It's been a week since I've been home, and I have to say RT Booklovers' Conference was A BLAST. I felt overloaded because I made sure I had something to do every second of every minute of every hour (well, almost...); I was there mostly to learn as much as I could about the industry, but also to hang out and party a little.
Monday and Tuesday I attended Bobbi Smith's pre-con advanced aspiring authors' workshop, my note taking beginning in earnest and my Livescribe Pulse finally getting some extended use (got it last year at Macworld Expo). Part of the workshop involved submitting a chapter for Bobbi to review with the winner receiving further review by an agent for possible representation and possible publication. Imagine my shock at being named one of the finalists! I got to wear an extra tag on my name badge for the rest of the conference advertising this fact, which generated a lot of conversations with people. Alas and alack, I didn't win but it was an honor to have been nominated.
Probably one of the big highlights was attending the Faery Ball. I haven't been to any sort of a convention/conference since 1996; I used to attend a few science fiction conventions and always brought some sort of costumes. This was my costume for the ball, which received raves during the contest:
Went more for Maleficent than Tinker Bell. The wings are latex and flapped when I walked.
Also had a chance to have a picture taken with the contestants for this year's Mr. Romance:
BIG highlight was signing at the e-book and graphic novel expo, which was one of the main attractions for me. It was a good way to get my name and face out there, and I had some nice chats with the people who stopped by my table.
And the books. Good Lord, THE BOOKS. Of course, being a publishing conference, why should I expect to stay away from them? There were two in the registration tote bag, I got four more at a mystery book mixer, several more in the awards ceremony swag bag, three at the Faery and Vampire Balls (books were on the tables as favors), one or two I just found in various hallways, I chose nine from the goody bag room, three I actually bought from Barnes & Noble at their tables in the dealers' room...in all, I picked up 32 books. (Also picked up a wonderful case of strep throat, and I'd like to personally thank the person who gave it to me with a serious pinch.)
Don't know how many sample chapters I brought home, though. Lots of those being handed out, as well.
This was my third time out to California and I've made the same vow I made previously: next time I go to California, I'm going to just go. First time was to Pride in San Francisco, next time was Macworld Expo (also San Francisco), and this time was Los Angeles. Each time, I barely had any time to see people or do things; I did free up some time to spend with an online friend, whom I'd met for the first time in person (*waves to Dennis and his partner Deke*), but it just wasn't enough. I also stayed with a friend from my Milwaukee days (*waves to Peter and his husband Dean*), but only saw them during the times I wasn't at the conference. Next time? Next time? Next time? I will be going to California to go and see people and eat things and just be there. While it was a great conference, I don't think I had that much "me" time as I needed (yeah, 11:30 at night watching the Disney Channel in my hotel room qualifies).
Now I just need to get off my duff and finish a couple more projects, possibly even start a couple more more. This was a great jolt for me professionally and now I need to apply what I learned.
Next year, it'll be in Chicago, which is a lot closer. Now I just need to figure out what I'll be doing for an encore...