Nine and a Half Weeks (No, not the movie. Nine and a half weeks until RWA12!)

May 21, 2012

There are nine and a half weeks until the 2012 Romance Writers of America Conference. All of a sudden I’m getting excited. The conference is practically in my neighborhood this year. It’s in Anaheim, California, just minutes away. No plane flights or long road trips, although I am staying in the hotel so I can stay as long as I want each night!

Last year the Romantic Times Convention was held right here in Los Angeles, but I was just starting to focus on my writing and found out about it the week it was happening. I attended one day of the convention. That one day boosted my confidence and strengthened my motivation more than I can tell you (and the trip there was quite an adventure!). I didn’t know anyone there. I went to every workshop I could squeeze into one day. Listened to editors, agents and writer’s speak. Took notes like a mad woman and walked away feeling more knowledgeable and prepared to work.

It was a few months later that I joined Romance Writers of America and the Orange County Chapter of RWA. In fact, this month is my one year anniversary. (Woops, time to pay my dues!) Every meeting is like a one day convention, starting first thing in the morning with the ‘Ask the Author’ table. Ask the Author is an hour that members have the opportunity to ask a published author anything they want to know. These authors are generous with their knowledge and have been amazing mentors for me.

After Ask an Author, OCC RWA has two workshops each month, presented by published authors, editors, agents, publishers…important people in the publishing industry. I’ve filled a notebook with notes from these workshops, and emptied a few 10-cent blue ink pens.

Then every month, there is a book signing by a few of the published authors. Like I said, each meeting is like a mini convention.

So, I’ve registered for the 2012 conference, made my appointments with an agent and an editor, and I’m making a list of the things I want to take with me. Not that I couldn’t drive home…or call Hunky Hubby to bring something by if I forget something. Hmmm, I may have to forget something on purpose, just so Hunky Hubby has to drop by to bring it to me! (Hold on a second while I add that to my list before I forget!)

Anyway, I’m also working frantically to finish expanding my manuscript and polish, polish, polish.

I only wish that I could get Elley and Nicole to join me. What fun we would have!

But, since they aren’t coming to keep me company, I’d like to know how many of you are going to RWA#12? How many of you have been to one before? Do you have any conference advice to share? I’d love to hear about your experiences or what you’re hoping to gain from going if you’re attending for the first time. Am I the only one counting down nine and a half weeks?





10 Responses to “Nine and a Half Weeks (No, not the movie. Nine and a half weeks until RWA12!)”

  1. Joyce W. Says:

    I’m also counting the days and getting more excited…and a little nervous because I don’t know what to expect.

  2. taristhread Says:

    Yay Joyce!! I’m so excited. We’ll have our “first time” together!!

  3. JanetLee Says:

    My first time too! So very excited about the classes. I think I will be you from your first – scribbling notes like a crazy woman, trying to soak it all in.

  4. I wish I was going. For various reasons I’m not. Fear of flying ranks high on the list. Fear of travelling alone compounds the flying issues. Fear of the unknown, since this would be my first conference, can be included. Do you see a theme here? I’m afraid. How lame is that? I recognized it for what it was not too long ago, and I vow to conquer my fear in 2013. Atlanta or Bust. 😉


    • JanetLee Says:

      Many years ago, I came upon 2 young teenage girls who had gotten lost while exploring our historic city. This was in the days before cell phones were common and they were afraid. But a large crowd of people had gathered to help them and eventually, two young men from The Citadel walked them back to their hotel.

      This reminded me that even when I travel “alone”, I’m not really alone. There are good people surrounding us everywhere we go.

      My first trip alone was to New Orleans. Now, I wasn’t stupid, I didn’t wander the French Quarter at night. But that day, I was walking close behind a family. When they noticed, I made a joke about trying to look like I was with them so people wouldn’t see me walking alone. They invited me to join them and we had a good time just walking and gawking.

      Hope to see you in Atlanta!

      • Thanks you so much for sharing this with me. The first story sounds like a wonderful romance novel. 🙂

        My job took me far away, but I was always meeting up with co-workers. The “alone” part was limited to air or car travel or the time was in my hotel at night. I’ve never gone on a solo vacation. It took me years to get up the courage to see a movie alone.

        Your stories have given me encouragement.

        Thanks again, and I WILL see you in Atlanta.


  5. taristhread Says:

    I’ll miss you Elley, so would love to meet in person, but I’m sure eventually it will happen!!

    Janet, you are so right. there really are good people everywhere. I got lost on a bus in downtown Los Angeles once. ( won’t drive downtown!…and this was also before I had a cell phone.) and a nice young man who didn’t know me apparently could see my panic when I realized I was on the wrong bus. He asked me where I was going, told me what I needed to do to get there and went on his way.

    Always an opportunity to make new friends…..


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