Wednesday, February 01, 2006

wines ahead

< picks up glass of wine >

How do you people do it? Work all day, come home, blog, write novels, not just fall onto the couch and stare at the ceiling wondering how many more days come until the weekend?

Clearly not by procrastinating. Odd how one can procrastinate doing what one normally does to procrastinate.

So I was going to write a pithy intro today - give y'all a little perspective on where I'm coming from. But you'll figure it out eventually. All you need to know is over there ------> in the sidebar.

Last Saturday my RWA national conference CDs came in the mail. Ecstatic I perused the list of sessions, highlighting those that seemed to be most apropos to what I'm currently working on. I choose the top ten and load them up on the iPod. Couldn't wait to start listening.

Buuuut, no listening on the weekend is my rule. See, it would be way to easy to spend all day Sat and Sun doing nothing but listening to conference sessions and not doing actual writing. Since my brain is generally fried during the week (too much mental energy into justifying my obscene rates to the clients I work for), I spend weeknights plotting, planning, dreaming.

The weekend is for writing!

Monday morning I strap on the iPod and become one of those commuters with the white earbuds. Unfortunately, my commute is around 5 minutes, so I really have to squeeze in listening time. This might explain why I don't have quite as much patience with the speakers as I would, say, if I were attending the conference live.

Sounds harsh - but you do the math: 149 sessions, 1 hour each, 20 minute max commute if I stretch it... I could be listening to these mp3s for the rest of my life!

Clearly this has led me to a lot of ranting (without naming names because I honestly cannot express how important I find the national conference to be and how much I have learned from these session and how glad I am that so many people put so much effort into helping us unpublished folk).

But I rant anyway because that is what I do. For example:

  1. Granted I'm new (ish - I was actually a member a long time ago) but it's Chick Lit. Or Mommy Lit. Or Hen Lit - or whatever you want to call it. But it isn't just Chick. Adding "Chick" to something doesn't make it Chick Litty. Generally I don't think of things as "chick mystery..." But I'm usually wrong on these things (it just sounded weird...)
  2. Why is it that presenters - who certainly understand how important it is to grab the reader and get to the point early in their books - can't seem to do so in a presentation? I love that they warm up the audience... but I'm already warm and almost to work - I want to hear what you have to say because I know it will be good!
  3. If you've never sold in the sub-genre you're talking about (despite your best efforts and your track record as a pubbed author) why are you giving the presentation? Granted, you could have done tons and tons of research. If that's the case - tell us your research and not just what you've done (especially if what you've done hasn't been working for you).
  4. Don't spend time reminding us to know our reader, proof-read, come up with good idea, write the best book we can, etc etc. I know we all need to start with the basics, but a quick handout on these at the beginning of the conference would save a lot of repetition...
  5. And for goodness sake people, as Diana Peterfreund points out, don't take up valuable Q&A time asking about (a) your particular plot and if it has a good hook and (b) what font is best (and I know I didn't take you to an exact post where she says such things but that was on purpose because you should read her whole blog - so full of great tips plus a fantastic story!)

My wineglass is empty. I guess I should go fill it up and take a deep breath.

< /rant >

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