Saturday, July 28, 2012

RWA Conference Day 4

funny cat pictures - As much as Glen loved line dancing, he was hopeless at it.
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Friday was all about the RWA Conference. No side trips to Disneyland today. But I still had fun since it was the day of the Harlequin party.

In the morning, I knew I didn't have much free time at all, but that was a good thing since I needed to get serious about conference stuff! Okay, not really, but let's keep that between you and me. But I did attend a few workshops so that counts, right?

First up was a double-time-slot workshop with Michael Hauge. I can't tell you how much I've learned from him over the years. I first learned to plot from a weekend workshop in Berkley I took when I lived in the Bay Area. This was back in my pre-pub days! I'd heard most of it before, but I was glad about that. His process of talking about external and internal conflict makes so much sense to me and really helps with my plotting. It's something I want to become so organic in my writing process I don't have to refer to my notes.

Lunch was fun. I met a few new writers, sat with one of my chapter mates who I was hoping to connect with and also got a chance to chat with RITA® Finalist Fiona Lowe who I know from Twitter! The speech by author Robyn Carr was so wonderful. I almost cried in a couple of spots. Very humorous, touching and motivating.

After lunch, I was back to listen to Michael Hauge for two more hours. This time he was analyzing Pretty Woman. It was interesting to have him play scenes then dissect them per his Story Mastery method. It really pulled everything I'd heard in the morning together in a concrete way.

From there, I headed to listen to Margie Lawson discuss openings. I love Margie's workshop packages. I took my first online class from her back in 2005. I still have my binder and refer to it. I downloaded two more of her classes a few months ago. Good stuff that really improves a writer's craft!

I met Sarita Leone for a quick bite to eat then it was time to get ready for the Harlequin Party. While I was busy preparing for that, my roommates and Sarita settled in to watch the Olympic opening ceremony. I can't believe I missed it, but I'm going to hope I can catch it on-Demand.

 The Harlequin Party is all about dancing and dessert and drinks. It's the time for authors to kick off their shows, forget deadlines and just have fun! My agents Christina and Annelise were there, too!

This year's soiree was at the Hyatt Regency, a lovely hotel. I must admit I was disappointed there wasn't a chocolate fountain. I think this is the first party I've attended without one. But I did splurge on a chocolate eclair. Yum!

Two sips was enough for me!
The same DJ was back again. This time he brought an assistant so he was out on the dance floor more. No complaints about the music and dancing! If you want to see me dancing check out my Facebook Books page! (Hit the f button on the right hand side bar!)

I got lots of compliments on my new dress and my short hair. That was nice! We ended up leaving a little early. All those late nights at Disneyland have finally caught up with me.

Fiona Harper and me
Back at the Marriott, I bumped into Harlequin Presents author and RITA finalist, Sarah Morgan, who invited me to join her, Sharon Kendricks and Melanie Milburne in the bar. I was ready for bed, but I love Sarah (I got to know her last year when we were both finalists in NY) and I'm a big fan of all three of their books so how could I say no! I tried hard not to embarrass myself by being a total fangirl.

Then it was off to bed so I'd be ready for the final day of conference. I have a meeting with my agents in the morning so I wanted to be rested for that. We aren't leaving until Sunday night. That means more Disneyland on Sunday. Jeah! (That's in honor of Ryan Lochte, who is Finn's favorite swimmer!)