The New England Chapter Romance Writer’s Association – Let Your Imagination Take Flight: Come to the Edge - Writer’s Conference was FANTASTIC! I don’t even know where to begin..

Here are just some of the authors that were there:
Jessica Andersen, Suzanne Brockman, Linda Cardillo, Loretta Chase, Eileen Cook, Kristan Higgins, Geri Krotow, Caroline Linden, Eileen Rendahl, Kathryn Smith, Susan Wiggs, Lauren Willig, Virginia Kantra, Terri Brisbin, Hannah Howell

I got there around 3 on Friday and hooked up with my two writing buddies who were also attending the conference. I am part of an on-line international writing group that’s been together for about four years now and this was the first time I met any of them. Madison lives in MA and Janelle lives in DC. Experiencing my very first writer’s conference was that much more wonderful by being able to share it with them. They are both wonderful people and amazing writers! I feel blessed to know them!

I checked in and dropped my stuff off in the room, which, I must say, was pretty nice. It was at the Crown Plaza. I headed downstairs while Janelle and Madison attended a workshop and found the table full of free goodies from authors promoting their books. I took one of everything! I never have to buy a bookmark again! Some of the things authors used to promote their upcoming titles: bookmarks, magnets, gum, excerpts in little books, book covers with the picture on the front and blurb on the back, keychains, pens and more. Then I met up with the girls for the Agent/Editor workshop. We had dinner and dessert and found a little corner in the bar for some drinks. Let’s just say it was an interesting evening! ;)

Saturday was all workshops and then a book signing. I ended up getting 10 books, all signed to me! Yey!! :o) Every single author was friendly and nice and approachable. I did not stop smiling the entire time I was there! I’m almost afraid to read the books, wanting to keep them in perfect condition.

I attended a total of six workshops and they were all entertaining, enlightening and encouraging. I strongly recommend attending a conference. Being around all those writers, hearing their tricks and struggles was invigorating. These are the workshops I attended, to give you an idea of what they do at this particular annual conference:

Surviving the Agent/Editor Appointment lead by Jessica Andersen.
What Came Before – The Art of Back-story lead by Winnie Griggs.
Creating Characters – Giving Life to the People in your Head lead by Kathryn Smith.
What's It All About – From story to synopsis lead by Linda Cardillo.
Plotting by the Seat of your pants lead by Megan Frampton.
Setting as Metaphor lead by Eileen Rendahl.

One of the coolest things about the conference was winning and receiving a bunch of books! Woo Hoo!! I had so many books by the end of the conference, I didn’t know what to do with myself I was so happy!

In the NEC tote bag I received at registration there were three books: Sex & The Immortal Bad Boy by Stephanie Rowe, Meet me at Midnight by Jessica Andersen, Dating Dead Men by Harey Jane Kozak. Then at the table of free promotional material I got a copy of Beauty and the Beast by Hannah Howell (that little baggie had chocolate in it. My friend Madison took an hour to eat hers, savoring each bite!) Close Up by Virginia Kantra was on everyone's seat at dinner on Friday night. Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs was on everyone's seat at breakfast Saturday morning. At the workshop about back-story lead by Winnie Griggs, I won Lady's Choice by Winnie Griggs. Into the Storm by Suzanne Brockman was on everyone's seat at lunch Saturday.

And at the end of the luncheon I won the pretty little red bag in the center of the table because my birthday was the closest to Suzanne Brockman's 25th wedding anniversary, which is in August (I’m Sept. 16). Inside the bag: How to Murder a Millionaire by Nancy Martin, Roped Heat by Vonna Harper, If She Only Knew by Lisa Jackson & a romance DVD.

I stayed an extra day and went to the New England Aquarium on Sunday. It was awesome! They have this huge circular tank that held every kind of fish you could image as well as two sea turtles, one of which was HUGE! And I believe four or five sharks! I was about two feet away from the sharks and even though there was the glass between us… boy, are those puppies scary!!! I loved it!

I took some pictures with a disposable camera, I’ll try to scan some as soon as I get them developed. I forgot my digital camera… so stupid.

I loved going to the conference so much that when Madison told me about the one that is taking place on May 30 & 31 in CT, I decided to go. I’ve already made my hotel reservation and sent in my registration form. Let’s hope it doesn’t fill up before my check gets there. It doesn’t hurt that it’s only 2 hours away from me rather than 4 and a ½. :o) I’m so poor right now!

"Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They're what make the instrument stretch -- what makes you go beyond the norm."– Cicely Tyson

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Comment by Dawn M. Kravagna on April 21, 2008 at 10:15am
Hi, Viansa. I'm glad you took some time to relax and enjoy yourself. I've never been to an RWA conference but I've heard they are some of the best for writers. What city was that in, please? I'm from the Seattle area so I'm not familiar where that conference would be. I don't usually read romances, but I'll read any with a dog in it or relates to Jane Austen. ("Austenland" was very entertaining: I listened to it on CD from the library.) I prefer not to read sex scenes, however. I am starting to read a romance called, "Anyone But You," by Jennifer Crusie because it has a dog on the cover. Apparently the novel is known for the dog character named "Fred" who is a basset hound mutt. (I purchased it from the author at a writer's conference in Vancouver, WA, which was very good.) I'll also pick up any book with a Yorkie on the cover.

By the way, I like your new photo much better! I sort of look like my alter ego cartoon, though I don't normally wear retro prison garb. I'm going to post some of my cartoons to my site later this week.

By the way, where is that dragon picture you drew?
Take care. Gotta work editing my latest short story.

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