Back home now from NECRWA 2014, bags unpacked, laundry done, swag photographed (pictures to follow as I find a way to convince my camera and laptop to talk to each other) and mostly sorted, and I am full of tales to tell. Let’s start with the personal experience.
The ride to the conference, with dear friend and traveling buddy,Melva, went smoothly, without our traditional getting-lost-when-almost there, and the funny feeling of not being encumbered by too many bags proved to be only that I have finally learned how to dress and pack for a conference. Room was comfy, buffet style meals meant that I was able to eat, even with my allergies, and the swag was plentiful.
This was my first year volunteering, and I ended up moderating two workshops, Leigh Duncan‘s Book It, Dan-O, which covers organization and plotting, and Plotting With Panache, by Patricia Grasso. I also had the chance to help set up before breakfast on Saturday, dropping books on chairs, which actually turned out to be fun, and with three of us working at the same time, went fast.
My pitch appointment was with Louise Fury of the Bent Agency. Though she said very lovely things about the sample pages I’d sent in, of my postapocalyptic medieval romance, Ravenwood, she did not ask to see the full ms. She did, however ask if I had anything else, and when I mentioned I am working on a Regency, she asked me to send that when it’s complete. That, I most certainly can do, and Louise was gracious enough to suggest some alternative routes for getting Ravenwood to readers, adding that is is a story she would totally read for pleasure. So, while it wasn’t the outcome I’d hoped for with that ms, still very encouraging, and we even got to talk makeup for a bit.
Not bad at all, even if my slip did fall off on my way out of the room. Since I was due to moderate Patricia Grasso’s workshop, I picked up my undergarment, stuffed it in my bag and forged ahead. This was not my only mishap of the weekend, as I tore a nail down to the quick when I forgot to let go of the handle when opening my traveling companion’s hatchback as we loaded our luggage on Saturday afternoon. No permanent damage done, but I don’t want to repeat the experience, either.
The conference as a whole, though? Oh yes, must do this again, and I’m already making plans with friends both old and new for next year. That’s one of the best parts of a conference; people I didn’t know existed on Thursday, by Monday, are now dear friends I couldn’t imagine living without. There’s the chance to introduce friends from my old life in CT to friends from my new life in NY, and finding they mix beautifully. There’s the excited squealing that only comes when two until-then strangers find they have the same all time favorite book and then stay up late into the night, excitedly chattering about the same. There’s checking up on those with whom one shared a pitch session waiting room, and bonding over both getting the same “medievals aren’t selling” line – and vowing to find a home for those books of our hearts anyway.
Almost forgot (okay, I did, I’m adding this after I hit “publish”) getting the most definitive answer possible to “is Scrivener really for me?” – I won a copy in a basket raffle, courtesy of Jennifer Ackerman Kettell, complete with a copy of her Scrivener Absolute Beginner’s Guide, and an offer of personal tech support. Plus it came in a peacock themed box, with a peacock mug, which alone would have thrilled me, as I am very fond of peacocks.
Next up: the workshops.