Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And the winner is...

I'm happy to say that the winner of the copy of STAY is Marilyn Brandt!

Congrats, Marilyn! I'll be in touch to discuss delivery of said prize.

Since the RWA Nationals conference is just about a month away now, (REALLY???), it's been on my mind a fair bit.

I used to go to these conferences with such enthusiasm either for the workshops I wanted to see, or the agents I wanted to pitch or the authors I wanted to stalk.... And this year I struggle with the question of why am I going...

If you go to this conference, or other writers' conferences, why do you go? What do you most hope to get out of it?

In other news, Toronto is a like something out of a dystopian novel this week. The G20 Summit is being held right downtown on the weekend, so basically they've barricaded a huge section of the city behind huge fences, police are everywhere (very not normal for Toronto -- in fact, they've brought in 10,000 cops from outside the city... so if you want to commit a crime anywhere in Canada outside downtown Toronto this week? have at it.), and they've warned all the bankers and lawyers and accountants (oh, my) to either work from home or wear casual clothes this week so they don't get beat up by protesters for being capitalist pigs. Do not go downtown in a suit. You'll be attacked. Nice.

Now I'm all for the right to free speech and protests and whatever.... but I'm wondering if the protesters carrying the "down with the police state" placards get the irony... It's only turned into a police state in anticipation of protesters... And the protesters seem just as organized as the G20 people, with offices to help out of town protesters get acquainted with the city, get maps showing all the best windows to break...

It's all slightly crazy. But I think I'm going down there today or tomorrow to return a shirt to a store... Wish me luck. I'll dress like a slob -- I mean a writer -- and pretend to be a protester who's lost my swarm.

18 comments:

Karen W said...

I'm with you. I used to go to RWA National so full of excitement, ready to get that buzz about writing. Now sadly, I only go it it's in a city I want to see so I can do touristy stuff. Like DC. And Nashville. Since they moved it to Orlando, I cancelled.

When I got to a conference, I want workshops I can use. Most of the workshops at RWA are ones I've either already taken, or geared to a beginning writer.

Sure, I like seeing my agent and my editor and my writing buddies (hi Steph!), but I can't justify the expense this year for a vacation at Disney World.

I had another conference in October in St. Pete and I had to cancel it too. This durn economy and my sad lack of a money tree...

So when I do go to a conference, it MUST have workshops I need. Bottom line. Otherwise, it's just a vacation. Last year I went to the NINC conference in St. Louis. Not to see St. Louis, but because they had a fabulous all day Forensics workshop and brought in Coroners and cops and FBI etc. It was excellent and timely since I write a lot of romantic suspense.

Sinead M said...

I have no reason to go and therefore cannot justify either the expense or the extra burden on my husband..

As for G20, it should be interesting getting downtown...

Eileen said...

I was just thinking about this! I'm going to Orlando. For me, the siren call of time with my editors and my agent plus time with writer friends is nearly deafening. I cannot resist.

The first few years, I was all about the workshops and I still enjoy attending them. I no longer expect them to dazzle me like they used to. I've been around the block a few too many times, I guess.

What about RT? Or RomCon? I've only been to RT once although I can wax eloquent for hours about it. I only just heard about RomCon, though . . .

Sorry about Toronto becoming a police state, btw. That really does not fit with the idyllic picture I have of it in my head. I may, however, head to Vancouver to rob a bank, though. :-)

Eileen said...

Oh, and Karen . . . I'm interested in what you're saying about NINC. I was a member a few years ago and dropped my membership for, well, a variety of reasons. Those workshops sound great, though! When's their next conference and where?

Simone said...

Maureen, you always wonder why you're going. And then you always go! lol.

I've never been to National. I'll make it one of these years. New York maybe? Who needs a roomie?

But it wouldn't really be for the workshops, which I buy on audio every year anyway. Then I listen to the good ones at my leisure and skip the duds.

Maureen McGowan said...

I think it's just that general lack of excitement Karen mentioned that I'm feeling. But perhaps it's more about other things going on for me right now... I should be excited. I should have both a First Sale and a GH ribbon this year. And really, it's all about the ribbons. ;)

Like you, Eileen, the siren call of seeing people is the biggest draw for me normally... but even there, I feel like this year the people I normally hang with most aren't going... and I fear the place will be too big (too many bars to chose from) to find the people I do know who are there...

I think I mostly fear sitting in a corner on my own like a loser.

Eileen said...

We shall hold hands in the corner together, sweet Maureen. Fear not. Well, I'm probably going to bring a bottle or two of wine with me for my room. Maybe we'll hold hands there.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Maureen - I don't know where to start. You are GH NOMINEEE!!!! This conference is all about you and RITA finalists this year.

I would go with your ribbons sit in the bar and wait for people to just find you and congratulate you!!!!

And what if you win!!! And you go up on stage and cry and everyone's screaming. How do you not get up for that? I would be practicing my speech daily..

"Sniff...sniff... And I have to thank my friends at DWT... sniff...sniff... and all the people that made this possible... sniff, sniff."

I personally LOVE it. By Sunday I'm ready to go home but for me I don't have the critique group, I don't do the local chapter - too far and I don't get enough out of it - so these conferences are gold.

For 3 days I'm a writer and that's all I am. For 3 days I talk about nothing but writing. And that for me is worth it. Love the workshops - but I think I'm with Eileen in that some are getting a little old.

But this year I'm co-presenting and I think that will be cool.

I - like Karen - do love the forensic stuff. Even though I'm doing historicals now - I can sit in a classroom and listen to someone tell me something and learn anything.

And as for being alone and a loser... you can ALWAYS find me at the bar. It will be the biggest one... look for that.

And Sinead - I obviously don't have the husband/kid burden and I get that but I do think at least one time you want to experience it.

I never thought I had a reason to go either but the writing energy I get and the fun of seeing so many people just like me togther. It's really very fun.

Maureen McGowan said...

Thank for the pep talk Steph. I'm being a total whiner right now. Sorry.

I actually RSVP'd to a chapter party a few hours after I did that post, and suddenly I was more excited about the conference.

We do need to get Sinead out to another nationals.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I feel your pain right now Maureen - I have five days and slowly things are starting to trickle in, but mostly my schedule is empty and it's hard to get my chit chat face on. I'm going to have to be a little bit drink and very caffineated almost all the time.

I think I need to get some people on my schedule. a couple of coffee dates etc...

Eileen - I can't wait to see you! Do we need to go running in the morning?

Steph - you need to come back to Toronto, get yourself some DWT.

Karen W said...

Eileen, Ninc's next conference is in October in St. Pete, Florida. I had to cancel that too, due to funds.

Maureen, what Steph said! I am so not outgoing, but I always go sit in the bar like Steph (as a matter of fact that's where I met her years ago - in Atlanta, I think.) I do meet people this way. And with your GH and First Sale Ribbon, you're gold!

I do like the writing energy. But the only way, cost wise, that I can justify going anymore (at least until this "recession" goes away), is if there are killer workshops.

Ninc this year does sound fabulous. Last year was good too. And you know, after you've been published so many years (13), yeah the workshops pale after awhile.

I sure will miss seeing you guys there. Raise a glass for me (I know Steph will, fore sure!_

Stephanie Doyle said...

Molly,

This I am in awe of... how do you get people on your schedule? Do you just pick authors and say hey let's do coffee?

And that works? Or are these all people you know that you schedule time with?

Eileen said...

It always seems like the evenings fill up fast. This year, I'm going to be smart and put myself to bed at decent hours. Last year, the ever-so-wise Samantha Graves pulled me out of the bar at eleven o'clock, gave me a cup of chamomile tea and told me to go to sleep (she was my roommate) and it was the first year that I didn't end up in tears on Saturday.

Molly, yes yes yes on the run, but only if you can go really sllloooowwwwww. On a good day, I'm doing 11 min. miles.

Molly O'Keefe said...

It's a date Eileen - I'm so slow I don't even bother timing it.

Eileen said...

You're still probably faster than me. Everyone is. It's okay. I don't have a complex or anything. Thursday morning, then?

Any other takers? Steph, weren't you running?

Molly O'Keefe said...

There's a running TRAIL!!! Have you seen this? A trail around the lagoon or something - I love it.!! Yes thursday morning!

Eileen said...

OMG! That looks perfect! I love it!

Marilyn Brant said...

Oh, thank you for the book, Maureen!! I can't wait to read this one--I've heard such great things about STAY ;).

You and I will find a corner of the Dolphin to drink beverages of our choice and block out the RWA cacophany for a little while...and I will be readying my voice so I can SCREAM your name at the GH ceremony. You'll be able to hear me onstage, trust me ;-).

Once I get to a conference, I have a good time seeing friends again and picking up some helpful information in a few workshops. But I can't help but be drained by the experience, too, and I never build in enough time for sleep or to even take a long shower to recharge. My introverted self gets WAY overloaded and it usually takes me a few weeks to recover from it.

But we will celebrate this year. You and I will celebrate all of the good things that've happened...and all the good ones that are going to ;-).

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