Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Conference Reflections

Seize the moment before it is gone, for another day begins at dawn.
-Clay Harrison

We have been home for a week now, and it seems as though the RWA conference was eons ago. Do not think that all of the excitement is gone, for that is not the case at all. It is more the case of being submerged in a magical world for a short while and then dumped back into everyday existence. I feel the way a seven year old would feel on the day she returned to school after a week of vacationing at Walt Disney World.
The first day was a blur, between meeting my writing buds for the first time and then entering the room at the literary signing, the day was emotionally charged and full of excitement and anxiety.

At the literary signing giddy with excitement, I approached my favorite writer, Jacquie D’Alessandro. She was even more bubbly and cheerful than I had imagined from her writing voice and her adorable photo on the inside back cover of her books. Charming and sincere, she graciously accepted my gush of compliments and graced me with the opportunity for a photo. At the end, she even offered me her shirt featuring the cover of her new book, Sleepless at Midnight. It is hanging on the wall of my office right now as inspiration. Like a schoolgirl I practically skipped back to my room that night, wondering to myself how could the conference get any better?

The next three days continued to be magical. The company was wonderful, the food was great, the lectures were fantastic, and my star struck giddy gently wore down to a admirable respect.

There were a few emotional moments. After hearing an agent speak disapprovingly of unpublished authors who blog, I rashly asked my husband to delete my entire blog. (seven months worth of blogs). I learned quickly over the next few days that everyone in the business seemed to have a different opinion on blogs and everything else, so I immediately regretted my rashness.

Then there were the Golden Heart and Rita awards. Oh, how I cried! I was so happy for all the winners and disappointed for the “runner’s-up”. And as I sat on the plane eight hours later, I envisioned myself in a long beaded gown befit a princess thanking my darling AOTP buddies, without whom this award, for me, would not be possible!

Ah-hum, OK, now back to reality. Upon returning home, I sat and digested all that I had learned, all that I had absorbed, and all that I had observed. Was this everything I had imagined? Is this really the niche I wish to carve for myself in my life? Is writing worth the time, energy, heartache, and personal sacrifice? I leave you with five words to answer these questions. San Francisco here I come.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Braveheart Who?


This week at AOTP the buzz with those of us who are going RWA convention is “which workshops are we going to attend?”. There are so many choices, it has definitely been a challenge to narrow it down to one choice for each session. I will be leaning mostly to the craft workshops, not the business end, because if assume that if I do not have a well crafted manuscript, it does not matter how great my synopsis is written or how wonderful my query letters are written, or does it matter? Perhaps I should through a few of technical classes in for good measure.

There is such a diverse group of workshops offered at RWA, there are few attendees who will be left wanting. Although on some introspection, I came up with a few suggestions for nest year’s convention.

Tie Me Up 101: Do you long to write, but still have young children home during the day, or older kids home for summer break? In this class we will learn all the ethical ways to “occupy” your children so you may get a least one hour a day of uninterrupted writing time. Topics include; What children can do with a soda can and a butter knife, How much TV can a child really watch without frying her brain?, and Gagging - safe or sadistic? This is so popular it will be offered in two different time slots.

Hovering Over the Slush Pile: For those interested in the Paranormal, this class will teach you spells and incantations that can be used to enhance your completed masterpiece, and get it to your editor or agent. Highlights include: the Hovering Manuscript Spell - always be at the top of the pile. Literally, your manuscript can not be buried! The Query Letter Adhesive Incantation- your query letter will not leave the editor or agents hands until she has contacted you personally via e-mail or telephone. And the long awaited Synopsis Perceive Charm - one look and your editor can instantly see your entire manuscript from start to finish in her mind.

Braveheart Who?: Do you love historical romance, but want to take a break from Medieval Scotland and Regency England? Traditionally editors have shied away from more unpopular areas of time and location for the Historical Romance Genre. In this workshop we will explore the possibility of opening the genre to new and exciting locals and time period: Ancient Mesopotamia - who was that alpha hero (or heroine) who invented the wheel? Medieval Spain - was the Spanish Inquisition that bad? Antarctica - Love among ice and penguins.

Anyone else game?