Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

Monday, October 12th, 2009
Emerald City Writers Conference


I spent most of the last three days at the 2009 Emerald City Writers Conference. This is a local writers’ conference held annually by the Greater Seattle chapter of the Romance Writers of America and I’m glad it’s local to me as I can actually make it to the conference with a good amount of certainty.

This year, I was only able to go to a few of the workshops but I really enjoyed those I managed to make it to. The offerings ranged from an H&R Block tax workshop to ones on writing mechanics, finding inspiration, promotion and how to succeed in writing as a business.

The book signing was nice, especially given the economy. I didn’t have anything there to sign because my print book had just come out and I didn’t know that when it was time to sign up for it. Maybe next year. Instead I provided “minion” services for both Yasmine Galenorn and Linda Wisdom. Whenever there was a slow period, I amused myself by making bunny ears behind Yasmine’s head (Linda says they were devil horns but, hey, whatever works!).

I saw a lot of old friends, made some new ones and won a door prize (I don’t usually win anything). Next year Yasmine and I are talking about proposing two new workshops. We’ll see if they are accepted or not. :) I also plan a couple of fun baskets with things like Office.

I also rediscovered the bonding of knitting, especially among writers. On Sunday, I brought my knitting with me because I needed something to do with my hands and had given up on the possibility that I’d actually get the laptop out and do anything on it. I had quite a few people stop by to see what I was knitting and tell me what they were working on. I was really interested in the gloves Deborah Cooke was knitting and may have to find that pattern and make a pair – at least I might when I’m less intimidated by knitting fingers and the concept of a thumb gusset.

Next year the Emerald City Writers Conference is October 1-3, 2010.

Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Home from RAW

I have to admit, I had a great time at Lora Leigh’s Reader Appreciation Weekend (RAW). That woman can sure throw a party!

I’ve already told you about the power co-incidence :) We were in a fun part of Huntington, WV at the Pullman Plaza hotel. Across the street was a nice little set of shops where I discovered just how much gel I needed to be a carrier for Way Too Much glitter. I may be finding glitter and stars for months. There was a chili cookoff on Saturday and a lot of us wandered through that – lots of fun and live music.

The fact that we had the mornings free was terrific. I’m really not much of a morning person so trying to be up for 8am meetings or breakfasts really sucks for me. 10am was SO much better!

We had a great pajama party on Friday where I wore my spoiled kitty pajamas and there was a huge variety of fun pajamas there. Fuzzy socks are the most comfortable dancing shoes ever, I must admit. After the pajama party, we went back to Jacki Franks suite and continued partying. She makes a really yummy butterscotch martini and I won an arc.

There were amazing costumes at the Saturday night Mardi Gras party – I was in awe. Maybe next year I’ll try to wear a costume instead of just party clothes.

There were great basket raffles with (I think) over $1000 raised for charity. I bought tickets but didn’t win anything, probably just as well considering what happened trying to get home last night.

I loved being able to sit on the patio with my laptop and my little Asus eee to read email and play show-n-tell. Asus should give me a free computer – I think I sold at least 5-6 people on getting one and that includes a hotel staff member.

We were doing well until we started for home. It was a long wait for the valet to fetch the car but Jo and I had allowed a lot of extra time to get back to the airport in Columbus. We managed to drive back to the Columbus airport, gas up the rental and get checked in without too much trouble. Then my small-child-karma kicked in. There was only one small child on the flight, probably about 1.5 or 2, and having a fit. Guess who I was assigned to sit directly in front of.

Yep, you got it.

Luckily, the flight was only about half full so I was able to at least move so she wasn’t kicking my seat but the yelling and crying continued. I kept reminding myself it was a short flight, only 90 minutes or so. We made it to our layover in Chicago and from there things went nuts.

We stopped for some food and got to our gate to find there was a plane there for Miami that wasn’t moving very fast. We were supposed to start boarding at 7:25 to depart at 7:55 but since it was 7:00 and they’d not boarded the Miami flight, we knew it wasn’t going to be on time.

They finally started working on our flight to Seattle and began announcing that it was oversold and trying to find volunteers to take a $300 voucher and a free overnight hotel room to travel the next morning at 7am to St Luis and THEN to Seattle. Seemed awfully cheap to add a day to your plans and 7 hours to your flight time. YUCK

Shortly after all this, they make an announcement that they were moving our flight to a new gate “just around the corner.” Okay, that airline person LIED. Try down two entire concourses, THEN around the corner. It took us about ten minutes to walk there at a good pace! Then we had another bout of hurry up and wait. There was still another plane there that wasn’t ours. They were still trying for volunteers and now all the passengers were annoyed and tired.

We finally boarded at 9:10. The entire plane was full. This was an American Airlines flight and American charges for any checked bags. So almost everyone had a roller suitcase with them. There is NOT enough room for all those on the plane. They did take away the ones that were oversize, at least. I kid you not, I saw some guy with a FULL SIZE suitcase trying to take it as carryon! Even so, they ran out of room before the last 10-12 rows boarded at all.

I got 3 ebooks read on the flight but was crabby and just wanted to be home. No food unless you wanted to spend $6 for a wrap or $3 for a little cookie. I was really glad I’d eaten before we left O’Hare though I could only do lower-carb and my weight has suffered over this trip a bit.

We finally got to SeaTac at about 11:30. We went to get our luggage and sat. And sat. And sat. Finally there was an announcement that we were having a “luggage delay”. What the heck is a luggage delay? About 12:10 we actually had our bags and were off to wait for our parking shuttle.

I’m glad to be home. I got to the house at 1:15 or so and petted and fed the cats before collapsing into bed. Today I’ll worry about unpacking and doing some laundry. Now I have to get back into the swing of things to go to work tomorrow, blech.

But I’m home and had a GREAT time at RAW!!