Eleven Revelations for a Newbie at Nationals

I Love Books Flickr CC1.  I am not as much of an introvert as I thought.  Or if I am, there are still some writers in the world who have me beat by a royal mile.

2.  It’s actually refreshing to get out of sweats and jeans for a change, and wear more formal clothing.  Plus, dressing up gave me a huge advantage in life:  Now that I’ve been reintroduced to the concept of skirts and nail polish, when I retake the FaceBook quiz designed to peg my level of femininity, I’ll rate somewhat higher than “all man”.

3.  Certain hotels — which shall remain unnamed *cough* Marriott *cough* — serve the following as a vegan main course:  a pile of steamed, unseasoned asparagus.  (Plus a portion of steamed, unseasoned squash; and a helping of steamed, unseasoned carrots; accompanied by a side of steamed, unseasoned green beans and cauliflower.)  Yet a dairy-based salad dressing, or egg-based dessert?  All part of the animal-product-free meal plan, baby!

4.  The actual content of the workshops at RWA need have no resemblance to their titles. 

5.  The best workshops (for me) are often given by the people I consider the best writers. 

6.  Optimism, about another’s capacity to learn to write well, is often most held — and certainly conveyed — by the best of writers.

7.  I want to qualify as someone’s best writer someday.  Preferably by August 2009.

8.  My ambition is shared by many people.  At least two thousand of them paid significant conference fees, schmoozed despite their introvert status, and, most impressive of all, wore heels.  

9.  People will go to inordinate lengths to obtain their favorite author’s autograph.  That includes standing in subway-type crowds in airless rooms for an hour or more.

10.  I have a new vision of the empowered goddess I want to be when I grow up, and she happens to inhabit Anne Stuart‘s body.  (Oh, to be secure enough  to wear devil’s horns during a serious talk on writing the dark romance, or parade across a stage in front of thousands of people in a purple boa and wacky glasses.) 

11.  Complimentary books act like catnip for certain people.  They will:

a).  Pay for transportation, accommodation and conference fees (cost est. at $1700 and higher)

b).  Miss said conference to obtain their “free” books

c).  Pay FedEx rates to have their books couriered.

How about you?  If you were lucky enough to attend a writing conference in the past, did you acquire any unexpected wisdom?  Insights into human nature?

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine | Subscribe toTartitudeby Email

8 thoughts on “Eleven Revelations for a Newbie at Nationals

  1. Oh this made me LAUGH!

    Neither was I as introverted as I expected- starting Wednesday morning. Tuesday afternoon and evening I was still an awkward mess.

    Shirley Jump had the hottest shoes I saw – each time I saw her. She is a shoe goddess.

    And Anne Stuart cracked me up.

    I’m glad you had a good time, fellow newbie! I know I did!

  2. It was great meeting you too, Donna, and having breakfast with all the other CaRWAckians. A little slice of home in the midst of all that grandeur…

    I missed Shirley Jump’s shoes. Of course, I missed Shirley herself. Do you happen to have any pics?

  3. Sounds like a blast, and some good lessons! (you realize if you say CaRWAckians out loud it’s reminiscent of a bunch of crazy hotrodders?)

  4. I’m so glad I got to meet you in person! And you are so right about the conference. I was amazed at my ability to stick with the crowds and people for as long as I did without needing ‘me’ time – and I did get some free books but not from anyone I had really ‘book stalked’. Those lines were just too long and I couldn’t justify spending the time out of the workshops [which I was paying for] to get a book [which was free]. Anyway, the memories will have to live with me for a while because as you said the costs are amazing so unless I sell the great American Romance in the next year it’ll be a few years before I can do it all again!

  5. Ditto, Steph. I think that’s my first real-life experience of meeting someone in the flesh after I’ve gotten to know them online. It was strange, but simultaneously wonderful.

    Also, I like the phrase “book stalked”. Don’t be surprised if I steal it from you. 😉

  6. If I had known about the hotel’s $10 per box surcharge for shipping, I might have thought twice about buying so many books at the literacy book sale, not to mention scooping up as many free books as I could find. Yeah, I won’t look too closely at how much I spent on those “free” books.

    Yeah, the Marriott. I know a lot of conference attendees who have sworn never to stay at one again. I had good service and the room was nice, but this was cute – there was a wall smack in front of our toilet. I kid you not, the only way to use it was to sit sideways. The room was massive — they couldn’t have moved the wall back a few inches? Or feet?

    The food choices were limited, to say the least. And, apart from some wonderful waitresses, the service sucked. And if I never see chicken fingers again it will be too soon. One other gripe — haven’t they ever heard of COFFEE?? No Starbucks, no coffee shop? What the hey?

    1. Aside from the free lunches, I didn’t eat once at the Marriott. Took one look at that wall of humanity and turned outside, back to the cheap and healthy eats. But aside from my food gripes — which actually afforded me a bit of amusement, so it’s not all bad — the conference went off without a hitch.

Leave a Reply