Saturday came way too fast during the fast-paced RWA conference in Atlanta.
On Saturday morning, I went to a few workshops, listened to an awesome keynote speech from Christina Dodd about staying on the "street of success" & then rushed off to my workshop with Brianna Yamashita & Jo-Ann Powers. I admit to being nervous. Although I've given workshops at my local chapter, other chapters, & even a few smaller RWA conferences, this was my first at Nationals. Plus, my first time being recorded. All the usual fears ran through my mind--no one would come, friends would come & think my part sucked, I'd develope laryngitis & not be able to talk, I wouldn't develope laryngitis & then I'd have to talk, you get the idea. Anna Sugden moderated the workshop--and did a mighty fine job!
Brianna had put together handouts that one of my pals said was "pure gold". Unfortunately, I didn't get one & we ran out. :( Not sure of the exact number of attendees, but obviously more than 65. :) Considering that we were going up against a fabulous PAN workshop, several great regular workshops (including one with Brenda Chin that I would love to have been at), and the GH/Rita rehearsals, I was blown away with the turnout. I've gotten lots of emails (from friends & people who attended the workshop) saying they loved it and really got a lot from it. All smiles here! The workshop (on Making the Most of Your Marketing Dollars) was a success. Woo hoo!
Went to a couple of workshops after that with Lindsey Brookes, then back to my room for a few. Kath & Beth & I grabbed a bite to eat from a hotel restaurant, then got ready for the fabulous GH/Rita Awards. The whole gang had reserved seats up front--thanks to so many of the Writers Playground being fab-o GH finalists (watch out Rita, here we come!) Only, there weren't enough seats...let's see one person per reserved seating ticket, known number of tickets given out & arrangements made for that number---uhm, there were apparently a lot of people who snuck in that weren't supposed to be there. We ended up in a new row of seats right up front but in between the stage & the screen so most of my pics are sideways shots.
None of my playmates won their category, but the Wet Noodle Posse cleaned house!! OMG! Stephanie Feagan, Diane Perkins, & Dianna Love Snell totally rocked!! I'm so proud of my GH2003 sisters. All three are fabulous writers and deserve every accolade recieved. My pal & fellow American Title finalist Laurie Kellogg won her GH category with a book that is my favorite of the one's she's written. Great emotion in that story!!
Oh, and did I mention that NORA ROBERTS was the hostess for the evening??? & she was freaking amazing!!! And Susan Elizabeth Phillips got a much deserved Life Time Acheivement award--and mentioned the Wet Noodle Posse!!!
I did, however, get the chance to get a pic with my current editor who took Kate's place. Leah Hultenschmidt is a total sweetie & has been great to work with, too. Everyone from Dorchester has.
After the award ceremony was the reception--OMG! there were flowing fountains of chocolate. I walked into the room and breathed in chocolate. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Yes, it was messy & we were dressed in formals, but YUM. Delish!
The highlight of my evening by far was that I got to meet Kate Seaver. Who is Kate Seaver? She's the editor who read Jane Millionaire and recommended it for the American Title contest, the editor who ultimately bought my book. Although I'd spoken to Kate on the phone a few times prior to her leaving Dorchester, I never got to meet her. I think I gushed all over her, but, people, she gave me the shot I needed and helped make my dream come true. Forever, I will adore her for that. Unfortunately, I was so gushy that I never thought to get a picture with her. That's my one regret of the evening as I really wish I had. Maybe someday I'll hae another opportunity.
After the reception, several of us changed into jeans, then hung out in the lounge area until after 3 AM. It was so hard to say bye to my California buds who were heading out early Sunday morn. :( Hard to let go when you know it'll likely be another year before you have face time again. The pitfalls of having such close friends who live so far away. All my best friends are states away. :(
The night was a major success & lots of fun. If you've ever thought about attending a writing conference, RWA is definitely the way to go!
Wet Noodle Posse rocks!!!
Lois Templin, Debra Parmley, & Janice (Lois & Debra were awesome American Title 2 finalists!)
Janice, Mary Fechter, & Trish Milburn--Wet Noodle Posse forever!!!
Lindsey, Keith & Anna Sugden--more fabulous playmates. Well, Keith is an honorary one by marriage. ;)
Marlene Urso, Stacey Kayne, & Carla Hughes--fabulous playmates!
Michelle Buonfiglio (Romance B(u)y the Book) & Janice
Leah Hultenschmidt (Dorchester editor) & Janice