Writing is by it's nature a solitary process. Publishing, however, requires knowing the right people at the right time. Living in Downeast Maine is a mixed blessing for establishing and maintaining professional writing and publishing connections. We have some great authors who either live in or summer in the area who make themselves available through workshops or authors talks at the local libraries. Yet the opportunities for those workshops and writing conferences is limited.
One of the ways I have enjoyed making writing and publishing connections has been the Maine Crime Wave. This would have been it's third year. Unfortunately, attendance wasn't enough to allow the organizers to go ahead with it. Hopefully, it will return next year since it was the closest writing-related conference to me at about a 3 hour drive.
I've looked into other fan, author and writing conferences with the closest ones being in Boston and New York city. Both require a lot more travel and expense – not to mention time – than I currently have available.
There are several writing groups in the area and I've been attending a semi-private one that has really helped with consistency of reviewing. Cynthia Thayer is giving a dialog workshop in Belfast in June that promises to be educational. I've attended a workshop by her before and found it incredibly valuable.
So back to focusing on writing and getting Safe Word edited and to beta readers no later than October. I have no idea when editing for Spar will begin but it's scheduled for release in October. November promises to be the start of another busy period for me where writing is going to have to take a back seat. Until then I have 5 months to get done what I can before another hiatus.
There are a couple of excellent authors visiting the local libraries. I just have to get out and not be shy. The only way I am going to make connections is by talking to people as a person first and an author second.