Tuesday, August 1, 2017

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation

Okay, so it wasn’t quite our summer vacation... but Regina and I are home from the Romance Writers of America’s annual National Conference, held this year in Orlando, FL...and we had a great time! 
The conference was held at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort (with overflow attendees staying a short walk away at the Swan.) Note the very large dolphins (in the classical style, not like Flipper) adorning the roof or the building. I have to wonder how often they get hit by lightning?

We were lucky enough to have a splendid view out over the lagoon and pool areas of the resort (that's it above.) Herons, ibises, and ducks seemed to enjoy hanging out in the lagoon...and on a few occasions, I saw ducks take to the swimming pool as well. The lovely view didn’t end when the sun went down: we got to watch a nightly display of fireworks and (speaking of lightning) one spectacular evening thunderstorm.

So what do we do at these conferences? Well, for one thing, we talk—about writing and our careers, about our families, about our lives. Regina is one of my dearest friends, and this is our only chance in the year to talk face-to-face...so we make the most of it! But we’re also attending workshops on writing and the publishing industry (and sharing notes afterward if we go to different workshops); I found workshops by Lisa Cron (a story analyst and consultant ) and media specialist Fauzia Burke especially useful, as well as workshops on historical forensics and writing romantic adventure stories. We do other business-y stuff like meet with our agents and editors (sadly, my agent didn’t come this year.)

And we go to parties. Regina will tell you about one we attended on Wednesday night in her post on Friday, and I’ll tell you about the party we went to on Friday given by the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of RWA.  There was terrific food (the tiny crabcakes and inch-long chicken pot pies were awesome), a costume contest in which my friend and critique partner (and Golden Heart finalist!) Janet Halpin won second place...and the presentation of the chapter’s PRISM Award for published books, in which Skin Deep won in the Best Urban Fantasy category. That’s me and Regina with my shiny crystal PRISM trophy...an honor I’m most delighted and grateful for.

That’s my wrap-up for Regina and Marissa’s Excellent Annual Girls’ Sleepover/RWA Conference...but you know, we’ve been thinking that once a year isn’t enough...

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