Though it is still 6 weeks away, and I have plenty of time to plan, I find myself returning to the Romance Writers of America website to review the conference line-up. I attended for the first time last year and enjoyed every last minute. There was a short time however, in the late morning on Saturday, when I sat down in the lounge with my friends and knew I could not move. I thought it impossible to add even the tiniest bit of information into my overly saturated brain. Perhaps this is why I am planning ahead now. I didn’t know what to expect last time. Now I do.
The easiest part is taken care of. I will arrive on Tuesday and meet up with my critique partners. What is especially exciting is that of the group of us going, I’ve only met two face to face – at last year’s conference. There will be seven of us this time and I can’t wait to meet them in person. We’ve spent over a year reading each other’s chapters, giving advice, cheering contest wins, editing work, and grumbling along with the entrant over poor scores. We’ve already talked about our families, work and our plans. All that is left is a face to face chat and I can’t wait.
Wednesday will be an easy day. Nothing is really required of me since I am not a chapter leader or a librarian. So, I will wander in sometime to register and then show up for the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing. This is where the first list comes in. I’ve already read through it once and there are so many names of my favorite authors that I hope I can get to them in the two hours allotted. This was also the place where I got my first piece of advice. When it is your first conference, you have a ribbon that says “first timer”. Victoria Alexander, whose books I loved, saw the ribbon and told me to pace myself. Boy, was she right. I may not have gotten it last year, but I will certainly heed it this year. The rest of the evening is up for grabs, though my crit partners are thinking of attending the Beau Monde Soiree. We shall see.
As for Thursday and the remainder of the conference. I am at a loss. Too many wonderful workshops and so little time. I guess I will keep reading and picking and changing my mind until I get there.
How about you? Do you attend the RWA Conference? Do you have a plan of attack on how to make the most of the experience? Who is your favorite author and one I should be sure to get a book from? Having been only once I still consider myself a newbie and welcome any advice.