Author: Lauren Miller

2019 Writers Conference

On Friday, March 29, 2019, Writing Day Workshops is hosting a one-day conference in downtown St. Louis, in conjunction with Saturday Writers, a chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild. It’s a full day of workshops and optional add-on opportunities to get critiques on your work, pitch to an agent, and network. For anyone interested in testing the waters for a larger conference, like Gateway Con, this is a great way to get your feet wet and see how helpful a conference can be to growing your career and skills as a writer. Having volunteered at a couple of writing conferences myself over the years, let me tell you, it is becoming increasingly common for agents to do remote pitching over the costs of travel to cons in person, which is what makes the one-on-one opportunity here to be a shame to miss. Some of the workshops are even being taught by agents — it’d be a shame to miss this! The conference is featuring the following agents and representatives: Eric Smith, of P.S. Literary Agency …

Elusive Beauty

Taken yesterday with my iPhone. The blue morpho butterflies are currently hatching and mating. There were thousands of them. Quite a marvelous sight. I’m told by repeat visitors that nighttime is actually the best time to capture still shots as they are less active. I was pleased with this photo however.

What’s Playing: Atelier

Viewed: 2016. 01/24-02/09 Netflix episode list and trailer available here.* This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Netflix. Atelier was my introduction to the world of Asian dramas available on YouTube. And there are so, so, many to choose from. Atelier, which is also branded as Underwear in some regions, is the story of Tokita Mayuko** (Mirei Kiritani), a young woman starting out in the couture lingerie fashion industry, and what sets her apart from other startup designers, is her obsession with fabrics. She’s a total nerd, seriously. It kind of makes her adorable. Emotion, the company she goes to work for, is renowned for its excellence in lingerie, but its owner, President Nanjo Mayumi (Mao Daichi) is both a demanding employer and harbors ambitions and secrets far beyond the experience of little Mayuko, who must learn, in this coming-of-age Netflix Original miniseries, how to grow into the artist she longs to become, and navigate the treacherous world of the fashion industry. This is the first extended TV series that I can …

“So, how’s that internship going?”

We’ve crossed the threshold into a new year and who only knows the plans that God has in store in the days ahead. I am delighted to say that this post to update you all about my literary internship was postponed (since last month) because the internship is still ongoing! That’s right, the awesome folks at Metamorphosis Literary Agency have allowed me an extension on my internship so I can take some additional time to go at a slower pace and still learn the ropes. And what a fascinating journey this has been so far! It is such a remarkable blessing to be able to see what goes on in a literary agency, from the other side of the desk. In my own journey — from a reader, to a writer, to a book reviewer and blogger, to a managing editor of a small publication, and now, an intern for a literary agency — I can see the shift gradually moving into more of the publishing industry. What I’m finding is that my experiences, as …

Life List Revised 2.0

A number of years ago, I published a “Life List” featuring a to-do list of personal aspirations I’ve had for over the decades and would still like to accomplish. Over the countless iterations of my website, this page was buried, lost, forgotten, and recently, resurfaced. I’ve resurrected the original list in an archived post (backdated to when the page was originally published in 2015), which, you are welcome to read the full list here. Thinking over Chris Guillebeau’s idea of an annual review, I thought maybe it would be fun to bring my life list back and make some tentative goals for 2019 of experiences I’d like to have to still try and achieve. I think some of the more doable ones for 2019 might include… Spring 2019: #41. I’ll be attending a writing conference as a literary agent assistant and hearing pitches from writers. The conference is paying me an honorarium for my time too, so multiple reasons to be stoked for this event, where hopefully it’ll mark my first real payment for work …

Suspended Starlight

I went looking for the Ursid meteor shower in the past few days and found these instead. Taken on December 20, 2018 on an overcast evening. I love how the evergreens in the lower righthand corner almost look like they’re right out of a painting. Part of the ongoing Garden Glow holiday lights exhibit at Missouri Botanical Gardens.

A Poem on Sowing

I spent some time this morning, at the request of a friend, composing a short poem in honor of farming and the gradual transition from winter to the vernal season. It’s so grey here in the Midwest that thoughts of warmer weather and springtime were most welcome. This is the first time I’ve shared this work (as I literally wrote it this morning over a 90-minute period) and it is written with an A-B-C-B scheme. The inspiration for this song was Camille Saint-Saens, “Le Cygne”, from The Carnival of the Animals. I hope you enjoy it. The Fieldworkers’ Song by Lauren Miller Frozen archways of leaf and twig, Underfoot yield as we descend, the shade of spring as yet to come, to sundered fields from winter’s end. Eight plodding hooves of oxen keep, Apace with each furrowing line, as hand steers plough, the rapids churn up earth and stone, beneath bovine. Embers of starlight cast abroad on starry fields, we now await, With hopes aloft and broadcast seeds, in silence as our dreams gestate.

Practicing at Impromptu Poetry

I’ve never exactly excelled at writing things at the drop of a hat. I’m far too focused on producing a polished product or that and the pressures of writing on demand has been something I’ve avoided with a 10-foot pole. Last night however, I had the opportunity to contemplate on a quest with some friends in the gaming world, Avalon the Legend Lives, and composed a short ditty.  I fully confess to having the medley of “Feed the Birds” by American songwriters and brothers Richard and Robert Sherman in mind as a launching point for the rhyming schemes. The sea gulls cry as the dawn breaks the night, and an old fisherman comes into view. “Mend my nets,” he cries, so often, the wise, come bearing nets, far and few. “Nets of pearls, the jewels of the deep, a lady’s fine tresses alone will they keep, bring me the gnarled knots, the balsa wood wrought, Come, mend my nets,” the fisherman cries. Writing fan fiction is of course, never going to lead to anything serious …

Encountering Soul-Changing Beauty

What is it about art that draws us, compels us to a state of contemplation, humbles our souls before the light of the beauty of God’s creation, or moves us to tears? Over the past few months, many changes have occurred in my life but one of the best ones was an opportunity to travel, where I was able to encounter, what I’d like to call, “soul-changing beauty”, unexpectedly found at an exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY. This is the piece of art in question, a work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, of Tiffany and Co. fame: And here is a small gallery of close-up shots (at least, as close as my camera phone would allow!): In the foreground, there appears to be a garden of wild grapes, pink hollyhocks, and purple climbing clematis, with a field dipping down to a lake and a rolling hillside in the background. I am in awe of the level of detail and exquisite colors employed in these stained glass panels and the serenity of …