Monday, July 11, 2011

RWA 2011 -Wrap Up

I've been home from RWA National just over a week and have a few thoughts organized into random categories.

Things I don't get- Times Square
  • Commercials that you would fast forward through at home somehow memorize the masses when shown on screens in Times Square.
  • People will stand in a big crowd to wave at their image on the big screen. I've yet to see a crowd in front of the security monitor as you enter Target.
  • A naked cowboy, naked cow girl, Hershey's kiss and Transformer can all be seen greeting the tourists. There are more character greetings than Disney.
  • There must be too many comedy shows in NYC. On every corner someone was either offering me tickets to comedy show or a bus tour.
Things about NYC that were cool

  • The people. My roommate and I went on a long long walk to see Serendipity and were not sure we were going to right way. A New Yorker we met confirmed our directions but told us we would have a long wait and recommended Dylan's.
  • Dylan's. Who knew that Ralph Lauren's daughter had a chain of candy stores? Not me! Dylan's peppermint patty ice cream sundae was just what I needed after our walk. And if my trainer is reading this I'd like to point out we did a 3 mile round trip walk for this ice cream!
  • Walking around the city outside of Time's Square
  • Virgil's Real Barbeque. Yum says it all.
The conference
  • So many great stories of perseverance. Sherilyn Kenyon and Sharon Sala brought tears to my eyes. They are incredible women. I need to strive to have their strength and determination.
  • Meeting old friends. I bumped into some members of my old chapter, NEC, and had a great time catching up. So glad the conference renewed our connections. I also roomed with a friend from that same chapter. She and I had been conference buddies for years. It was great staying with her again.
  • Hanging with my current chapter mates. Yes, I know I am supposed to network and meet new people, but sometimes we are all so busy in our daily lives that we don't have time to connect to the people around us. It was nice to have time to chill and talk to my TARA sister.
  • Making new connections. I met many fabulous women. Some were just starting out and who were already established, but everyone was great and joined by the love of writing. Sometimes we are so isolated as writer's that we think we are the only one going through something and it's just not true.
  • Putting real faces to people on Twitter.
  • The workshops. Great material as always. I can't wait for my DVDs.
  • Volunteering. This was the first year I volunteered at RWA. It was a great experience and I highly recommend it.

So, another year is over. I am very glad I went to National. It was a great time and I am looking forward to next year in Anaheim. Romance and Disneyland. How much better can life get?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thoughts on RWA 11

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making his dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of these is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way." Walt Disney
When you enter Walt Disney World in Florida, you are greeted with an enormous sign that reads, "Where Dreams Come True". Walt was a man who believed in dreams, but more importantly, he believed in making his dreams come true.

Did you catch the important part there? Walt Disney didn't just believe in dreaming. He believed in making dreams come true. And he didn't just sit around waiting for his dreams to happen, he had a plan.
  • Curiosity
  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Constancy
So, what does this have to do with writing or the RWA National conference? Everything. Walt's quote is just as true today as it was then and we can all apply it to our writing dreams. Here are a few ways.

Curiosity- Stay up on the market/industry trends. Keep learning and growing your craft. Look at the publishing business with an open mind. These are all things were can do every day and especially at RWA11

Confidence- Believe in yourself. Believe in your skills. Keep moving forward. (Another great Walt quote.) If you don't believe, why should anyone else.

Courage - Have courage to finish your book. Move beyond those first three chapters. Have courage to submit. Have courage to revise. Have courage to walk into that workshop by yourself at National.

Constancy - Write. Get it done. Keep focused. Write. Write. Write.

Let's face it. There is no magic pill or fairy godmother to hand us our dreams. Dreams take work.

So believe in yourself, and get out there and make your dreams true.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Getting ready for RWA 2011

It's five days until I leave for the Romance Writers of America national conference in New York and I have to admit I am not ready. I still need to:
  • Plan which workshops to attend
  • Decide what clothes to bring and do more shopping
  • Arrange airport transportation
  • Decide on sightseeing plans
I have:
  • Scheduled my volunteer activity
  • Scheduled my editor appointment
  • Scheduled mani/pedi and hair appointments
  • Worked on my pitch
  • Set conference goals
Last year's conference was at Walt Disney World, so I combined it with a family vacation. It was a great time and started my love affair with the Yacht Club/Beach Club resort area, but combining a conference with family time did leave less time to enjoy the conference.

This year the conference is in NYC . I will be attending without family and with a friend from my old chapter. I am really looking forward to it.

This year's goals so far are:
  • Meeting at least 4 people I didn't know before the conference or only knew from a social networking site
  • Attend at least one craft workshop that enhances my writing skills
  • Socialize
  • Visit something unique to NYC
I'm looking forward to a great time.