Conference Recap Part One

View from balcony

I set a goal to have a conference wrap up blog up no later than today. So here you go. But since I couldn’t possible fit everything into one blog, I’m doing a partial recap today and the second half will be up on the Romance Writers Revenge on Monday.

I could start with the flying debacle. Suitcase overweight (lesson learned!) and first flight delayed so connection almost missed (another lesson learned!) but that’s typical travel stuff. I could start with the moment I sat down on the second flight, winded and exhausted, to find Jade Lee in the seat next to me, but then I’m name dropping right away and that’s so gossip-columny. (She is AWESOME! Just in case you were wondering.)
Firebirds hanging out

So let’s start with the important stuff. On Tuesday night there was a gathering of the flock. That’s right, I got to meet my fellow Firebirds! (That would be the other 2012 Golden Heart finalists.) Some looked just like their pictures (hello, Deborah!) while others were harder to recognize. Most people knew me right off even though my hair is way shorter. Once again I must reiterate how lucky I am to have landed with this group. Incredible, intelligent and inspiring women all.

Tuesday was my first Golden Network retreat and the panels they provided (as well as the breakfast and lunch) were stellar. Top editors and agents critiquing first pages (I agreed with all of them, which is rare) and answering questions about the industry. I left the event encouraged and happy to have gotten to know a bit more about some editors and agents I’d never seen speak before. Also, if you ever get the chance to hear Cherry Adair speak, GO!
Literacy Signing before the masses hit

Then it was off to the book signing where I got to be Kristan Higgans‘ author attendant. What does that mean, you ask? Well, I asked the same thing and was hoping it would entail oiling up the cover model she would be bringing with her. But alas, no. I was there for line control, picture taking, and moral support. I think I fulfilled my duties admirably, except those few times I was talking to friends and had to be jerked back to my duties with an iPhone thrust under my nose.

Side note: As a non-iPhone owner, can I just say that little shutter thing is too cool.
Thursday morning was my first ever PRO retreat, which offered a detailed presentation on contracts. Learned a great deal from that one, most of which made me very happy I have an agent to help me wade the contract waters. The speeches provided by Stephanie Laurens and Robyn Carr were quite different and yet both inspiring and uplifting. Each instilled their words with passion for the genre and emotion for their fellow writers.
My schedule didn’t allow for many workshops this year (must get those CDs!) but I gleaned at least one story idea for the current WIP in each of the two I attended and that’s enough for me to consider them a success. The St. Martin’s spotlight was everything I’d hoped for and made my pitch to one of their editors even better thanks to the insight gained.
From a professional standpoint, this conference was a great success. Tune into the Revenge on Monday when I’ll get down to the fun stuff. Disneyland, hanging with friends, and the big awards shindig.
Anyone else attend? Want to share your writerly highlights? Since I missed so many workshops and spotlights, I’d love to hear from those who were able to attend more of the crafty stuff.

16 thoughts on “Conference Recap Part One”

  1. MsHellion says:

    I have nothing intelligent to add, but I will give another WHOOP for you being a GH finalist and having fun with your tribe!

  2. Maureen says:

    Slaying your Inner Slacker was a great workshop. Samhain and Carina gave great spotlights and I gained a lot from the Write A Series You’re Passionate About panel…

    I went to more than I usually go, so that was nice…

    And I met and talked with Jennifer Ashley, so that was my star-struck moment!

  3. Diane Farr says:

    OK, now, really, you should go to some of the workshops. LOL! Good job; thanks for posting. It’s so much fun to read everyone’s recap!

    Here’s mine: http://bestbyfarr.com/

    See you next time!
    Diane

  4. robena grant says:

    Remember it was Mercury Retrograde. : ) Good to see you even though our time was too short.

    One workshop I loved was: Beyond the Hero’s Journey, by O’Neal/Samuels and LaFevers. Could have taken a full afternoon with that one. Hard to compress all that wonderful knowledge into one hour.

  5. TerriOsburn says:

    Hey, Diane! Thanks for hopping over. I’ll check out your recap as well.

    If there is one con to being a GH finalist, it’s the lack of time to attend workshops. I’ve heard most were excellent this year. I’ve never bought the CDs and listened to them before, but I will this year.

    And I’m determined to attend more in Atlanta!

  6. TerriOsburn says:

    Hey, Robena. We MUST set aside more time in Atlanta. Like an entire evening. But I loved even the short time we got to chat.

  7. TerriOsburn says:

    Hellie – That would be my flock. 🙂 And you’ll be part of it next year. I cannot wait!

  8. TerriOsburn says:

    Loved seeing you enjoy this conference more than usual, Mo. I know how much time and attention you give to newbies so it only makes sense that you’d get the karma payback from Ms. Ashley.

  9. Elisa Beatty says:

    Woot, Terri!!! It was so fun meeting you in Anaheim!

    I dread asking which Firebirds were hard to identify by their pictures…..

    But now we’ve seen the real faces of most, which is the best part!

  10. TerriOsburn says:

    I’d have known you and Eileen anywhere! I was more thrown off by the lack or presence of glasses. Or maybe hair pulled up in pictures and down in person. But I love now that I can picture most everyone. Yet I think there were one or two I never even got to meet. Such a hectic week.

  11. Sounds wonderful! I’m so glad you had a great time!

  12. TerriOsburn says:

    Thanks, Les. Amazing to have build up for four months and then it goes by in a blip.

  13. irisheyes says:

    Hey Ter, I was out of town last week and didn’t check the internet at all (Whooo!) so I missed both of your blogs. I read this and then went over and read Recap II on the Revenge.

    Sounds like you had a great time. I’m so happy for you and excited about all the wonderful things to come. It must have been surreal being a part of all of it. I’m sure every time you turned around you bumped into another author you knew! Kind of cool!

    How was the Marriott? I love Disneyland! I’ve been there and to Disney World in Florida so many times and could do it once a year. The DH and kids make fun of me but it is “The Happiest Place on Earth”. I just get a warm fuzzy feeling being there, especially in the Magic Kingdom.

  14. TerriOsburn says:

    Hey, Irish! Thanks for stopping in. Yes, that is one of the best parts about Nationals. I get to bump into so many authors I know. And for some reason I’m always surprised when they remember me.

    I loved Disneyland. In fact, I’d move to Anaheim tomorrow. Beautiful place. My only visit to Disney World was in 200 degree heat so for right now, I like Disneyland better. But if I get to Orlando in more reasonable temps, I may change my mind.

  15. That would be me, I assume. 🙂 When I got the pic taken, I knew I’d be getting new glasses, so I opted to go without. I worried that it would make for an unrecognizable me. And… I guess it did. Ah well.

    BTW, I’ve been to Disneyland in early May and sweltered in 105F. We hit a good time of year. (Granted, there are many such times there…)

  16. TerriOsburn says:

    Hey, Talia. It wasn’t just you. There were several I didn’t recognize. But then I cut my hair off and wore glasses too so I might not have been easily recognizable either.

    Lots of good memories from this year and most include my Firebird sisters. Great speech from you and congrats again on a much deserved win.

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