As Kay told you Thursday, last week the Eight Ladies took NYC by storm! It took a bit out of us as well along the way, but in the end, we declared RWA a great success for us as individuals and a group. We were able to do one of the things we most anticipated – spend a lot of time together bonding, talking story, and being girlfriends who all also happen to write. We drank toasts to our much-missed lady, Michaeline, who was rooting for all of us from half a world away. We even had our ‘honorary Lady’, Jilly’s husband, doing reconnaissance for us to find the best pubs, pizza, and cheesecake in the city while we spent long days at workshops and evenings
at the bar in very important business meetings.
I’m still decompressing, processing, and quite frankly recovering from the sheer magnitude of the event and amount of information there was to absorb. Once I’ve managed some of that, I’ll share more insightful information in future posts. In the meantime, through my haze of exhaustion, I’ll share a few of my personal conference highlights, which I’ll bet more than a few of the other ladies share as well.
Watching our own Jeanne WIN THE GOLDEN HEART!!! We could not be more thrilled or proud that this great lady and fabulous writer won the award for Best Paranormal Romance with her manuscript Demons Don’t. I had the great honor and privilege of sitting next to Jeanne when her name was announced to the room of more than 2500 romance writers (including Nora Roberts, as Jeanne later realized) and many, many more writers and fans watching on the webcast. While the awards ceremony was the last event of the conference, I had to list it here first because ZOMG Jeanne won!!!
Hanging out with Jenny Crusie (and for a short time, Meg Ruley, too!). As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, Jenny was our teacher in the McDaniel program, and she passed along so much wisdom to us and helped each and every one of us become better writers. So imagine our joy over hanging out with her, talking shop (which in this case is one of our favorite things – stories!), and meeting her friend and former agent Meg Ruley (who also knows a thing or two about great stories ;-))! Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. And did I mention it was fabulous?!
Watching Jenny in action. The McDaniel experience was a great experience for me. I loved the flexible nature of online coursework and the way we managed to have complex, involved, and insightful conversations, even with classmates in different time zones, countries, and continents. And getting not only Jenny’s lessons and feedback, but her amazing handouts as well allowed me to go ‘back to class’ anytime I needed (or still need) a refresher. The only thing missing in the experience was the chance to, just once in a while, be sitting in class with my mates, watching our teacher’s presentation. On Friday, for the first time ever, all Eight Ladies at the conference got to share that experience when we attended Jenny’s Motif and Metaphor session, and we have the picture to prove it. Look for one of the ladies with better image cropping skills (and who has gotten more sleep than I have at this point) to share it in a future post. And if you ever have an opportunity to attend one of Jenny’s presentations at a conference, hie thee to that session! You will not regret it. The woman is a born teacher, and even when ‘you already know this stuff’ as she kept telling us about this class, there’s so much to learn from her, you’re bound to pick up another pearl of wisdom or have an aha! moment when something resonates on a deeper level.
I attended a lot of great sessions and I’ll share some of my thoughts and observations about those in future posts, after much more sleep and decompression time. If you attended the conference, share your favorite moment or moments with us! If you didn’t attend, did you watch the livestream of the awards ceremony? Did you see how lovely Jeanne looked accepting her Golden Heart?!