I’m back from RWA13…now it’s time to translate.

So, I had an awesome time in Atlanta, and now I’m home, hot cup of coffee beside me, computer in my lap, and I know it’s time.

It’s time to figure out what I took away from it all.

And put it to work.

So, besides the joy of having an epiphany about my work in progress while Elizabeth Boyle taught me about hooks, the awe of having Liliana Hart share her knowledge of self-publishing with me (and a couple hundred other people), the pure thrill of being in the same room with Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips (two of my idols) and hearing their “secrets”, and a bag full of awesome romance novels, what great wisdom did I take away from RWA?

Here we go:

1. I’ve known this for a long time, but I heard it over and over at RWA this year: Other writers are not your competition. They’re your support group.
2. Carry a notebook with you. Epiphany may strike at any time, and you want to be able to write it down.
3. I CAN give my books away! No really, I worried about this. I was one of the authors at the Indie book signing and I was so afraid I’d brought too many books. But I gave most of them away there and a few later on, and really only came home with a handful of my own books leftover. So, yay! Here’s to more readers!
4. Meeting people in person is so much more thrilling than tweeting with them! I met my multi-talented editor Kristin Anders (The Romantic Editor) in person and was blown away.
5. On the flip side, once you meet an author in person, it’s fun to find them on Twitter. I did this with Suzanne Ferrell (one of the Romance Bandits), who I shared a signing table with at the indie signing. She was so much fun sitting next to, I didn’t want to lose that connection.

To sum up, it was a fun, productive several days and though I don’t want to return to the real world, I know I have no other choice. Besides, next year, RWA is in San Antonio. I do love San Antonio!

Broadening My Horizons: Preparing for #RWA13

Tomorrow I will step outside my comfort zone and attend #RWA13 (Romance Writers of America 2013 for the uninitiated). It’s a little scary and a lot exhilarating thinking of being surrounded by the amount of talent I know I’ll experience at this meeting. I went to my first one two years ago and loved it, although I had no idea what I was doing. After stumbling through two or three meetings with editors and agents, idiotically blabbing that I don’t like erotica (it’s not my first choice of reading material, but I have since learned to appreciate the art form), and wandering the halls aimlessly in search of the wrong workshops after reading the schedule incorrectly, I think I can safely say I’ve learned a thing or two about RWA meetings.

Five things I’m packing for #RWA13:
1. My ambition. I’ll dust it off first. It gets a lot of use, but in between these meetings, it can be sort of stationary.
2. My guts. I know I’ll need them. Hell, I’m an introvert. This kind of thing is really tough for me.
3. My talent. I do have it. Sometimes I lose it, but I always find it again.
4. My ability to roll with the punches. A no is just a no. It’s not a decree that I should never try again.
5. My determination. I know I haven’t written the Great American Novel and likely never will, but I ain’t gonna quit until I run out of words. And my dictionary is REALLY long.

In addition, I’m taking 52 copies of Close Up Magic, 10 copies of Ducks in a Row, 7 copies of Weeds and Flowers, bookmarks, postcards and stickers. Also, if you see me at #RWA13, ask me about my magic wands. I might just have one to give you!