eleanor: There’ll be pork in the treetops come morning. 

Sherrilyn’s message resonated with me as don’t give up even in the worst of times.  We all have worst of times as writers and as individuals in all the various roles we play. 

Karin Tabke, our other featured speaker, talked about understanding when sometimes bad things  happen in our writing journey and even sometimes when good things do, it isn’t about us but about THE BUSINESS.  That’s also true in our personal lives. 

As Casey I went to the conference hoping to spread the word of my October release for Black Ribbon Affair.  I believe I got a start at that.  Authors Karen Tabke, Lyn Cote, Shari Anton, Barb Raffin, and Laura Iding especially gave me some excellent pointers.

WisRWA Chapter Service Award Recipients

WisRWA Chapter Service Award Recipients

 But the other side of me, Mary Jo or MJ as I refer to her, received special recognition for the service she’s given to WisRWA over the years.  Because the organization was celebrating its 25th year in existence, two awards were given. Sandee Turriff was the other recipient.  She also was celebrating her first book release and did her first book signing at the conference.  She writes as Meg Hennessy

Another great part of a gathering like this is having time to connect with friends I don’t see often. One was Deb Maher who was my room mate and agreed late one night that sound I heard from outside was indeed a gunshot.

I was so happy to see my dear friend, Virginia McCullough, honored by our group as one of RWA’s Golden Heart finalists this year.  I hope I can tell you in late July that she’s won her category, Single Title, in that prestigious writing contest. 

Finally, I have to mention the tireless conference committee volunteers, Donna Kowalczyk, Stacey Netzel, Barb Raffin, Virginia Athey, and Lori Kriescher for the fantastic job they did.  I’ve come home ready to dive back into the creative pool and get back to writing.  🙂 

j0182707Yes, it was a great weekend. Lots to think about and more to do in the weeks ahead…and be thinking all year about those desserts.

Explore posts in the same categories: Friendship, Uncategorized, Writing

9 Comments on “Inspiration with Great Desserts”

  1. Edie Says:

    Mary Jo, that’s a great picture of you and Sandee! And the chocolate cake looks just like the yummy cake from Saturday. So moist. Just thinking about it, I want more chocolate cake.

    It was a fab time. 🙂

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    Hi Edie,

    Yes, this weekend was too fastastic. The good thing about this blog’s chocolate desserts is the NO calories. Some of us aren’t as lucky as you! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. It was such a wonderful weekend with all the WisRWA members, made even more special by our great speakers. MJ, your face when your name was announced for the Chapter Service Award, and Sandee’s, was priceless. You made us all cry with your heartfelt suprised and appreciation for the recognition. It is so deserved by the both of you!

    Sounds like everyone made it home safely and is raring to go on their summer writing.

    But what’s this about a gunshot?

  4. Deb Maher Says:

    WisRWA’s Write Touch 2009 was an incredible gathering. Chatting, listening, eating, and yes, even crying. So many great moments…including (especially) seeing the two Service Awards presented and the First Sale authors receiving their roses. What a glorious celebration! Congratulations again Casey and Mary Jo!

    Clearly a gunshot, Stacey. Late Saturday night, after the party in the hospitality suite. I wanted Casey to investigate (a la Jessica Fletcher) but we were in our pj’s by then. 🙂

    Thanks to WisRWA for a REALLY great conference!

  5. caseyclifford Says:


    Deb already answered. We heard this sound, well after midnight. Playing Casey I was sure MAYHEM was happening outside in the far parking lot. Being cautious Mary Jo, I huddled deeper under those marvelous down comforters!

  6. caseyclifford Says:


    As usual, I can count on you to be my backup in all things–even hearing a gunshot. Or maybe a firecracker…

  7. I believe you both, but it’s a little unnerving to think about. Yikes.

  8. Nancy Kaye Says:

    Great picture, but I still like the one in Publishers Weekly better. However, what a great honor for you. The pictures of the desserts were fabulous. I don’t know how you resisted. Oh, yes I do.

  9. caseyclifford Says:

    Oh, Nancy, you know exactly how I resist and what happens if I don’t. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping in.

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