Several months ago, I found a Romance Chapter online that I decided I was going to attend. But it meant that I had to join the Romance Writers of America. It worked out, and I went ahead and joined. Following that I planned on attending their conference.
Since that time, I have been attending meetings in Salt Lake area once a month. I’ve made some friends, but of course they all live down in Utah. It has made finding a critique partner a little tricky.
I have learned from experience, that I do not do well with online critiquing. I am one of those types that requires face to face battles! As a result, I have officially hired two of my neighbors to be my partners. They are getting paid in goldfish, laughter and all the free water they can drink. They knew nothing about writing when I first ask them to help me, but I have been teaching them what I know as we go. Together, we’ve been sorting out my manuscript.
This past weekend, I made several new friends. I still feel confident that face to face critiquing is best for me, but I do hope to be of help to my new friends, should they ask me to help them.
Andrea lives in the Logan area, and she was my roommate for the conference. She is a wonderful person, and I had a great time with her. She has a great sense of humor and we think a lot alike on most things.
Michelle was also a delight to meet, and we have a lot in common! I am excited to watch what happens with the manuscript that she pitched. The cutest little agent I’ve ever seen requested 50 pages from her. Awesome!!!
Another fun friend I met is Caitlin O’Hanlon. She works for a company called Wattpad. Its an online reading website that is growing amazing fast. Its a global company with readers everywhere around the world. And while I’m confident our paths may not crossed again in real life, I do think that someday they will cross in the virtual world.
A fun friend that I have known for a while now, but got to spend more time with is Irish Winters. I’m using her pen name, because it’s just delicious. She has been a great support to me and I was grateful to bounce some ideas off of her.
There were several classes during the conference that were very encouraging but there was one that reached somewhere deep down inside of me and unearthed a beast that I’ve been trying to keep locked away.
I have always known there’s a second story in me, a companion story that goes with my first one. Everytime it surfaces, a beat it back with a stick, unwilling to let it interfere with my first story. But this weekend, the beast was awakened and there’s no turning back.
I’m going to try to hash out the story this year during NaNoWriMo. This will be my first year attempting such a feat. At the very least, I hope to get a nice skeleton manuscript going.
November is going to be a very busy writing month! And I couldn’t be more excited about it. I admit that this excitement stems from the loving support of my husband, the fabulous critique partners I have created, and my friend friends in Utah, and the small group that I found locally that is doing NaNo.
I have decided to never underestimate the power of a conference. While it may not be the most educational, or perhaps I feel that some of the classes do not fit my needs, or the cost is a concern… there’s something to be said about immersing yourself among friends and other writers.