Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Confessions of Conference Virgin

(Definitely not me. She doesn't have a ponytail or yoga pants.)

Tick, tock, the clock don't stop!!

RWA 2012 begins in less than THREE weeks! I can't believe how quickly last month flew by. (Most likely, that's due to having three bored kids home all day, but hey, that's just my hypothesis.) To say I'm feeling over-whelmed with everything would be a blatant understatement.

I've been a stay-at-home mama now for almost seven years. Yoga pants, ponytails, and flip flops are how I roll. The last time I could actually do my hair, the Jennifer Aniston shag cut was en Vogue. My wardrobe consists mainly of cast-offs from my maternity days. (Don't judge. Elastic waist bands are all the rage . . . with the slightly-plump-haven't-lost-the-baby-weight set.)

Shoes. *sigh* Don't even get me started. I want something snazzy, but know I need something practical, and in this case, my usual Target special cheapo flops aren't going to cut it. And high heels? Ha! Ha! I'd spend more time on the floor than I would anything else. (I'm not a great tanner, so there would be a whole lot of white meat on display, my friends!)

As for the business side of things, I've still got to hone my pitch to perfection. (NO easy task, let me tell you!) I've got the ground work, now I just have to work on presentation. My RWA Chapter, YOSEMITE ROMANCE WRITERS, held a "Practice Pitch Session" for members at last month's meeting. There was an editor, two fabulous authors, and a couple PRO's listening to pitches and offering advice.

Here are a couple of suggestions for areas I needed to work on:
  1. RELAX!!
  2. And Relax! (did I mention relax already? lol)
  3. Take a deep breath and just converse. (My pitch sounded memorized. Oops! (shh, it was.)
  4. Come prepared to answer ANY question. (Wouldn't you know the one question I floundered was the one I thought I had under control.) For all the nosy rosies: I totally botched the "What is your book's Black Moment?" Ha! I'm sure I had a "Oh, holy crap!"  look on my face when asked that Q. Yep. My 'off the cuff' talk is a little rusty--to say the least.
The raves were:
  1. Loved my High Concept line
  2. My writing voice shined
  3. Excellent poise and eye contact (Thank you FFA!)
  4. The pitch sparked their interest. (YAY!)
So! There is my report card thus far. My To-Do list this week entails:

  1. Book a hair appoint. (I haven't had my hair cut since *groan* November, hence my love of ponytails.)
  2. Order my business cards.
  3. PRACTICE, PRACTICE my pitch!
  4. Continue writing! With a little luck and a whole lot of grit, I should be writing "THE END" soon.
For those of you going to RWA 2012: What do YOU need to get done before leaving? For those housebound this go-round, what's your favorite part of gearing up to go to a conference?

Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July!

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