Conference Magic: MerSisters, New Friends, and life altering moments

SusanMermaidI will confess: I live via nega-talk too often. The devil on my shoulder whispers, “Why do you even bother going to the gym? You never get anywhere, and then you cop out. Save yourself the trouble: stay home.”  She says, “Why do you keep banging your head against writing? You start and stop, change your mind, and doubts are your best friend.  Nobody will miss you…” And “Why in God’s name are you going to a conference? You spend so much money and you spend too much time being I didn’t know that last Friday and Saturday were days to change a life:  getting up early, driving with The Man down the New Jersey Turnpike and over to Iselin for the NJRWA Put Your Heart in a Book conference

put-your-heart-in-a-book Nor did I realize Sister Mermaid Denny S. Bryce, fresh off her Golden Heart win, would stroll into the hotel lobby around noon and we would get to be MerSisters for the next 36 hours. SoFreakinFine!

NJRWA DENNY I hadn’t realized Roxanne St. Claire would offer such an amazing pre-conference workshop. She didn’t realize she would talk herself into laryngitis and have to hire/persuade/inveigle a substitute reader/speaker for Sunday’s Novelists, Inc. engagement. Poor dear! She has my heartfelt sympathy and thanks.

More than anything, I learned that a small conference can be a hidden trail to change your life. The National conference is a tremendous opportunity, to be sure. But these small conferences are a little more casual, a little less intense, and a lot of fun. I saw people I’ve known for years and made new friends (a special shout-out to Kathleen Ann Gallagher – yes, it was meant to be!). The pubbed author’s roundtables offered in-depth insight into the challenges we’re facing today, with the changes in publication formats, the shrinking market, the possibilities, the challenges, and the JOY of a career in writing a romance.

Have you been to a conference you felt changed your life? Share!

 

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