Thank You, Erma

Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

It’s been over a week since I returned from the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Dayton, Ohio. This means that there are less than 103 weeks until the next one.  I. Can’t. Wait.

Before going to the conference, I felt disconnected from writing, as if I was at war with my words. They would occupy my mind, bounce around my brain, but find no place to settle, leaving them, and me, senseless and lost.

I needed to fall in love with words again, and the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop helped push me in that direction. I can honestly say that buying that ticket was one of the nicest things I’ve ever done for myself. I came away from the conference with renewed inspiration. And stronger abdominal muscles from laughing so hard. (Did I mention that this event was especially for human interest and HUMOR writers?)

I wish I could adequately recap for you all of the sessions and keynote speakers. I wish I could describe fully the feeling of love and awe in the room when Phil Donahue spoke of Erma, when he showed clips of her many appearances on his show. This woman was a force – one I had underestimated until I participated in a three day ode to her brilliance. I wonder what it felt like for her children, who were all in attendance, to watch their mother on the screen in a room filled with people who adored her writing, her presence, and her unique-yet-oh-so-familiar message.

I wish I could fully explain what I felt as I sat in on the session – Women Writing Their Lives – with Gina Barreca, Ilene Beckerman, Suzanne Braun Levine, and moderator Patricia Wynn Brown. The words and stories and laughs that these women shared with us ring in my ears over a week later, leaving the whispered message, “You can do it.” The lessons they unknowingly imparted about writing and life and their genuine and kind presence will stay with me always.

I attended this conference to find inspiration and purpose for my writing. I hoped to meet writers I have long admired and to meet writers that I had not yet discovered. I anticipated sharing laughs with my friend, Kari, and our LTYM Chicago sisters, Erin and Shannan, in our native (except Erin) Ohio.

I went hoping Erma could put my words and me back on the same page again.

I left the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop full of energy, hope, the healthy glow of camaraderie, and cake.

EBWW CollageI cannot think of a better result.



  1. It sounds completely wonderful. xoxo

  2. So glad you enjoyed it! I knew you would, though. :)
    Melisa recently posted..It Contains Peanuts, So It Must Be Trail MixMy Profile

  3. It was so much fun meeting you there! I love what you had to say about being at war with your words. I feel that so acutely sometimes. Being at the EBWW was such a breath of fresh air for me, too. And… the cake. xo
    Andrea recently posted..The Fabulous World of WritingMy Profile

  4. I was right where you were pre-conference. I had ideas. They bounced. They ran. They would not settle. My brain was on full overload when I came back, and I’m still sorting through everything, but I’m more confident about why and what I’m doing, writing, personally.

    We need to meet for coffee. And find some awesome cake to go with it.
    Jenn recently posted..What Makes Me HappyMy Profile

  5. I am so glad we shared this together.
    You are an awesome roomie.
    Love you.
    Kari recently posted..American Blogger? More Like AmeriCAN’T Blogger. That Made No Sense.My Profile

  6. Sounds like the kind of conference I would love to be at. Glad you had a great time, Shannon!
    Alison recently posted..I’m Giving Up BloggingMy Profile

  7. This sounds amazing and I’m so glad you went. It sounds like it’s going to inform not only your writing, but how you process your life and experience in general. (And that’s never a bad thing.)
    Kim recently posted..list 5: dream countryMy Profile

  8. We were raised on Erma Bombeck and that workshop sounds wonderful. I’m glad you had the chance to go!
    Ellen recently posted..SituationMy Profile

  9. I can feel your enthusiasm through your writing! I cannot wait to hear about it and hopefully, be in your shoes a year from now!
    Ann recently posted..Vitiligo and Spring Break – Where We Are 4 Years LaterMy Profile

  10. I am so happy I went and met you! And the cake was wonderful.
    Keith Stewart recently posted..Other Easter Traditions or Happy Smingus-Dyngus!My Profile

  11. I am so glad I got to meet you there, especially after seeing you all over the internet for so long. And I can’t wait to see where your inspiration takes you.
    Leigh Ann recently posted..get me a standing desk, STATMy Profile

  12. Amen. The past week has been a doozy and my conference memories were buried under the dust. I loved reading this – it reminded me why I loved it too! Hooray for new friends, new ideas and new energy.
    Amy recently posted..How to make an impressionMy Profile

  13. AMAZING! Like you!
    tracy@sellabitmum recently posted..My Writing ProcessMy Profile

  14. What fun! Conferences are such a great way to renew the writing spirit and the Erma Bombeck one sounds like such a blast. So glad you enjoyed it and it was worth the price of admission! :)

  15. Sounds as great as I suspected. I might try to go the next time! (Two years, I think)
    Nina recently posted..Where We Are FromMy Profile

  16. I’m so glad you found fuel for your writing mojo! Sounds like a great writers’ event. I read Erma Bombeck WAY back when (I think I was still in junior high) and loved her style. Perhaps I need to pick some of her books up again!
    Sandra recently posted..MultitaskingMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge