Right Time, Right Place

-by Fae Rowen

The RWA 2012 National Conference, for me, was a perfect example of Right Time, Right Place.

First, I have to shout CONGRATULATIONS, TESSA DARE, ON YOUR RITA! Tessa won the RITA for Best Regency Historical with A Night to Surrender.

Double excitement for her, because it happened on her home turf and all the Orange County Chapter members screamed and shouted. To say nothing of how beautiful Tessa looked. Hollywood movie star beautiful. We’re proud of you, Tessa (and love your writing!)

And OCC got to stand up and cheer for Diane Pershing who won the RWA Service Award.

Our very own contributing blogger, Kara Lennox,was a double RITA finalist for Nothing But the Truth and Taken to the Edge. Look for Kara’s blog on Friday.

Okay, back to right time, right place–for me, anyway.

First, the venue. I don’t ever remember any hotel staff in my travels being so accessible and cheerfully helpful. The food was good and served quickly and efficiently. Special requests were handled with a smile. Major kudos to the Marriott Anaheim.

The conference workshops were fantastic. How can you go wrong with the likes of Kristen Lamb (social networking,) Margie Lawson (deep editing,) Alexis Sokolov (plotting,) and Michael Hauge (conflict?) The speakers were well prepared. Many had PowerPoint presentations, some had handouts–though most referred to handouts posted on the RWA site that I hadn’t known to print out ahead of time. (I’d pre-printed out the handouts when Writers in the Storm trekked to Washington D.C. three years ago.)

I came home with enough free books to start my own book store. Well, almost.

Laura Drake threatened me with a stick if I didn’t network, so I did.  And it worked.

Laura at conference

I had three appointments to pitch. Combined with my leaning-against-a-wall conversations with people that I didn’t know were agents, I came home with seven requests for partials, including one for my newest book that isn’t even finished. I was very clear that I hadn’t finished it, but the agent wanted to see what I’d done so far. Wow!

Instead of sitting like a wallflower at the edge of the action, I met some wonderful people.
It seemed that the universe filled in my dance card and I just had to show up. I’m so glad I did.

The Board, in closed session, voted to make some surprising changes over the next few years, but you can read the RWA Board Notes on your own if you’re a member.

Yes, I’m still floating, even though I have a boatload of work to do this week.

On my way home I was definitely in the wrong place, wrong time. I dropped off my godson at an event and was sitting in my parked car to be sure he was squared away for his week-long stay when a car pulled in next to me and scraped my car. The driver denied it, until I showed him my paint on his bumper. He suggested I just, “rub it out.” It took a while to get his info and I just didn’t feel right, so while the couple went in to their meeting, I called the police. Turns out I was given bogus info. Good thing I’ve got a report.

I’m glad I spent the last few days in the right place. Only the future will tell how right that time was.

Have you had any right time-right place experiences? Or wrong place-wrong time ones? Any conference experiences you want to share?

As soon as we go through the over one hundred pictures Sharla took at the conference, we’re going to have a couple of photo blogs. Check for those pictures starting next Wednesday.

And this Wednesday, we’re welcoming Susan Spann back for Part 5, Raise the Stakes, in her continuing series.

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13 Responses to Right Time, Right Place

  1. Jann says:

    Great picture of Laura!! I have to agree, the conference was great. The WF Mini-Conference was fantastic. Talking to fellow OCC members who pitched, it sounds like editors and agents alike are looking for manuscripts to sell.

  2. Fae – I’m pleased as punch (cliche allowed this one time, okay) the conference was a terrific success for you. Crummy about the car — but you made the right choice in getting a police report. Good luck with your requests–I’ll be watching for ‘happy dance’ news. And, yes–aren’t conferences fun. They are the best way to get me back in the driver’s seat of writing.

    • Thanks, Sheri. Now that Laura has finally gotten me excited to send things out, I plan to be happy dancing very soon! The car–it’s a story that will probably show up on a different planet sometime!
      -Fae

  3. Sharla Rae says:

    The conference was awesome and I loved that e-publishing is coming on so strong. Don’t get me wrong. I love holding one of my own books in my hands. But because our expanded choices, many Traditional publishers at the conference seemed to offer authors greater respect and contracts that seem more fair.

    On the fun side of things, I took bunches of photos at the conference and caught many of you in action.🙂 Keep an out for them.

  4. C. K. Crouch says:

    Wow you make me excited about next year. I’m hoping to attend Nationals in Atlanta. I so want to go and be a part of the excitement.

  5. First – CONGRATULATIONS!!! How absolutely AMAZING for you! YAY!

    Ahem, so yes, RWA12 was incredibly fantastic. I loved every single minute and I replay it in my mind constantly. It was Writer’s Paradise. I am going to do everything I can to make to Atlanta!

  6. dadblunders says:

    Sounds like you had a fantastic time (except for the car incident.)

    I can think of one incident that was right time/wrong time type of day! I was around 15 years old and was walking home from school. I had to cross the interstate to get to my neighborhood. It was not the first time i had walked home and i knew how busy this particular road could be. It was one that you looked both ways and then checked again to be safe.

    On this particular day there was a news crew filming about some local story at the intersection of the highway and my neighborhood. Being the typical teenager I had a tendency to let my mind wander upon occasion. I should have been paying more attention to the road and less to the news crew. I did make sure the road was clear and crossed the road.

    Once I crossed the street, I can’t be sure of my reasoning, I stopped and didn’t go much further then a few feet from the intersection. I watched as the news crew focused their attention and cameras on me. I was so infatuated with the idea of being a “local celebrity.” I didn’t even hear them yell at me, “Get out of the way!”

    I looked up just in time to see a semi-truck slamming on its brakes and starting to jack-knife directly towards me. My senses took over and I ran. I didn’t actually see the semi overturn. I didn’t even see the load of cattle come rushing out the back end. However, I did see the two longhorns that walked out of the semi and were a little agitated. They charged directly for me. It was in that instant I might have taken flight as I jumped a fence to safety. I had no desire to see their horns up close.

    I can tell you that everyone walked away from the accident uninjured. It wasn’t until later that evening that I realized I had become a “local celebrity,” just not in the way I wanted to be one. The film crew had filmed me running from the semi and running from the longhorn! It was not the best experience to go to school and find out many of your friends had also watched the same news footage…..yikes!!!

    Aaron

    • Oh, my goodness, Aaron. What a story! And it just kept getting better and better, a la Donald Mass!
      Certainly not the kind of thing you’re going to want your children to try. At least no one was hurt.
      Thanks for sharing with us.
      -Fae

  7. ELF says:

    Congrats on the requests, you must be so ecstatic to see your hard work paying off. Glad you had a good time and I will look forward to seeing your work published in the near future (-:

    • Yes, it’s about time that Laura can’t say I sit at home and wait for someone to knock on my door and ask, “Do you have a novel I can buy?” I’ll keep you posted.
      -Fae

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