Let me start by telling you about yesterday. We started the day off with a full load of workshops, spotlights on various publishing houses and editor/agent appointments.
Eloisa James gave an emotion packed inspirational speech at lunch. Her underlying message: Put yourself in your book. Use the emotions of your life's experiences to make your characters come alive.
Later in the afternoon we had another round of workshops, more spotlights and editor/agent appointments. Tired? You bet. Aching feet from dress shoes for three straight days? Definitely. Head spinning from huge amounts of valuable information on the craft and industry of publishing, names of new friends, new ideas and goals. Yes, yes and yes. And it's been worth every moment.
One particular highlight of my day, besides the incredible luncheon with Eloisa James, was a workshop I attended with Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I had several lightbulb moments thanks to them and can't wait to get back to my work in progress. Thank you ladies!
Another conference highlight has been a 2-hour workshop by Donald Maass - The Fire in Fiction - based on his new book by the same title. I highly recommend you go right out and get it. You won't be sorry.
Today is Saturday, the final day of workshops and networking, and the crown jewel of the Romance Writers of America conference - the Rita and Golden Heart awards for published and unpublished authors, respectively. Tonight we will gather in all our finery to honor these talented women and look on with respect and admiration as they recieve their much deserved recognition. It's a breathtaking moment when that name is called, everyone holding their breath, applauding, tearing up, filled with encouragement for their own dreams and aspirations. I can't wait.
Then, like the fun loving women we are - we go eat chocolate!
And the winner is....everyone who was fortunate enough to attend the conference and those of you who purchase the tapes! If you're a writer, don't let opportunities like these pass you by. And if you're a reader, then you win too. Because it's conferences and organizations like RWA that help educate and inspire the writers who provide you with all those wonderful books.
Don't forget to check the RWA website after tonight to find out the lucky winners of the Golden Heart and the Rita.