SiWC 2010 by Shilo Hebert

A couple of days ago, we brought you SiWC thoughts from one of our longest-serving board members; today, I have a few from one of our newest. Shilo has been with the conference for some time, volunteering and being a part of things, but she was a new face on our board this year, joining Camille in the mammoth task of volunteer wrangling, which she managed to do while finishing nursing school and starting a brand new job. Pretty impressive! Here are some of her thoughts on SiWC in her own words:

As I sit down to write this, I am still feeling overwhelmed by my experiences at SiWC 2010. The conference is always incredible, but this year seemed extra special. At the end of the weekend, I was exhausted, but more creatively energized than ever. From the feedback I have heard, I’m not the only one who was inspired.

It was impossible to attend all of the fabulous workshops and events happening this year, but I heard great things all around. Of the workshops and events I had the opportunity to attend, there were a few that really stood out. Ivan Coyote’s keynote on Saturday morning and her Bootcamp for Procrastinators workshop were powerful. I will certainly be cultivating my “inner ass” and practicing her procrastination busting tips this year (more on kicking the procrastination bug later).

I must admit that the RN in me really enjoyed the Blood Spatter Night Owl and learning how far arterial spurt will actually travel if unimpeded (7 to a maximum of 16 inches for those of you who are curious). Kudos to Chris for answering some detailed and gory questions from the audience without missing a beat. I can’t wait to check out the forensic workshops at the Vancouver Police Museum in January 2011!

Finally, I don’t think I will ever forget Sam Sykes explaining how writing is like being constipated in his First Time Publishing Experience workshop. I laughed so hard at his analogy I thought I’d have to leave the room.

In addition to what I learned this year, it was great to meet new people and say hello to friends from previous years. There is never enough time to chat, but I appreciate the little moments of connection with kindred spirits. Those of you I didn’t have a chance to meet this year, I hope to see you in 2011!

Unlike our fearless MC, Carol, who has been around since the very beginning, this was my first year as a SiWC board member. I am in awe of the talented women who put this conference together. I learned so much from each of them this year, and look forward to what I’ll learn as we plan SiWC 2011. Thank you all for welcoming me so warmly to the group and supporting me as a newbie. A huge Thank You to all of our volunteers as well. You all did a great job, and I really appreciate you being patient as I learned my new role.

Now for the procrastination follow-up...One of Ivan’s tips is to use public shame to your advantage. In order to do this, I’ll need your help. I have signed up for National Novel Writing Month (, which means I aim to write 50 000 words in November. This is a scary goal for me as I haven’t written anything seriously in more than six years, so I may need you all to shout (er...or type) “We’re not mad, we’re just disappointed!” at me on occasion. I was a little slow to start today with only 874 words, but I didn’t chicken out, so that’s something. 

Shilo Hebert

(Kathy's note... hope Nano goes brilliantly for Shilo and for all our attendees and volunteers who are taking part this year. Chime in and support each other here in the comments, if you'd like!)