Sunday, June 04, 2006

Georgia on my mind

Yesterday I did some shopping at the Galleria for the RWA national conference in Atlanta at the end of July. I work at home, so it’s a big deal when I attend a function that discourages wearing flip-flops. I suppose at some point today, I may try to clean out my cosmetic bag, which got shampoo spilled in it on the flight back from the national conference in Reno last year. I think I’ve spent the night at my mom’s house a few times since then, but I must have taken my toiletries in Wal-mart bags.

In short...I’m getting ready!

I am introverted. Very, very introverted. I have to lie down after a local chapter meeting, so you can imagine what last year’s conference, my first, did to me. Still, it was one of the highlights of my year. I met my agent, one of my critique partners, and lots of new friends. I went to workshops that set my mind going in different directions for my WIPs. I nearly started hyperventilating when my critique partner won the Golden Heart.

Kelley St. John made a wonderful presentation at our last chapter meeting about pitching manuscripts and making a game plan for conferences. My game plan for this year is the same as last year: Get up early each morning to jog and work off stress. Go to as many workshops as possible, but accept any and all invitations from friends to do Something Else. Take frequent breaks to go back to room and lie down. Bond with critique partner while doing something purely fun--but nothing in Atlanta can possibly top the Johnny Cash impersonator in the casino lounge in Reno. Nothing!

What’s your game plan?


Kelley St. John said...

Great game plan, Jennifer! As I told you at our last chapter meeting, my first national conference nearly did me in because I attended a workshop every time one was offered, pretty much 24/7. While workshops are great, make sure to allow down time, time to network, time to attend parties, booksignings, etc. That's all just as much a part of the conference experience as those amazing workshops :)


Victoria Dahl said...

Oooooo, CONFERENCE! I love, love, love conference. Like Jen, I can go days without leaving my house or speaking to neighbors but, though I am socially awkward, I am not strictly introverted. Conference is the perfect break from solitude and small children. And I get to wear heels! And dresses! And - GASP! - white clothing!

My conference plan. 1) Party with my critique partner and many, many others I haven't met yet. (Wait, Jen. . . Are you talking about the Johnny Cash impersonator or the SON of the Johnny Cash impoersonator? My memory must be a little fuzzy.) 2) Finally meet my agent in person and buy her a martini! 3) Go to workshops to figure out what a real, genuine, published author is supposed to do with her day. 4) Order room service. Watch whatever I want on TV while eating it. Revel in the thought that there is virtually no chance someone will interrupt my meal with, "I pooped in the potty! Come see it!". 5) Go to my critique parnter's first book signing. 6) Last, but not least, wear my pink ribbon twenty-four hours a day!!!

I can't wait to see you all there. I'm getting all quivery!

Carla Swafford said...

To finally enjoy a National Conference! For many years, I didn't have the confidence to go. Then no money. Then no vacation time from the new paying job. Then a grandchild due at that time (last year). Now I've moved mountains to go and hopefully nothing will prevent it.

I plan to meet people I've met on-line thru RWA and just have a good time. I'm not shy and hope my networking turns out to be positive all the way around.

Carla Swafford said...

BTW, Jennifer, did you know that Elton John lives in Atlanta. You never know -- there may be a sighting! ::g::

Karen said...

This will be my first National conference. I can't wait for the chance to meet so many wonderful people I've only "met" online. And to hopefully see a few familiar faces as well (/wave Carla).

I bought two new pairs of shoes last week too. It's going to take me two months to get them broken in, since my usual wardrobe include bare feet ;)

Carla Swafford said...

Hey, Karen in Jacksonville! (waving happily) You are so smart. That reminded me. I've got to buy new shoes, too and get them broken in. You're so smart. Besides, any excuse to get new shoes.

Marley Gibson said...

I nearly started hyperventilating when my critique partner won the Golden Heart.

No, didn't start hyperventilating, you cried like a baby! And it was adorable. (I was sitting right in front of them witnessing the whole thing.)

I love conferences, but then again, I'm the world's biggest extrovert. It'll be great not to have the pressure of 1) pitching to editors, 2) pitching to agents, 3) trying to sell myself, etc. This year, I'm going to sit back, hang with my buds, go to some great sessions, enjoy the parties (my first publisher's party!!!) and hopefully meet as many wonderful new friends as I did last year. I always feel recharged and rejuvenated after an RWA conference. Don't worry, Jenn, I would like you be an introvert. ::EEEG::

And I'm glad I don't have to fly all over Hell's Half Acre this year to get there. LOL!!

Marley = )
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