Romance Virginity

The last weekend in April I experienced something new in my writing career. I ventured northwest to Chicago. That in and of itself was something new but it wasn't the only thing. I attended a romance conference. Clarification: A Romance Writers Conference. The Chicago-North Chapter of Romance Writers of America sponsored the Spring Fling 2014.The sessions and speakers were great. Here are some things I learned:

  1. You never know who will be there. There were some well known names like Lauren Dane, Mary Balogh & Kristen Higgins. I met wonderful people both published and unpublished and I actually bumped into a high school friend (small world).
  2. Take advantage of other peoples fears. Yeah, that's right. When they chicken out of pitch sessions jump in and go for it. It might be the only chance you get to 'pimp' your work.
  3. Make memories. I greeted an agent with "Hi, I'm a romance conference and pitching virgin." "I'll be gentle," she replied. She was and then requested to see more of my book.
  4. Never lock your keys in the car trunk (especially while out of state).  If you do make sure your phone isn't with said keys. Yes, this happened to me. Luckily my car is newer and there an phone app to unlock it. However, with my phone also in the trunk this proved difficult. Ack! So my husband in Ohio opened the locks in Illinois. He wasn't annoyed because it proved to be a handy trick. Phew.
  5. Laugh. My favorite speaker was one from the Chicago-North RWA branch because she spontaneously started a pun roll. It all started with the mention of BDSM (Google it) and getting to the 'bottom' of it. After the laugher died down she went back to 'the top'. There were others and I thought I might pee my pants I was laughing so hard.
  6. The Little Mermaid will never be the same. A comedian there retold Ariel's story once she had legs and noticed her new parts... "Look at this stuff
    Isn't it neat?
    Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
    Wouldn't you think I'm the girl
    The girl who has ev'rything?
    Look at this trove
    Treasures untold
    How many wonders can one cavern hold?
    Lookin' around here you'd think
    (Sure) she's got everything"                Oh, man, it will never be the same.
  7. Tighten up that writing. Turn "Lindsey's heart fluttered and she ached with desire; it overcame her making her faint" into either "Lindsey was horny" or "Lindsey was hungry." (Was she looking at a cheeseburger or a man?)
  8. Find your voice. Um, hello? (mine's slightly really.)
  9. Free books are awesome. Especially romance books. The heck with cookbooks.
  10. Burnt chicken (with funky mayonnaise topping) is better than uncooked chicken. Don't be friends with Sam and Ella. 
  11. Finding a man waiting in bed for you after three nights away is always a plus. I had a choice to make: To sleep or not to sleep. Coming from a conference with all things romance and knowing what sane man would say no... My sleep was postponed some.
I learned  and laughed a lot. It was an experience I will treasure and wouldn't mind repeating. My romance writers conference virginity has been taken.


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