Monday, April 30, 2012

NECRWA's Imagination in Flight Conference: Recap

This past weekend, I was in Salem, MA for the NECRWA Imagination in Flight Conference. This is my second year at this event, and I'm already looking forward to next year! Why, you ask? What makes this one so special?

There are lots of reasons to love this particular conference. First is the location. Salem, Massachusetts is a charming town with a magic touch. There are quaint homes, historical sites such as the House of Seven Gables and the Salem Witch Museum, a gorgeous waterfront, and shops that appeal to any interest.

The Hawthorne Hotel is beautiful with a top-notch staff that does everything to make your stay pleasant and comfortable. Kudos to my favorite waiter, Robert, who took extra special care of me: from getting me fresh salad when the one on the table contained strawberries to assuring me the sorbet was raspberry (not strawberry), to fetching honey from the kitchen for my tea. Trisha and I made sure to let the banquet manager know how much we appreciated his attention to details! And the cocktails! Whips and Kicks turned out to be my favorite of the special drinks created in honor of the many romance authors in attendance.

Then, of course, there are the ladies of the New England chapter. Warm, wonderful, witty women who are always willing to lend a hand, they have got this conference thing down! If there were glitches behind the scenes, I never noticed. Everything seemed to go so smoothly. (Though I admit, I missed the getting-to-know-you scavenger hunt from last year.) Editor/agent appointments went off without a hitch, a plus based in part on the fact that the pitchees received the first ten pages and a query letter from the pitchers in advance. Workshops were informative and fun.

Kristan Higgins was a delightful speaker on Saturday morning, and now I'm dying to try my hand at a PoFam romance. (You had to be there, I suppose.)
A special highlight for me came when a writer who had attended an online version of the workshop I presented, Basics Bootcamp, cornered me to share her big news: she'd sold her first manuscript! She thanked me for all she'd learned when attending my class, claiming my lesson plans had made a great difference in her writing. I'm proud to have played even a small part in her writing journey, and I know we'll be seeing more from this very talented author in the future. 

Saturday night's weather was mild and clear, perfect for some ghost hunting with Patrick Burns and Marley Gibson. What fun we had!

My sincere thanks to all of the hard workers at NECRWA, the employees of the Hawthorne Hotel, and the residents of Salem who made the weekend so enjoyable. I can't wait until next year!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Come for the Bootcamp, Stay for the Ghosts

I'm currently getting ready for Friday's trip to Salem, MA, where I'll be presenting Basics Bootcamp during the NECRWA Imagination in Flight Conference. This will be my second year at NECRWA, and I can't say enough great things about this event. The members are warm and welcoming, the hotel is charming (as is my favorite bartender who makes a raspberry margarita like nobody else I know), and the programs are top-notch.

We'll begin Friday with a special workshop presented by Michael Hauge. Friday night, we'll attend the psychic fair. Then it's workshops and editor/agent appointments on Saturday, followed by the Haunted Ghost Walk that night with Marley Gibson and Patrick Burns.

If you plan to be there this coming weekend, look for me. I'm the big redhead with the loud laugh (and a raspberry margarita in my hand!) If you can't make it this year, you might want to consider attending in 2013.
For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mid-Week Rude Awakening: Quantity vs. Quality

I'm an oxymoron. In my personal life, I'm a control freak who doesn't sweat the small stuff. But in my writing world, I'm a pantser who's rigid about perfecting my chapters as I go along. I don't do "stream of consciousness," I'd rather face a blank page than a bad one (if I can help it), and I simply cannot move forward until I've edited my previous pages at least twice. So I'm always agog when I see someone post on one of their social media sites that they wrote 5000 words today, or some other number that seems astronomical to me. Oh, I believe them.

I just know that will never be me.

And I'm okay with that. I often say in my Basics Bootcamp workshop that there are as many ways to write as there are writers and we all have to discover what works best for us. How does that apply to me? On a super good day, I can probably write 500 words. On a super bad day, I'll tweak a sentence and that'll be the sum of my work for the day. But guess what? In my world, both achievements are just that: achievements. 

So what if I'll never succeed at NaNoWriMo (I don't even participate, to be honest). I may not be writing 5000 words a day, but when I type The End, I get to sit back and relax. I don't have to check my spelling or my grammar, I'm certain all my loose ends are tied, and that sucker is ready to be sent out. I'm guessing the 5000 word a day writer is stuck in edit hell for a while.

Quantity or quality? Whichever comes first for you doesn't matter. The end result is what's important!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: