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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Saturday at RWA National

I actually had writing-related work to do last night so I didn't get to cover Saturday at the conference after I got home from the day job. I think Saturday was the day I hit most of the workshops, but I could be wrong.

I think I started out my day with an 11am PAN workshop on promotion. The room was filled and people were sitting on the floor and standing. I picked up a few interesting tips, wrote notes, but I didn't have any light bulbs go off inside my head or anything. Of course, by Saturday, I'm in conference overload and I'm not sure my brain is working by then.

Then it was the luncheon. Christina Dodd was our speaker and she was wonderful! I found what she had to say very inspirational and the best part was that it worked for any writer, no matter where they were in their path. There was stuff for published writers and stuff for people who were just starting out. It's not often that an author can speak to every level like that. I've been to a lot of RWA conferences and a lot of lunches, and while most speakers are inspirational and entertaining, they usually discuss writing in general and not get into the where you are on your path stuff because that is hard to address.

After lunch, I went to a PAN workshop on Amazon. I thought it started at 2pm and that I'd be late, but it turned out it started at 2:30. As I was sitting there, though, I realized that the Tor Spotlight was going on and I thought, well, I should probably pop in to that one. I arrived about halfway through.

Oh, speaking of spotlights, I can't remember which day the Dorchester spotlight was--maybe Friday? Maybe that was that time frame where I blogged about knowing I did something but not being able to remember what. I bet it is. Anyway, at the Dorchester spotlight, I got to see a color version of the Shards of Crimson cover! That's the Crimson City anthology. It looked pretty cool with the city in the background!

Okay, where was I? Spotlight. After the spotlight, I walked around looking for the RBL ladies. I had a bunch of books in my room that I didn't want and they were going to take them. I wandered around and ran into a bunch of people I knew, but not a ReBeL in sight. I tried to call them on my cell, but didn't have service and I decided to pack up the books I did want to take with me and mail them home because my suitcase had been 49 pounds coming to Atlanta so that meant I couldn't put anything else in the bag and risk going over the weight allowance. I also had no desire to put more weight in my carry-on bag and lug that through the Atlanta airport.

The hotel had set up a mailing station on the conference level, but the woman manning it said I needed a smaller box because my stuff would shift around and I ended up repacking everything. Sigh. There wasn't room for some of the things I wanted to put in there, so I did end up hauling those in the carry-on bag.

Back up to the room--it was still unmade. One of my friends had called while I was out and wanted to eat dinner, so I put the shoes back on and waited forever for an elevator. Actually, I shouldn't complain about this. The elevators were rarely overcrowded at the Marriott and anyone who's been to an RWA conference knows what that situation is normally like. Not once did I have to hop on going the wrong direction just to get on. I don't know if I just got on a good bank (we were on the 31st floor) or if I was using it at times when others weren't or if it really was that well managed. The worst was waiting for a few minutes and that was no big deal.

My friend and I ended up joining a group of women from my chapter and we had fun at dinner. We got there fairly early and that was a good thing because it didn't take long to fill Champions up. Anyway, it sounded like everyone in our group had a great conference and conversation was pretty lively. As we were getting ready to leave, I ran into another friend, Gennita Low, who had just come from a Braves game against the Mets. And yes, the Braves were shellacked, pretty much ending their playoff hopes.

Awards time. This year I knew a lot of people up for awards, including the Golden Heart and the RITA. It amazes me in a way because I'm fairly quiet on the loops--okay, I lurk--and I'm shy in person, but I still--somehow--had several acquaintances/friends who were sitting up front. Including two in the paranormal RITA category.

I'll just hit the highlights here. The show was good and the movie clips they showed were funny. The pace of the show was MUCH better than the 4 hour marathon I suffered through last year. OMG. Well, enough said about 2005. This year the show was just a little over two hours, so yea!

Rae Monet won the GH for best paranormal. Yea, Rae! She's sweet as can be and I was so happy to discover she'd won!

A woman from my chapter whom I've never met won the GH for Single Title Contemporary. Yea, MFW!

Linnea Sinclair won the RITA for best paranormal! Yea, Linnea!!! She's also as sweet as can be. I met her at my first RT conference in Kansas City and was supposed to be on her SF Rom panel at the RT conference in Daytona, but because of two June deadlines, I had to pull out at the last minute. She was very gracious and understanding about that. Linnea also teaches some great classes on being a private investigator!

After the awards was a huge crush. I stopped and talked to a couple of women who work for Dorchester and then I tried to find the friends I sat with and the people I know who won awards so that I could congratulate them. Found my friends, did not spot any of the winners, but I didn't stay at the party long. My flight was at 8:30 the next morning so I had to go to the room, pack, and then lay in bed not sleeping as I battled insomnia for another night. :-)

Now I have to run. The day job calls. Sigh.

Still no spell check! Gah!