-by Fae Rowen
The RWA 2012 National Conference, for me, was a perfect example of Right Time, Right Place.
First, I have to shout CONGRATULATIONS, TESSA DARE, ON YOUR RITA! Tessa won the RITA for Best Regency Historical with A Night to Surrender.
Double excitement for her, because it happened on her home turf and all the Orange County Chapter members screamed and shouted. To say nothing of how beautiful Tessa looked. Hollywood movie star beautiful. We're proud of you, Tessa (and love your writing!)
And OCC got to stand up and cheer for Diane Pershing who won the RWA Service Award.
Okay, back to right time, right place--for me, anyway.
First, the venue. I don't ever remember any hotel staff in my travels being so accessible and cheerfully helpful. The food was good and served quickly and efficiently. Special requests were handled with a smile. Major kudos to the Marriott Anaheim.
The conference workshops were fantastic. How can you go wrong with the likes of Kristen Lamb (social networking,) Margie Lawson (deep editing,) Alexis Sokolov (plotting,) and Michael Hauge (conflict?) The speakers were well prepared. Many had PowerPoint presentations, some had handouts--though most referred to handouts posted on the RWA site that I hadn't known to print out ahead of time. (I'd pre-printed out the handouts when Writers in the Storm trekked to Washington D.C. three years ago.)
I came home with enough free books to start my own book store. Well, almost.
Laura Drake threatened me with a stick if I didn't network, so I did. And it worked.
I had three appointments to pitch. Combined with my leaning-against-a-wall conversations with people that I didn't know were agents, I came home with seven requests for partials, including one for my newest book that isn't even finished. I was very clear that I hadn't finished it, but the agent wanted to see what I'd done so far. Wow!
Instead of sitting like a wallflower at the edge of the action, I met some wonderful people.
It seemed that the universe filled in my dance card and I just had to show up. I'm so glad I did.
The Board, in closed session, voted to make some surprising changes over the next few years, but you can read the RWA Board Notes on your own if you're a member.
Yes, I'm still floating, even though I have a boatload of work to do this week.
On my way home I was definitely in the wrong place, wrong time. I dropped off my godson at an event and was sitting in my parked car to be sure he was squared away for his week-long stay when a car pulled in next to me and scraped my car. The driver denied it, until I showed him my paint on his bumper. He suggested I just, "rub it out." It took a while to get his info and I just didn't feel right, so while the couple went in to their meeting, I called the police. Turns out I was given bogus info. Good thing I've got a report.
I'm glad I spent the last few days in the right place. Only the future will tell how right that time was.
Have you had any right time-right place experiences? Or wrong place-wrong time ones? Any conference experiences you want to share?
As soon as we go through the over one hundred pictures Sharla took at the conference, we're going to have a couple of photo blogs. Check for those pictures starting next Wednesday.
And this Wednesday, we're welcoming Susan Spann back for Part 5, Raise the Stakes, in her continuing series.