Friday, My Big Day

Friday was my Big Day at conference because I did my workshop presentation first thing Friday morning. So I didn’t have to worry and obsess about it all day, which was nice, but it made sleeping a touch difficult Thursday night.

Anyway, I got up early and washed my hair, because you know, a good hair day can boost all kinds of confidence, and fortunately, my hair cooperated. I went down for breakfast and ate with several of the Dallas area ladies, including Anita Learned who has a Panhandle link. I managed to go through most of my workshop notes before I went down, but was too…antsy, I guess…to get all the way to the end. (I wore gray pinstriped pants, a sleeveless aqua sweater with button & bead trim around the neck and the same black tux-style blazer (hey, it goes with everything I took to wear, doesn’t wrinkle in luggage and I can even button it now), along with open-heel loafer-type shoes–my toes didn’t get cold wearing them…)

Bron Jameson was already in the room being very professional and going over her intro. I felt very privileged having her moderate my session, being Ms. Three-Time Rita finalist and all. She made one teensy, tinesy bloop in the intro, which I wouldn’t even mention, but she’ll probably come and make a big comment about it–but I didn’t even notice until she said something afterward. There was that platform I had to climb up to get to the mike and the podium, and I climbed up and down Twice without falling, so I was thrilled.

Then I did my Writing Action Scenes workshop. It is about doing those very active scenes, but since pretty much every actual scene is an action scene of some sort, that’s where I started. With writing any kind of action. Then I segued into writing the chase/fight/commotion type scenes. I didn’t get lost, and I didn’t sound like an idiot–that I know of–so I think it went well. I gave away a gift bag with both books–The Compass Rose and The Barbed Rose–in it, and then gave a copy of each book to two different people. I’d have liked to give away more, but they’re big books and heavy to carry, both in the suitcase and in the totebag.

After that, I was FREE!

I went to the Breaking Away from the Pack in a Nudist Werewolf World workshop, which was about how to make yourself different when you’re writing in a popular sub-genre. I think it would have been good if I had been able to hold still. But I think I was having a reaction or something…couldn’t sit still, had to leave. And I don’t know what I did after that. I honestly cannot remember if I went to another workshop, or what… Maybe that was when I went to the Goody Room and the Book Fair. I’m pretty sure I didn’t go up to the PAN workshops. Darned if I can remember. But at noon-ish, I met up with my agent and we had lunch at the American Grill there at the Marriott.

I was starving for vegetables by this time, so I had the salad, and salmon with baby veggies and a banana (foster) split–banana with a crepe and ice cream. Yummy. And talked with the agent about things I wanted to do. She said probably I need to finish the WWII book in order to sell it, so I’ll be working on it between other things. And I just need to get some more proposals in to her. Proposals that work.

After lunch–which ended not long before 2 p.m.–I went to the Harlequin/Silhouette Authors’ forum. And had a whole lot of trouble staying awake. It was good information, I wanted to hear it, but I kept falling asleep. So I decided that I might want to take a nap before the party Friday night. But I had things to do first.

We got out of the forum in time for me to slip in late to the Death & Taxes workshop and I got some good information there about taxes and retirement. I need to talk to DH about deducting my home office–the office is strictly reserved for writing, and the IRS has gotten a lot less sniffy about home office deductions, so… They’ve gotten a lot MORE sniffy about cell phones, though.

I thought about going to a late workshop on Friday, but I was so tired… I was heading up to my room, and one of the others on the elevator was going to the Orange County Chapter suite to see what was cooking there, so I decided to drop in too. And they were interviewing a Red Dress Ink editor for a pod cast. Apparently they interviewed a lot of editors and agents, so y’all might want to check out the OCC website for those podcasts. She had a lot of good info, but I couldn’t make myself stay to the end. I was dropping, so I went my two floors back down, dumped my stuff and headed over to the food court to grab some supper. The plan was to eat in the room while reading, and then take a nap, since the party didn’t start until 8 p.m. And the plan worked quite well. Got a good nap in. Then I got dressed for the party. (Silver T-shirt, black handkerchief hem chiffon skirt, dark royal blue belly-dancing scarf with silver sequins & bead fringe) It was walking distance, at the Ritz, and I wound up walking over with Bombshell author Cindy Dees and a couple of marketing people from Amazon who told us about their “shorts” program–little short-story tie-ins to our books on their website.

The party was amazing. I met some of the other LUNA authors at RWA–Maria Snyder and Jeri Smith-Ready–chatted with them and with Robin Owens. (Felt a bit like the jolly Green Giant, since Robin doesn’t even come up to my shoulder.) Wandered around talking to everybody I know, saw some other people I haven’t seen since Reno–Kristi Gold, who knew me back when neither one of us was published, and will be a launch author for Harlequin’s new Everlasting line–and Cindy Gerard and–well, lots of other people whose names I can’t remember now. Got to chat with Jenny Archer and Jodi Thomas (fellow Panhandle-ites). Danced like a maniac–had to be careful with that scarf–didn’t want to brain anyone with all the bling–met new people–tried to sing R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (dang that’s high! Sally Ride is more in my range.) — only had one Bliss cocktail. (I don’t drink much. Medication issues aside, I don’t have many inhibitions to start with, and the ones I have, I’d just as soon keep…) Then caught a cab back to the hotel with Juliet and Emilie and Michelle and another woman whose name I have of course forgotten…Emilie wanted to walk, but we wouldn’t let her. I think Michelle would have tackled her if she’d tried. We hung out in the lobby a while, then went upstairs to collapse.

Harlequin does throw some great parties. (They had a chocolate fountain, but I avoided it. Chocolate fountains and I do not mix. I’ll tell the story later, if I haven’t already.)

Okay, that’s Friday. One presentation, a few workshops, a lot of exhaustion. One more day of craziness yet to come.

5 Responses to Friday, My Big Day

  1. Wasn’t that Harlequin party fun??? Even if my feet did ache the next day from all the dancing. They sure do know how to throw a shindig.

    Sounds like you had a very productive conference. It was great to see you again.


  2. Oooo! You got to hang with the faboo Jeri and sweetie Robin. Lucky you.

    Actually, I think anyone who got to Nationals is lucky.



  3. Gail, I took your workshop and LOVED it. It was one of two I made. LOL. For some reason I got to two workshops and they were both 8:30 ones. You did a great job in yours and I came away with some great information. I am the Stephanie aka Arwen half of Cai Stephan.

  4. Gail, I’m really enjoying reading your Atlanta blogs. They’re helping ME remember some of the fabulous things I’d forgotten. And I’m not saying anything about my blooper… *g* Bron

  5. LOL! Bron–my lips are sealed. 😉

    Stephanie, I’m glad you liked the workshop (and thanks for the bit about the taxi scam–I forwarded the info to Sapphire).

    I think those who got to go are lucky too. Especially me!

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