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:
It was like that every single day. Just gorgeous. I hated leaving.
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!
Hell yeah! (Which could be why I’m awake at 5:30am on a Saturday writing this post)
Honestly, though, I think I’m more nervous about the pitching than about the award. After all, the results from the final judges have been in for weeks. It isn’t like there’s anything I can do to change that. But pitching? That’s totally under my control to screw up.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that I’ll be visible. Because I’m a Golden Heart finalist. I’ve attended three previous National conferences and always flew under the radar, so to speak. I’m an extreme introvert when I’m by myself, and at those other conferences, I was mostly by myself. I never know what to say to strangers and tend to trip over my own tongue. I’m a bit terrified I’ll make a fool out of myself.
Still, that wouldn’t be as bad as the flip-side — where I’m still invisible, even with the final. Wouldn’t that take the cake? I’m all worried about having to conquer my shyness, only to not have anyone talk to me anyway. LOL.
I’ve decided to adopt a que sera sera attitude about the conference and just try to enjoy the heck out of it. If I mess up my pitches, well, so what? It won’t be the end of the world. And no matter what, I’m going to love meeting my fellow Firebirds in person! (I think I just talked myself down from the ledge…I hope)
Now for something completely different.
Today’s Moment of Zen: Roses from my garden. Enjoy!