Another day, another uh, day at the conference.
Okay, remember yesterday when I said my volunteer job was cake?Silly me. Yesterday was the day to lull me into a sense of complacency. A smooth flow of people coming in for 20 minute critiques did not foreshadow the panic of a day of pitch appointments and real time queries, one of which lasts fifteen minutes, and another that lasts ten.
And they're happening at the same time.
Not complaining. Just marveling at the contrast between mellow monitoring and having to divide your attention between who is due in for an appointment, who is missing, who is lingering down the hall, and who might be in the bathroom, yutzing from nervousness.
Then shepherding one batch into the room while the next group is assembling, all while trying not to forget about that one guy who is in for a fifteen minute appointment while everyone else is sitting down for a ten.
And then figuring out where the missing agent is hiding. And looking behind ferns for him.
Makes the time fly, though. I actually lingered for about twenty minutes after my shift was over because things were hectic and I had time before my first class of the day.
And I'm really glad I was assigned a few shifts here because it's such a golden opportunity to be a fly on the wall. I can say there were quite a few happy writers in the last couple of days. Got to witness a few requests for fulls and partials, and there seemed to be a lot of positive feedback for all who took on an appointment.
It's fun to share the happy with a stranger. You really do get second-hand giddiness for them.
We really had a great bunch of agents and editors. They took the time to be constructive and gracious toward everyone. It was nice to see that, even though not everyone got a request, because let's be honest, it just won't happen, most people seemed to come out with their heads in a good place. Good advice to apply, good suggestions to mull.
Class-wise, I decided to refresh my memory on the dreaded query, then the synopsis. And then I took a course on post-publication advice for publicity. That was smaller and more informal. One poor gentlemen, older, confessed to not being internet savvy, and we kinda blew his mind throwing out suggestions about how to work the 'net.
And I just had to push him over the edge with, "You know, you can link your Facebook to your Twitter. That way, you can have a longer post on Facebook that posts to Twitter, which links back to your Facebook."
I think I saw smoke wafting from his ears as he tried to process that jumbled mess.
Our faculty member leading this class told a great story about an author who showed up for a reading, and found himself with an audience of one man. He debated just offering an autograph and sending the man on his way with a thank you. But, for some reason, he decided he was going to do his damn reading and give his talk. To this one guy. At the end, he thanked the person for being patient, and the guy says he found it very interesting.
Turns out the audience of one was involved with the Pulitzer Prize uh, stuff. (My brain is too sleepy to Google and give you the edumacated sounding details that I simply can't recall at the moment.) The author ended up with a Pulitzer, because he went on with the show.
Lunch was Mexican stuff that I don't really eat. Because I eat potatoes and hamburger and that's about it. But I was a total champ and ate some tortilla soup, whatever that is. I wanted to dunk my tortilla chips in it. It had a good dippy kind of flavor.
I missed the Keynote Address! Why? I'll tell you why. Because I didn't bother to prep for the Romance Slush Fest. I'd intended to just sit in and take notes on the agents' impressions of other queries. I find it helpful to listen in without the stress of waiting for your query to be decried as only slightly less smelly than you're average paper mill.
Except my dream agent is on the panel. So I realized I really, really, really should try and get my query read so I can see if I'm on track. So I hopped online and had to hunt down someone to print some transparencies and get them to me tonight.
Office Depot for the win. They let me email them what I needed and the transparencies were ready when I arrived. And they cost like $2.50-ish. Score!
I hope its okay that I don't have my first page of Janie, since I am now tossing out the first chapter and reworking the opener so I can get that submitted to Dream Agent. *crosses fingers*
So, tomorrow is the wind-down. And the big romance slush-fest. Hopefully, in recognition of a weekend well-spent, I'll be able to get my blankie out of the trunk of Gracie the car and get some beach-time before I have to head back to reality.