Good day, Inpsy(INSPY – a testament to how tired I really was when I wrote this and proofed it LOL) readers. Ginger here, sending this to you from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I’m six hours from home at a writing conference. I thought I’d take this post to clue you into this part of a writer’s life. For the record, when I write BRMCWC it means Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. :)
Saturday, May 16 – I woke up at 5:15 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. I’d left too many things undone. I had to write a synopsis and find some compassionate friend to read over it before I printed it to include in my conference notebook, which I put together Friday night. I also had to pack, fill the car with gas, and make sure everything with my family was set for me to be gone for five days. I also had to remember to send my brother a happy birthday text. :) I managed to get most of that done before 9:30 a.m. By then, I was about ready for a nap.
Sunday, May 17 – I set my alarm for 6 a.m., but, of course, I dreamed of forgetting stuff and thought of other things I ought to bring—none of which I remembered to pick up—and got out of bed at 5:40. Breakfast and last minute packing filled the next hour or so. My friend, Betty, and I started out at 7 a.m. for the six hour trip from Alabama to Black Mountain, NC. I drove my husband’s car. I thought it might rain on us, but we only received sprinkles. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch somewhere in Tennessee.
We arrived at Ridgecrest Conference Center right at 3 p.m., checked in, and drove around to the building where we were both registered. By 3:45, I was in my room, unpacked and texting my husband that I had arrived safely. Am I being too specific here? Probably, so let’s cut to the chase. Dinner was yummy, and I’m currently sitting in my room, typing this, waiting for the first group meeting which is scheduled to start in just over a half hour.
I’m really here. I’m nervous. I need to decide if I want to pitch my current work in progress. Everything I need to do so is with me, but…well, I’m nervous. It’s not finished. Like 15,000 words of an 80,000 word novel. I could get it done by mid-summer with some serious work, but does anyone here (i.e. agents or editors) care? *sigh* The angst gurgles the dinner in my stomach. I have to make a decision soon—sign-ups are after tonight’s meeting. Who to choose? We only get one for now. Editor? Agent? This one or that one? (addendum…we got two choices LOL)
Ah, the writer’s life. Not all glamor. :)
Monday, May 18 – The first full day of BRMCWC is almost over. My classes were excellent. I made an appointment with an agent and an editor. The editor appointment went about as I expected. She asked for a proposal when my novel was closer to being complete. The agent appointment didn’t happen. Somehow the two of us crossed paths. It’s incredibly difficult to remember names with faces when you’re looking at several hundred people regularly. Anyway, I stalked her at the dinner table (each faculty member has a specific table to meet with conferees) where we connected, and she was gracious enough to reschedule for Tuesday.
Tuesday, May 19 – I woke up exhausted. With my back problems, sometimes sleeping on strange beds is challenging. I thought I’d slept pretty good, but…well, I was tired. It could be the time change. BRMCWC is held in the eastern time zone, and I live in the central time zone.
The day went well. Again my classes were excellent and so informative. As I have told several new conferees, if you come expecting even a mustard seed of information, you will go home inundated with practical help. I met with the agent. She was interested in my work, not only what I came to show (we call it pitching), but also in what I already have written and what ideas I have yet to explore. When I returned to my room my roommate, who also saw this particular agent, said that she asked her for the same information. Can we say burst bubble? Not that I’m not still excited to send her my stuff. It’s just not quite as special, ya know?
The writer’s life is full of peaks and valleys. Up one minute and plunging the next. Torry Martin, a very funny man and entertainer, was the keynote speaker. He walked up and told us he didn’t have a clue what he was going to talk about, but he had several pages of notes. :) Anyway, he spoke on failure. Get this:
He shared some about his failures and about his subsequent successes because he DIDN’T GIVE UP. His main point? Go ahead and fail, but get up and try again. Don’t quit. It’s helpful to remember when nothing seems to be going right/write. :)
Oh, and I won some books by Lynette Eason, and I actually got them signed by her. With my name and all. Squee!
And you know my first thought right there…I met a real author in real life. My second thought…I’m a real author. Lightbulb!
Wednesday, May 20 – Woke up pre-meltdown this morning. If you’re an introvert, you know what I’m saying. Almost three full days of being with people has drained me so thoroughly that a song, and not a very deep one, nearly brought me to tears as I was applying my makeup.
WARNING: Feeling a little snarky. I learned that there is a difference between a “love story” and a “romance.” My first thought…really? My second thought…what’s the difference? So, apparently a “romance” is what the industry calls a trade-length (45,000-60,000) with only the male and female character’s points of view. Everything else is a love story. My final thought…hogwash! And lest the powers that be who made this up see this post, well…hogwash! :) They are both love stories and both are romance. Okay, so that’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.
As I’m writing this (8:15 a.m. Wed.), I’m about ready to fall asleep. I think I’m going to skip the group meeting this morning just to recoup some energy. I dislike missing, but I will shut down later if I don’t pull back from something. I’ve been there and done it before, missing classes I really wanted, but unable to handle anymore.
3:27 p.m. Taking another break from the hectic schedule. I chose to leave this time empty, knowing that this is when my body needs rest. As soon as I finish getting this ready, I’m going to lay down.
The awards banquet is tonight where I hope to be accepting one on behalf of a friend who was unable to attend this year. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to tell you one way or another as this post needs to be uploaded before I give our fearless leader, Valerie Comer, a nervous breakdown.
I pray you’ve enjoyed this little taste of life as a writer at a conference.