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:~: Monday, July 16, 2007 :~:

Conference Wrap-Up

Hi-ho from the wilds of Oregon! I'm home from Nationals in Dallas, and so glad to be back in the Pacific Northwest. I always love traveling, but coming home - especially after an exhausting (but good!) conference - is the best feeling.

I could go on and on about the workshops I attended, about everything I learned from this pub or that pub, but I thought instead I'd give you my top ten Dallas moments you probably won't read anywhere else. (Sorry I don't have pictures. My camera battery died and my roommates took all the pictures - which I haven't received in my email yet.)

Top 10 Dallas Moments

10. The Literacy Signing. I always love talking to my favorite authors and this year was no exception. Sherrilyn Kenyon knows how to wear a hat. ;)

9. The Forensics Workshops. There were a few this time. I got some great information and lists of resources.

8. Free Books! This time I was smart and brought an extra bag just for books. (And man, was it a bitch to haul through the airport.) Some will go to my chapter for our Fall Conference. Some will go right into my TBR piles. :)

7. Meeting some of my online friends in person. Edie Ramer, Karmela Johnson, Lexi Connor. It's so awesome to put faces with names, and these ladies are the up-and-comers. Names to watch for in the future. Their enthusiasm is palpable.

6. All the new friends I made. Shelby Reed, Delilah Ahrendt, Kristina McMorris, Lynda Gayle, JT Bock, Marcia Harris. The list goes on and on. I made so many new friends, and I can't wait to see all of their careers take off.

5. Hanging with my roomies. I love these girls! We stayed up late every night, got way too little sleep and were tired every morning, but it was well worth it. They are da bomb. (And remember girls, what happens in Dallas stays in Dallas.)

4. Having dinner with the other GH Finalists. What a great group of women. I wanted all of them to win.

3. Michael Hauge's workshop on plotting and character arcs. Oh. My. God. If you EVER have a chance to take a Michael Hauge workshop...DO IT. I would never have gone if my roommate hadn't taken his Saturday morning workshop, and I really didn't expect to stay through the afternoon one, especially since it was standing room only (and I was standing). But...wow. I had about 12 aha! moments listening to his workshop, never once looked at my watch, and didn't even care that my feet were killing me until after the session was over. It was head and shoulders above any other workshop I attended the entire week. So good in fact, it made the $325 conference registration worth it.

2. Meeting my agent face-to-face. I know there are authors who never meet their agent face-to-face, and I'm sure they have great relationships, but there's something about meeting your agent in the flesh that changes everything. You just can't read body language and enthusiasm over email (or even the phone) the way you can in person. And I gotta say, I love my agent!

1. Being a GH finalist. I'm a realist. I know being a GH finalist doesn't mean much outside the organization, but I'm really glad I went to Nationals because I finaled. It was the catalyst that pushed me into going. Someone told me you're treated like a princess when you're a finalist, and I have to say, that's pretty much true (though your roommates will give you a hard time about it. LOL). I met so many people I might not otherwise have met, I was included in parties I wouldn't have been invited to, and when my name was announced during the awards ceremony and I heard whoops and hollers instead of just the standard clapping, I can't even begin to tell you how warm and fuzzy that made me feel inside. Even though I didn't win my category, it was an honor just to be nominated. (And that's no bull, I really really REALLY mean it.)

If you went to Dallas, I'd love to hear your top ten moments. If you didn't, share what you did this week. I need to catch up!



Blogger wavybrains said...

I'm so glad you had a great week! I can't wait to hear more tomorrow!

My week was VERY boring: hot, pregnant, hot, pregnant repeat until boiling then dip in ice tea and set in front of the air conditioner. But, I did write close to 10K words on my WIP. Finally.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

:) Never fear, wavy. Lots and lots of stories to tell tomorrow.

Woohoo! on the 10K words. That's awesome! And you have my sympathy on the hot and pregnant part. While I was dumb enough to get pg three times, I was smart enough NEVER to experience pregnancy over the summer. LOL

1:13 PM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Sounds like you had a great time!

Not much here: planning for a writing instruction workshop I'm teaching, planning for the drama workshops I'm giving over the next three weeks, and 14K on my 70 Days of Sweat book.

(Wavy -- I've done the summer pregnancy thing, once. You have my sincerest sympathies . . .)

2:37 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Wow, E, what a productive, exciting, motivational week! I'm thrilled for you!!

This last two weeks has been busy. DH has been gone on the Santa Barbara fire, I worked full time then took a full time fusing class. My youngest had her birthday. My oldest is finishing up summer school and getting ready to show her lamb at the fair. I had my first meeting for a potential RWA chapter locally.

Yeah. It's been busy. Some good, some stressful. All in all, I'd rather have been at Nationals.

Next year, baby!! Next year!

Glad you're home safe and sound.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

You've been busy, Lin. Way to go on the 14K!

8:51 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

You've been busy, too, J!

And next year, definitely SF, all the way, baby. ;)

8:52 PM  
Blogger Elisa said...

Sounds like you had a blast. :)

I spent the first half of the week writing...but then sort of fizzled off after that. LOL

9:44 AM  
Blogger Edie said...

*SMOOCH* Great meeting you too, Eli, at the book signing and the workshop. It was the people who made the conference fabulous. I took my huge suitcase with me, which gave me room for extra books. I'll do the same thing in SF. :)

4:44 PM  
Blogger Lexi said...

Aw, it was great meeting you too, Elisabeth, even if it was only for a few seconds. Next year we'll make definite plans to get together!

7:41 AM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

Same old, same old here! Writing, editing, blogging.

Gave an online class on Friday and am preparing for a talk for the local writers group in August.

Glad you had such a successful conference!

9:56 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Elisa, you and Lin have been cooking on the 70 days of sweat challenge. I'm jealous!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

So glad we got to visit, Edie. I love putting faces with names, and I love hearing what everyone is up to.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Definitely, Lexi. :) I'll meet you in the bar. ;)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Paty, how was the class?

7:51 PM  

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