Sweetest Workshop Hangover

Happy Monday, all. It’s a lovely seventysomething here in New York’s Capitol Region, and I am in my comfy chair, laptop in my lap (lap desk needs replacing, as the cushion has deflated, the handle is hanging loose, and the coating on the surface of the desk is cracked and peeling; this desk has served me well) and actually have a topic. This all bodes well, so let’s see how it goes.

I spent my Saturday here:

and can very highly recommend Angela James’s workshop, which, oddly enough, I am probably not going to talk about much here, even though that was kind of my entire point. I have masses of notes and some hefty handouts on self-editing, to go over and put into heavy use when I get to the self-editing stage. Right now, I am focused on writing and co-writing these two WIPs, and all the rest comes after I type/co-type The End. What I’m blabbering about instead, is the experience. Also the stuff, because I am all about pens and paper, and hey, they outright give them to you at these things, even if you bring your own.

I love conferences and workshops, because I love writing romance, and I love people, and being in a hotel or part of a hotel, filled with other people who also love writing romance, and are there for the same reason I am, to improve our craft and advance our careers, is about as good as it gets. This was probably the least prepared I have ever been for an actual RWA event, and, surprisingly, I was fine with that. Presenter was Angela James, who is pretty high up the ladder at Carina Press, so she presumably knows her stuff when it comes to editing (she does.) I knew I was riding in with N, conveyed by her lovely husband, Mr. N, and had plans to meet up with Sue Ann Porter, and several of my CRRWA chapter sisters and brothers (yep, we got dudes.) Potential to meet new friends, and did find the lovely surprise of meeting with one of my Last Call Girls, M, (don’t have permission to use her name yet, which, in retrospect,  I probably should have secured beforehand, but then again, maybe I can make being an initial on my blog can become some kind of thing. Yeah. We’ll go with that one. Some pictures of me hanging out with beautiful blondes. That’s Sue Ann Porter in the pink, and the lovely Miss M in the snazzy specs.


Most important thing I learned about taking all day workshops came at the registration desk, when I realized there was only one place to put my name tag. Clip on name tags and V-necked shirts provide a unique challenge. I will remember this for next time and bring an actual jacket with me, for name tag purposes, and in case the venue’s air conditioning is set to Polar Bear. I appreciate that it was ninety-three degrees outside and so humid that I am fairly certain I saw air fish. We will not discuss the weather on Saturday night, but I am extremely thankful for the cooler weather that came after.

One of the best parts of any conference or workshop is getting a good group at one’s table at meals, and this was no exception. Me, Sue Ann, M, and N, one tiny table in this room:


Snazzy, huh?

When we got back from stuffing ourselves with the bounty of a respectable sandwich bar and dessert buffet, we found a nice surprise waiting at our seats.


Carina Press brochure, some fun reading-themed stickers, Carina Press pen, and vintage Harlequin cover themed notepads. Do they know me or what? There were different titles for the notepads, but The Widow Gay seemed to be the hot property of the day. I am highly in favor of book covers on notebooks. Heck, I am highly in favor of notebooks, period. The notebook I brought, and filled nineteen of its pages, I’ve had for a while. The pages are horizontally striped, one line blue, the next white, so a lot easier for my eyes to focus on and find where I am when I look away and then back. I used the same gel pens I keep on  hand for my commonplace notebook, and found that rotating through the colors, one per subject, should make finding pertinent sections easier when I go back to study them.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, all well and good, and you’ve  hit your precious magic seven hundreds, Miss Talky Talk Writer Person, but what did you learn? Well, several things. Writer things. A good, comprehensive review of the basics of self editing, which I will definitely put into play once these two books are done, because I’m looking forward to that phase. For right now, what’s most important is to get from Once Upon a Time, to Happily Ever After. What I got from this workshop the most is that I am on the right track. If I’m not all the way back on the horse (how on earth do we measure that, anyway?) I’ve got at least one foot in the stirrup. I’ll take that, and gladly.


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