Monday, August 2, 2010

RWA Nationals 2010: Personal Stats

RWA Nationals is over already! I'll attempt to post a more thoughtful recap later, but for now I'll just give you the raw numbers:

  • number of workshops attended: 11

  • pages of notes taken: 16

  • pages of notes taken that are actually legible: 2 1/2

  • number of decadent desserts eaten in 4 days: 6

  • number of pounds gained: you're crazy if you think I'm getting on a scale right now

  • final blister count from cute new shoes: 1

  • number of times I teared up during GH/Rita acceptance speeches: 4

  • distance between me and Nora Roberts at the Awards Ceremony: 20 feet

  • number of books I managed to cram into my already full suitcase: 13 (including one hardback)

  • number of Big Bang episodes watched at the airport and on the plane: 7

I loved spending time with my writer friends. Here are my two fabulous CPs (and me) before the Awards Ceremony.


Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Anne,

Love the picture of you guys in your award finery! Very nice.

Okay, I need the scoop - what is Nora Roberts really like (at 20 feet away)? Did you get to hear her speak?

What about Jayne Anne Krentz?

Two of my favourite authors - sigh.

Thanks for sharing some details with us. I've been living vicariously through everyone else's blogs!


Anne Barton said...

Hi Sue! Nora's gown was very glamorous--flowy, colorful, and gauzy. She's very petite, but when she speaks she seems larger than life. Pure power!

At the keynote address, in her no-nonsense style, she talked about how writing and publishing has always been hard and competitive. 30 years ago she used a typewriter and carbon paper, and Harlequin only had one line. She related how the friends that she made through RWA are the ones who still stand beside her and make the journey fun. :)

I also attended Nora's chat session. She was candid, warm, and witty (just like her writing voice.) She recommends that writers commit themselves to a story idea like a lover--one story at a time, and invested emotionally. I found it encouraging to hear that she still writes 3 to 4 drafts of each story. The first is to get the story down, the second is where she tweaks and fills in, and the third is for polishing and focusing on language.

Jayne Ann Krentz spoke at the Awards Luncheon about the twists and turns of her career. She boiled her message down into 3 key points:
1) determine your core story...and be able to adapt it to keep it fresh.
2) know the market so you can figure out how to make your core story work with it.
3) understand the importance of fictional landscapes to readers...follow the conventions and meet readers' expectations.

Hmmm, I guess my notes were better than I thought! ;) I'll share more later...after I catch up on laundry!

Keli Gwyn said...

I can vouch for your shoes, Anne. They were way cute. You always look so well put together. =)

Those desserts looked pretty tempting. I can see why they begged you to indulge.

Eleven workshops? Wow! I didn't realize you'd made it to so many. I thought they were quite good this year. I attended some very helpful ones.

The best part of Nationals for me, though, was seeing YOU!

Anne Barton said...

Thanks, Keli! I might have escaped without even a blister if I hadn't gone for a longish walk in search of a good cup of coffee. I never did find it!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks for all the inside info, Anne! Sounds wonderful.

You're not the only person I've heard complaining about the lack of coffee in Disney! I don't remember having a problem when I was there, but then again I only drink coffee in the morning.

Looking forward to further posts...


Sarah Simas said...

Great post and totally loved the recap! Sorry to hear about the blister and not finding a good cup o'joe! What's w/that?! You'd thinka resort would specialize in such things.

Thanks for the Nora notes. Wowza! What a treat that must have been?! To think, YOU shared the same breathing space as La Nora!!! LOL Awesome! I'd totally be taking pics even if it was the back of her head. ;)

I wished I could have been there. Hopefully, I'll be able to hang w/ you gals in 2012!

Anne Barton said...

Hey, Sarah! I didn't mean to sound like such a whiner about the coffee. But, let me tell ya, I was *really* happy to see the Starbucks at the airport. :)

I hope you get the chance to experience Nationals one of these years. It's totally inspiring. And hanging out with other writers is so much fun.