2 Ways to Save Your Future Self – Today

You know what I regret?

We played hard at our Bourbon Ridge retreats

I missed –––––– when it happened, even though I was involved in the scene at that time. Why? There were people to take care of, although in retrospect it’s clear I could have called on others to cover for me while I took a weekend to be part of that event.

I didn’t ——————— even though I was invited. Why? There was work to finish, none of which was so important that I can actually remember them now.

I wasn’t part of –––––––– because I wasn’t born yet. That’s the cause of me missing so many other cool things.

[Names and dates have been redacted to protect the innocent.]

There’s a real science behind happiness, and the role of experiences in your happiness. As it turns out that experiential investments–time, money, effort–bring long-term happiness by becoming part of our identity, while material purchases only bring short-term happiness.

Shared experiences also bring greater happiness by providing deeper connections with people. Some of my best friends are people I’ve been on the road with at book signings and conventions. One reason I lament missing so many of those aforementioned events is that I’ve missed even more bonding moments.

The hot tub is always a hit at our Bourbon Ridge retreats

You’ve been at ground zero for something that turned out to be a big deal, right? Either for your personal circle, or people you are connected with on the internet, or for the public at large, you can list at least one great thing you were a participant in, a witness to. Hopefully more than one.

Do you really want to settle for “hopefully more than one,” though?

There are plenty of instances where I should have taken advantage of an opportunity. Or, better yet, created the opportunity for myself. This is pure conjecture on my part, but I don’t believe it is egotistical to assume other people are like me and have similar regrets.

Save Yourself

So, let’s save our future selves a bad case of hand-wringing and indigestion. We can get ourselves to DogCon5, and wrangle our friends and associates into coming along for the ride. I’ll sleep better knowing I spread the word, and you won’t have to hear about the news on the internet after the fact.

Tattoos were given on site at the first DogCon

The news? Yes. There will be several new developments unveiled at DogCon5. What constitutes a new development or big news for us? Well, we have been steadily launching or acquiring new imprints, winning awards, publishing international music stars, and having movie deals and foreign translations. I won’t reveal details here, but those in attendance will have the opportunity to be beta testers.

Other than being an early adopter getting in on the ground floor…at a secluded, pristine beach…what else is scheduled?

What if you can’t attend? Well, you can still have access to:
•    Simulcasts of select event programming
•    Free downloads
•    Post-event videos, slideshows, and more
•    A total lack of all the cool things you would get in person

Goth industrial music star and author Steven Archer reads to kids we steampunked at DogCon2

I feel as though I’ve missed it all, even though I have done a lot of things. And, realistically, nobody can do everything. However…you can take this one action:

Imagine your future self asking Do I regret being part of a cool indie publishing event on the beach?

In your mind’s eye do you see yourself angry and depressed by memories of bonfires on the beach, meals and games with artists, and swag?

If not then visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dogcon5-tickets-26847672110?ref=estw to learn what all the various ticket levels offer you.

Oh, and we’ll be debuting new books during the event. Will you have a new product? Maybe you’re excited about what somebody else is doing? Whatever it is please bring it along and share it with us in person. Thanks!

Upcoming Workshops and Events

Catch me at the Baltimore Book Fest this weekend!

September 25, 2016, 5-6PM
Horror, Dark Fantasy & Paranormal
If it goes bump in the night then it probably belongs here. Join us as we talk about our deepest fears and learn how authors catch just the right feeling of dread to keep you up all night.
Authors: Jeremy M. Gottwig, Richard Groller, John Edward Lawson, Emmie Mears, Damien Angelica Walters.


September 30-October 3 • DogCon 5

DogCon is a big shindig RDSP holds every year to celebrate books, authors and all our supporters. It’s a chance for the RDSP family to get together, meet each other, show off the latest works and begin new creative ventures. Activities will be running Friday to

Monday but Saturday, October 1 & Sunday October 2nd will be the main event. Each DogCon is different and this one will be more about strengthening the RDSP author community than having public book events. Activities on Saturday & Sunday afternoon/evening will be aimed at the public but other times will be more for the authors. However, anyone is still welcome to hang out the whole time. Plans are evolving but here are some of the things we will definitely do:

  • ticketGuest speaker publicity expert Beverly Bambury will give two workshops on book promotion techniques
  • Group meals/snacks (likely a shrimp boil, s’mores, Gooey donuts and a cookout)
  • Readers Choice Award winner announcement, presentation of the championship belt
  • Beach bonfire (weather permitting) sponsored by Carrion Blue
  • Instigation workshop by Michael A. Arnzen
  • State of the Dog Address, what does the future hold for RDSP?
  • Visit to Dogfish Head brewery (tours are available but are 1st come, not guaranteed)
  • One-on-one sessions with Beverly will be available for a fee
  • Story Swap: authors will swap short pieces & perform each others’ work aloud
  • Thunderdome death matches (just kidding…maybe)
  • Readings by RDSP authors

Book Here

Also, mark your calendar for the very first event organized by the Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction, free to the public at the Long Branch Library in Silver Spring, MD on Saturday, October 22.
There will be four workshops and panels covering a wide array of subjects, from Imagery in Film to world building. More details to be announced!


November 5-12 • From Concept to Market: Create a Horror Book in One Week

broadkillcourselogoHave you ever wanted to take advantage of a great idea? Have you wanted to get a book into the marketplace quickly to take advantage of a holiday season, current events, or just plain beat a competitor to your audience’s wallet? Learn the secrets of the most prolific writers, editors, graphic designers, and publicists in this online workshop. You will receive daily training and personal attention, have access to a members-only online community, learn how to save thousands of dollars by doing your own book design using free online tools, compose a manuscript in days, and initiate your publicity campaign. Hosted by John Edward Lawson.

Book Here

Additional DogCon Opportunities


UPDATE: Add-on madness!

New DogCon Opportunities: Special guest Beverly Bambury provides the following presentations for DogCon 5 attendees (these are included in the base ticket price):

Class 1Social Media for Authors (even Misanthropic Authors)

No matter how you’re published, it’s a tough world out there having to constantly promote your work. Authors have to do more than ever before, and one of the least natural efforts for many is social media. This session will focus mostly on Twitter and Facebook, but other things will be discussed, such as Goodreads, Pinterest, Snapchat, and blogging. And if you actually hate people and want to think about being social as little as possible? Well, this session can help with that, too.

Class 2Building a quality review and promotional pitch list

Asking people to review and promote your book is most authors’ least favorite thing. Sure, we all have our usual suspects, friends, and family, but how do we find new people? How do you find the right kind of reviewers and blogs? Not sure what to say when you finally find them? This useful, hands-on workshop will let you leave DogCon with a list of appropriate reviewers and websites, as well as a query letter template to use when asking for reviews and other promotional opportunities. Being your own publicist has never been so easy!

Important: to get the most out of this session, attendees should bring an internet-enabled device for searching and should be able to create a document for their list on the spot, whether digital or pen-and-paper.

If attendees wish to brush up on their search skills prior to the workshop, Google offers a free class on power searching here: https://coursebuilder.withgoogle.com/sample/preview.

More DogCon Opportunities

Available for purchase with your ticket. (If you already purchased and want to add any of these items just email us.)

Get started with fully customizing your DogCon5 experience today Combine with the “Con Boss” package to build the ultimate indie author toolkit.

Join Me For a Weekend at the Beach!

March 25-28 • Create a Kindle Book in a Weekend
(optional add-on writing days March 29-April 3)

JohnBio2016Brainstorm, compose, edit, format and upload a Kindle book in just three days! You’ll need to do a little prep before this weekend but you’ll come out the other end with a completed product ready for sale.  This workshop is ideal for any level of writer from unpublished to those with multiple releases. Learn speed techniques and leave your inner editor behind. Never self-published on Kindle before? We’ll walk you through the set-up. Add optional extra writing days to fit your schedule and work on longer projects. Cost for the weekend is $350 and includes basic proofreading and cover design consultation, add-on days are $65 per night. Share a room and get $75 back (Email us for details on shared rooms). Hosted by John Edward Lawson.

Reserve NOW at http://www.broadkillresort.com/booking/reservations/ while space is still available!

Announcing the Broadkill Writers’ Resort

Seven years ago I found myself in a marshland over night, and fell in love.

I was staying with my wife’s family at a house in Delaware. Over the last 25 years they have been gracious enough to let me stay with them at beach rentals every summer, starting down at Dewey Beach on the Atlantic coast of Delaware. Gradually we moved up through Rehoboth, and as that city grew increasingly crowded we continued up to Lewes. Lewes was nice enough, but after staying there for five or so years my in-laws decided to try a new place: Broadkill Beach.

Historic Lewes

My wife and I arrived seven years ago with our 3-year-old son in tow. He was sick, and rapidly infecting us with whatever he had. We couldn’t sleep, couldn’t get comfortable, and were in the middle of nowhere. The outcome could have been terrible, but turned out to be just the opposite.

It’s hard to adequately describe the serenity of the area. Broadkill Beach isn’t a proper town. It’s a community of houses along a single road that runs parallel to the beach. There is one store, the Broadkill General Store, and that’s it. The beach itself is just inside Delaware Bay, so the water is more calm than at those other towns along the ocean. On the other side of the road, behind the houses, you have miles of untouched wetlands in every direction. This is the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Nobody knows about Broadkill because it’s tucked away behind the Wildlife Refuge, and a half hour removed from the entertainment offered by Rehoboth.

I’ve been meditating regularly for years now, and realized that just sitting on the upstairs balcony, listening to the breeze sweeping across the wetlands, and the gentle sound of the waves, left me feeling as refreshed as active meditation. At Rehoboth you can find yourself fighting for a space on the beach during the busy times, but even on July 4th weekend the beach at Broadkill remains virtually empty. Miles of beach to fill with the residents of just a couple hundred houses…that math results in basically a private beach.

Sunset over Broadkill

After just a few days I knew I would one day own property there. I wanted to wake to see the sunrise uninterrupted by human constructions, and see the stars and constellations of the night sky–none of which are visible at home due to light pollution. Now that dream is coming true, sort of.

You see, when it was just a personal dream it was nice, but seemed a bit unnecessary or self centered. However, in the last 12 months we at RDSP rented a luxury resort for two writers’ retreats, and the thought was planted that perhaps we should take things to the next level. We began to think in terms of a permanent writers’ retreat. What better location than at Broadkill Beach?

The most crowded it gets

During this last summer we spent months on scouting expeditions to find just the right location. We needed a place that could accommodate multiple authors, be secluded yet have easy beach access, with appealing amenities, not to mention be something our team of investors could manage. The house we settled on is unique even among the eclectic beach houses that have built up here and there over the last century at Broadkill.

For one thing, it is at ground level making it accessible to everyone, opposed to most of the Broadkill homes which are on stilts. The rooftop cupola provides a unique place to write, away from distractions or noise, with 360 degree views out over the landscape. The kitchen is equipped with a massive industrial stove top and ovens from a 1960s diner. The spacious custom outdoor shower, referred to by the previous owner as a “bathhouse” due to its size, can handle any needs after beach excursions. And there is so much more! Custom built in bookcases, custom shelving in the master bedroom closet, all seasons room, etc.

Now, after several more months negotiation, our team has finally closed on the house. There will be constant news pertaining to the Broadkill Writers’ Resort in coming days, including the scholarship for writers to attend free of charge, house upgrades especially for the needs of authors, and more. We have a mailing list so you can keep up with all the updates as they happen over at the Broadkill Resort site.

This will be an ongoing endeavor, for both individuals and groups, plus workshops with writing and editing coaches, all in a pristine shoreline environment. A stay at Broadkill offers more than just the beach, though. Below are details about the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, and three nearby towns that offer entertainment and necessities…

The wetlands

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a 10,144 acre refuge officially established in 1963 to provide protection for threatened and endangered species, as well as many neo-tropical migrating bird species. Prime Hook’s habitat features include salt marsh, freshwater marsh, ponds and impoundments, wooded swamps and upland grasslands and forest. Hundreds of native plant and animal species thrive in this mosaic of these diverse cover types that provide habitat for 308 species of birds, 51 species of fish, 45 species of reptiles and amphibians, 37 species of mammals, and an array of rare insect and plant species.

Canal walk in Milton

The closest town, Milton, is only a 10 minute drive away and is full of shops and restaurants. Established in 1672, and operating under several names until 1807 when it was renamed after English poet John Milton, this old ship building community has a historic district full of restored Colonial and Victorian houses, ranging from Gothics with turrets to those with peaked roofs trimmed with gingerbread lace molding.

Rehoboth Boardwalk

Further down Route 1, about 20 minutes from Broadkill, is Lewes, a quaint seaside community known for specialty shops, historic buildings, advanced health facilities, and its own beach. Continuing south on Route 1 30 minutes from Broadkill you next come to Rehoboth, a large beach vacation destination with a boardwalk and more shopping and entertainment options than you could take in during a week’s stay.

In the meantime check out Broadkill Writers’ Resort on Facebook and Twitter.

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