I'm finally home! *kicks off shoes* Hubby and I did the weekend run to the Houston RWA conference. It's a six hour drive one way - and OMG - Houston traffic is a thing of nightmares. A thing of legend! No kidding. Brave folks travel the freeways there. Nuff said.
I thought we would never find the hotel, and after about 2 trips on the freeway during 5 o'clock rush hour, we stopped at a gas station and I mapped an alternate route. Melinda called us on our way, and managed to help us nav the rest of the way in. We made it there around 5 or so, and I ran upstairs long enough to freshen up, change, and put on a little makeup. I rode to the Friday night meet and greet with Melinda - who is simply a fabulous lady.
The meet and greet was a blast. I met a few of the contest chairs, including Cheri Jetton - who was over my category. She's also the chapter president, I believe, but the really cool thing is she is such a sweet lady. One of those people you meet them and you like them right away. She is so very charming!
I also met Jennifer, Jody, Angela, and Chuck - NW Houston chapter members. They were such a hoot to hang out with. LOL! Jennifer and Chuck were hilarious! Chuck asked me if I was a contest slut. ROFL!!!! ^_^
I started out standing with Melinda in throughway between the kitchen and the dining room, but when traffic started flowing through there and she moved on to the dining room, I moved to stand in this little cozy, out of the way area beside this buffet table. Well, I ended up in the corner, unable to leave it - lol - but I had great company. Jody, Angela, Jennifer, and Michelle Grajkowski from 3 Seas Literary Agency soom formed a small chit chat circle there and we all laughed til it hurt.
While there, I also briefly met Lynda Krzywicki who organized the conference, and Becca Stumpf from the Prospect Agency. I'm usually very shy, but even with speaking to them for only a short time, it was all very comfortable. Like talking to people you've known for a long time. I had a great time just hanging out, talking to everyone - they all seemed so down to earth. We were all having such a good time talking, we stayed longer than the meet and greet was scheduled to run. ^_^
The next morning, hubby drove me to the christian community center. We followed Melinda, who was driving the agents and editors to the function. I had no idea where to go, so I walked with them to the far building, and then we split ways - I had to go through registration. Most of the seats were already taken by the time I arrived, so I settled into a seat at the back.
Patricia Kay was the speaker, and she did an awesome workshop on Scenes, Sequels, and Prologues. I took a heap of notes, and saved every single worksheet. Great stuff. A little brutal at one point - lol - but make no doubt, I learned a lot.
Toward the end, they announced the Lone Star Writing Competion winners. I'm happy to report that my novel Love Fool won first place in my category - contemporary series. Woot! One of the judges, Faith Black from Avalon books, also requested the full.
I still have score sheets to sort through and analyze. I plan to take them out and go over them tomorrow. I'm going to use my lowest scored sheet - which is an 86 or 87, YIKES! - and go over it with a fine tooth comb. That judge wrote down tons of useful advice in the margins, and added a typed comments sheet to the mix stating my various strengths and weaknesses. Tough love, yes, but very cool. It's the score sheet that has to be the most invaluable aspect overalls - if I'm able to correct even one mistake that will strengthen my writing, and it will have been worth that initial YIKES moment ten times over.
So that's it for me. I have some pics from the conference, but honestly I'm too tired to fight with resizing them tonight. I'll add them to facebook sometime tomorrow. ~_^ I hope you all have a snazzy weekend!