Friday, July 20, 2007

Diary of a Conference

Well, after five days, I think I'm finally caught up *g* I'm soooo glad to be back with my fellow Banditas!! I missed you all!!

Thank you all so much for your congrats! I'm still in shock *g* Congratulations to Trish on her GH win and to KJ and Jo on their Daphne Wins!

Here's a quick rundown of my conference experience:

Roomed with three wonderful friends, Tammy Johnson (05 gh finalist) Janice Lynn (Harlequin Author) Lindsey Brookes (07 gh finalist, American Title III finalist, Winner of Harlequin's American contest) I've never laughed as much as I did last week!

Survived my trip on the Elevator of Doom which took me to the Tower of Terror (I prefer my restaurants DON'T rotate, thanks all the same)

Got to witness my CP and best buddy Tawny and our lovely Anna C sign their books at the Lit signing! (I was so proud *g*)

Had breakfast with Rita Nominee Stephanie Rowe, a wonderful and sweet lady *g*

Had a book signed by one of my favorite authors, Virginia Kantra, who is always so kind and funny.

Attended some awesome workshops including the TGN retreat (hosted so fabulously by Jeanne) the PRO retreat (put on by Trish -- great job!) a YA workshop and a workshop on developing the romance in your romance novel by Virginia Kantra (I hope she didn't think I was stalking her *g*)

Moderated (for the first time ever) Tawny's Standing out from the Slushpile workshop (it was a huge success -- standing room only!)

Met with an editor from Silhouette to discuss which story to submit to them next

Had a terrific date to the RITA/GH ceremony (that's me and Tawny, all dolled up for the night *g*) Loved the awards ceremony this year and the chance to cheer for so many friends up for awards!

Spoke in front of over 1,900 people and lived to talk about it (even if it did take me an hour to stop shaking *g*)

Finally got the chance to wear the tiara Tawny sent to me (after I whined one too many times that I wanted to be Queen of the World -- or at least my little corner of it) I was the dork in the bar Saturday night in the flip flops, black sweat pants, AC/DC shirt and Tiara ;-)

Coming Home to the poster my kids made me and receiving beautiful roses from some dear friends!

The best part of conference? Seeing old friends, meeting new ones and getting to spend time with some of the most wonderful women I know!! Can't wait for next year :-)

What was your favorite part of conference? Anyone else have any 'Firsts' in Dallas? (Those you can publicly share, anyway? *ggg*)


Trish Milburn said...

Thanks, Beth. And huge congrats to you on your win too!

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats on your GH, Beth. FWIW, I had the story title and date engraved on the back of mine - like I'd ever forget (very big grin).

I got to wear a pink first sale ribbon this year, that was my "first" experience. It cast a whole different feel to the conference for me. I actually got to meet my agent (never did that before) and my editor (I'd met her before, but this was the first time we actually sat down an talked for a substantial period of time). It was a great conference - but different. Can't wait till next year in San Francisco.

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, firstly huge congratulations on your Golden Heart! I was so happy for you. I hope you heard the excited koala bear-like screaming from the middle of the hall!

What a great conference! My firsts? The signings. I actually did THREE! And they were fantastic fun - um, what's not to like in people coming up to you and saying how much they like your book? Another first, people turning up at the signings with presents. How cool is that? Our lovely Keira was one of these wonderful, generous people. Thank you! It was such a surprise! Eating Texas barbecue. Yum! Trying some American red wines - last year, as some of you know, I had an awful stomach bug and I wasn't drinking much at all! Getting to meet some wonderful authors who I've admired for years - the gracious and gorgeous Lisa Kleypas, fantastic fun Sabrina Jeffries, lovely Suzanne Enoch, vivacious and funny Adele Ashworth. Too many others to mention! Can't wait for San Francisco!

Caren Crane said...

Congratulations, Beth! I'm sure your GH win is just the beginning of many career highs for you. I'm not sure I had a first in Dallas. It was my sixth conference, so I've done most things before. And the lovely firsts everyone else had didn't apply to me, sadly.

Except, it was the first time I didn't hang out in the bar at all. For some reason, the bar at the Regency didn't appeal to me and most of the people I was hanging with weren't hanging out there. I'm sure things will be very different in San Francisco!

Trish, congrats on your GH win as well. No surprise there!

Donna, I was tickled to see you with your First Sale ribbon. A wonderful first!

Anna C, of course people brought you gifts at your signing. What did you expect from your fan club?

And Beth, I love the poster from your family. How sweet! And your friends have great taste in roses. Beautiful and well-deserved!

Anna Sugden said...

Congrats Beth - a well-deserved win!! I'm so proud of you and with your fabulous writing I know you'll sell soon.

I'm also thrilled with all our salers and signers! You make us Banditas proud!

My first was a fun one - I signed my first autograph! It came as a result of me telling my story about Cary Grant autographs (as a moral that someone somewhere knows about even the smallest bit of information!). One of my fabulous friends asked me to sign by my GH picture in her conference book. Like Cary, I signed 'cordially'. *grin*

Tawny said...

You do realize, Anna, that I was hurt by "cordially" until you explained it LOL. I sniffed, even.

Beth - it was a fabo conference on every level, but watching authors I admire and adore win the GH was... well, rockin'!

My firsts were giving the workshops (PRO retreat and SlushPile) and signing at the Lit signing. And, of course, sneaking away from the conference with my editor to see Harry Potter LOL.

I can't wait for SF!!!

Beth said...

Donna, I love the idea of having my title and the date engraved on my necklace! Thanks for the great idea *g* Hope many more Banditas get to wear that First Sale ribbon in San Francisco!

Anna, sounds like you had many firsts and all of them wonderful! So glad you had such a fantastic conference (you have to travel too far for it to be anything less than awesome *g*)

Thanks for the congrats Caren and Trish! Dallas was my fifth conference so other than the moderating, the public speaking and the GH win, my only other first was that on Saturday I went up to my room and took a nap :-)

Beth said...

Anna S, I adore Cary Grant! How fun! I can't wait until we can celebrate our first sales! I know they'll happen soon :-)

Tawny, you rocked at your workshops! And since you're a pro at giving workshops now, you'll have to make sure you give one or two in San Francisco ;-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Aww Beth, what a great poster from your kids! Choked me right up! All your pictures are great -- and I hear you on the Tower of Terror. Ugh!

Big congratulations on winning the Golden Heart! (And same goes to Trish!)

And as far as "firsts" go, totally un-conference related, I finally figured out how to text message in Dallas. I know, I'm pathetic and completely behind the times -- but hey, not anymore. LOL

Jill James said...

Beth, congratulations!!

At the conference I received my first request for a full. To say I walked out of my appointment stunned is the understatement of the year.

I came home to flowers and balloons! My family is soooo great.

Keira Soleore said...

People. Undoubtedly the friendly people who took a newbie cluless like me and gave me a hug, smiled in encouragement, lunched me, bucked me up, and then stuffed my ears with advice and sent me back home. I'm still unpacking my ears.

Joan said...

Hi all,

Hmmmm. My favorite part of the conference? Finally meeting all my Bandita friends!

I also really enjoyed the TGN retreat. The small size and shared experience of having been a GH finalist was really cool.

Caren, I did hang out a lot in the bar, not so much for the drinks but that snack cracker mix. They had the same stuff at the Adams Mark three years ago. I MAY have to move to Texas just for that!
(Suz, got an extra bedroom?) :-)

Terri said...

My favorite part of the conference was watching you and Carla accept your Golden Hearts, hanging out with the two Annas *g*, and stealing Anna S.'s hubby for an hour or so (don't ask, don't tell!). Also, I really enjoyed introducing my hubby to Kate (at least three times). Do we really have to wait a whole year to do it again???

Beth said...

LOL, Kate! I still don't know how to text message. Okay, I know how to get the letters but don't know how to send it *g* Maybe you can teach me in San Francisco?

Jill, congrats on the request! Fingers crossed for you! And how sweet of your family to help you celebrate :-)

Keira, I'm sorry I missed you this year. Hope to remedy that in San Fran *g*

Yes, Joan, that snack mix was yummy, wasn't it? *g* Maybe they should make that a conference staple :-)

Thanks, Terri! I loved admiring your gorgeous red shoes and seeing so many wonderful friends *g*