Post-RWA2016 Conference, Part 1

It’s been well over a month since the RWA 2016 National Conference and I’m still processing the experience. This was my fifth national conference. Each time I attend I’m re-energized to write, but I think it’s safe to say that this conference was the best of the five for me — even surpassing my 2012 conference experience of being a Golden Heart Finalist (which was very special in a different way).

First of all, the location. You really can’t beat San Diego in July, and we had perfect weather for the entire week — low 70s — not too hot and not too cool in the evenings. Take a look at the view from our balcony at the Marriott:

San Diego
San Diego, RWA 2016

It was like that every single day. Just gorgeous. I hated leaving.

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RWA 2016 Conference

Next week I’ll be attending the Romance Writers of America®’s National Conference in San Diego. The last time I attended RWA National, I was a Golden Heart® Finalist. Hard to believe that was four years ago!

It’s been a bit of a rocky road, writing-wise, for me since then, but I finally feel like I’m making headway. I struggled with my Golden Heart book, The Lazarus Gambit. The first 50 pages were solid; the rest of the book…not so much. I edited and rewrote and edited again, multiple passes of both, but I finally had to admit I couldn’t pull it together — yet.

Part of me thinks maybe I should have come to that conclusion sooner. But another part of me knows I didn’t waste the time I spent working on The Lazarus Gambit. I learned so much about plot structure and character arc than I knew when I was writing Lazarus. And I’m putting what I learned to work.

I have a new work-in-progress that I’m excited about. It’s set in the same gaslamp-fantasy world I created for The Lazarus Gambit (only set a generation earlier). I’m writing the first draft — the “telling myself a story” draft, as Sir Terry called it — and I’m loving writing again.

And I’m doubly excited to be headed for RWA2016 because I’m attending with my writing partner, Meagan. I’ve always been flown solo at Conference, which can get a little lonely when you’re as introverted as I am. I have a feeling we’re going to have a blast!

Tech Talk –ish

It’s been one of those weeks. If you use a computer or gadgets of any kind, you know what I’m talking about. The kind of week where things suddenly work differently or they just die — networks, batteries, external hard disks, you name it.

I ended up having to reconfigure our wireless network, reformat one hard drive, and buy and partition/format/make ready a new hard drive. I’m still moving terabytes of data around (yes, I said terabytes — you really don’t want to know how many). At least I’d had the foresight to make sure we had backups in place before the problems started.

Aside from being annoying, in a weird way it was kind of fun. Or at least, familiar. Writing scripts and running UNIX commands (we have Macs). Guess that old saw about riding a bike is true. Nice to know I hadn’t forgotten anything.

And on a different tech note, can I say just how much I love the Reader View in Firefox? Having the ability to strip away all the crap on certain websites, or to focus in on just the article on other (dare I say better designed?) websites, is pure heaven. This is design with what real people (forget the term users) want in mind. Thank you Firefox team!

Books Read In 2015

Out of curiosity, I decided to keep track of the books I read last year (by month). It was a nice push to get back into reading more often. I was a bit disappointed not to reach at least 50 books. That used to be an average year’s reading for me.

I’ve decided to continue the experiment and see how 2016 compares.
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