In keeping with my 2011 goals, I was lucky enough to attend the convention when it took place near my hometown last week.  As part of that, I entered the Advanced Aspiring Authors workshops the two days before the general conference opened.  After that, there was a bevy of workshops to choose from–often more than one at the same time–packed full of useful information.  I took tons of notes. 

I’m also afraid to admit that I got overwelmed.

What a roller-coaster of ups and downs!  SO much to learn.  So much to absorb.  I felt surges of hope and dips into self-doubt. 

I’ve decided that after a short breather, I’ll come back and assimilate the things I learned and review the (plentiful!) notes I took at the workshops.  I just wish I could have spread that information throughout the year–say have one of those workshops a week, for example.  That would have been nice refreshment.  As it turned out, I felt like I was trying to get a sip out of a high-pressure fire hydrant.

So, for now, my Top 10 list of Hi-Lights from Romantic Times 

10. Getting “up close and personal” advice from romance authors like Bobbi Smith, Mary Wine, Mia Marlowe,  and Amanda MacIntyre, and fantasy author Karen Miller  during the pre-conference workshops.

9. Watching the Avon Historical Authors answer questions live on the Internet.  And the cupcakes and wine were nice, too!

8. Having lunch with an agent and editor and being able to “talk shop” with them.

7. Having an editor give me her card and ask me to email her personally regarding my opinions on eb00k pricing and marketing.

6. Having an agent give me her card based on a pitch for a book I haven’t even started yet!

5. Learning that the difference between “good” writing and “great” writing is all about CONFLICT and EMOTION. 

4. Meeting amazing and sweet people who write cool Historical Science Fiction (Steampunk) like Nathalie Gray and Suzanne Lazear.

3. Enjoying the parties!  So many nice people gathered in so small of an area.   Also, sitting in the bar and actually RECOGNIZING people from their author pic on their blogs.

2. Meeting fellow aspiring authors-in-crime like Miss Anita.

1. Finally: meeting my WONDERFUL crit partner, Kate McKinley, and discovering that she is just as wonderufl in person.  She’s going to do amazing things.  Keep an eye out for her!

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