I don’t even know where to start, that’s how marvelous this weekend was.
It all started on Thursday, October 21st at the Guildford Sheraton as I showed up for a master class at SiWC. While I wasn’t thrilled with the class, I was enchanted to meet one of my fellow writers that I met at the 2009 conference, as well as two other lovely ladies that I ran into for the rest of the weekend.
The next two and a half days are something of a blur, with sparkling highlights. The keynotes were lively, entertaining and more than one tempted me to tears.
While Arthur Slade‘s dissertation on the dangers of sitting on your ass for many hours straight has inspired me to go out and buy my own treadmill (walking writing, here I come!) it was Robert Dugoni‘s final keynote that thrilled, chilled and filled me with the inspiration to write. For today we write!
Very honorable mentions go to Ivan Coyote for her engaging speech as well as to Julia Quinn – I will never, ever put a fridge beside my desk, this I swear.
The workshops ranged from good to marvelous, heavy on the marvelous. James Scott Bell has truly illuminated the way to good editing for me, something I wasn’t sure could ever be done. Not to mention all the other fabulous tips and tricks and reminders for writing he filled each workshop with.
Robert Dugoni was an equally inspired presenter. Both of these men were engaging, entertaining and excellent educators. I also enjoyed Hallie Ephrom‘s workshop on pacing. Thanks to the lunch-time conversation with the Mira editor who suggested Hallie’s course as the one to take – she was absolutely correct.
Speaking of meals… lol … I have the most remarkable luck when it comes to sitting at tables and having the opportunity to meet with editors, agents and authors. It isn’t planned, it certainly isn’t intentional, but boy is it fun.
Which brings us to Table 7.
Table 7 is a magical place, where gnomes romp and faeries eat cake. Okay, not that kind of magical. But there was something glorious going on there.
A fellow aspiring author and I were just trying to decide where to sit for dinner on Friday when the waiter told us that we, waving generally in the direction of the table we stood near, could go in and eat. Well, that decided the table! Table 7, as it turned out.
We dropped down our bags and headed in to grab dinner – first people in line. Now that’s luck at a large conference. Sat back down to start eating when in drops an agent (who remembered my face from my 3 minute pitch to her in New York a year and a half before!). Naturally we didn’t mind and sent her in to get food (a definite advantage of Table 7 that night).
An editor friend of hers joined us shortly thereafter, plus a couple of other conference attendants and one of Saturday’s keynote speakers. The conversation was lively and since we weren’t able to get to one of the promised stories we all agreed to meet back up on Saturday.
Table 7 was not nearly done having fun, after all.
Saturday night we sat down, fought off a few interlopers (you’re saving a spot? really?…yes, really, no move on, sorry lol) and re-grouped for more fabulous conversation. Two of our fellow aspiring writers were gone, but we were joined by a lovely lady I kept running into all weekend plus the keynote speaker for Saturday night.
But the best part was, of course, getting that promised story! Plus many more. It should be noted that writers cannot help but think the most inappropriate thoughts at this most inopportune moments. We entertained each other through dinner, through the mass exodus of the writing and through half of the cleaning of the room by the staff.
At which point we accepted that it was time to move on and the time of Table 7 was coming to a close. But the connections of Table 7 live on!
Many of us meandered up to the RWA Cocktail party where we met up with more presenters and shared more stories and great conversation. And I could go on.
But it’s time to go. For this day, I WRITE!