Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home Again

I loved attending the Romance Writers of America Conference in Dallas last week! The days were packed with great workshops and excellent speakers, but the most fun was seeing old friends and making new ones. With 2,000 writers attending the conference, there was always a new person to meet.

Did anyone else see Prudence, the pink pig from Iowa? The gals from the Iowa chapter were showing her the sights in Dallas, and I had the pleasure of meeting Pru during the Mystery and Suspense Writers tour on Tuesday. Pru dressed up that night for the buffet dinner by wearing a to-die-for pair of diamond studs in her cute little piggy ears. :)

Spending time with other Steeple Hill authors is always a treat, and this year I was able to meet our own Crafty Ladies Pamela and Lisa for the first time. They're great gals and so talented!Terri Reed--another of our Ladies of Suspense--is on the RWA Board and did so much to make the conference a success. It was great seeing her as well. The LofS made a point to get together often throughout the conference and again at the gala Harlequin party on Friday night when everyone looked so beautiful in their party attire!

Saturday started off with the 8:30 AM workshop I had the honor of presenting with Steeple Hill authors Janet Dean and Leigh Bale. Our Senior Editor Krista Stroever joined us for an informative look at a writer's FIRST YEAR ON THE JOB. We hope to present the program next year so if you missed us in '07, be sure to look for us in '08!

Later that day, I attended two workshops given by screenplay consultant Michael Hauge. The man is a genius! I learned so much that I hope to incorporate into my stories in the future.

The flight back to Atlanta on Sunday went smoothly. I sat with my dear friend and great critique partner Darlene Buchholz, and we brainstormed some new ideas for our stories. We also did a fill in the blank drill that Michael Hauge suggested. Apply the following sentence to your character and see what you come up with: I'd do anything to (include your character's goal here), but just don't ask me to (insert his or her greatest fear) because that's just not something I would ever do. Mr. Hauge's technique is a great way to come up with the obstacle that will most dramatically affect the character. At the end of his talk, he challenged all the writers to fill in the blanks for their own writing goals. His premise was there may be something holding us back. If we can identify our struggle, we can work to overcome the problem to achieve our dream. Try it and let me know if it works for you.

The conference was great, but I must admit that I was ready to come home on Sunday. Yes, I had a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute, but as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home." Let me know about your conference experience, and if you couldn't make it this year, start planning now to attend in 2008 when RWA heads to San Francisco!

Wishing you abundant blessings,


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