Post-workshop wrap-up

I remember reflecting back on the NECRWA conference from 2009 and rejoicing how I didn’t have to pitch anymore. Now I could finally enjoy the conference!

How naive was I? I was tossing and turning all night before the workshop on Saturday and I was too keyed up to go to any of the workshop sessions before mine. Let me say, presenting is way more nerve-wracking than pitching to an editor or agent.

But it went extremely well! I happened to know my moderator, writer Mike Myers, from previous conferences and he did a fabulous job. The attendees were welcoming and interested. My only grave error was running out of handouts — I didn’t think more than 30 people would attend the talk considering MaryJanice Davidson was speaking at the same time.  Luckily I had extra excerpt booklets which I think worked out really well.

The actual talk was a bit of a blur for me. Adrenaline will do that to you. But I got through everything, had a couple of laughs, and hopefully gave some useful information. Many people approached me afterward and for the rest of the day to tell me they enjoyed the workshop, which is a good sign.

Lessons learned:

  • Breathe
  • There will be no sleep the night before a presentation. I need to come to terms with that.
  • More handouts! I thought 30 was an overestimate, but I should overestimate and tack on 10 more.
  • Do you know you can request moderators? I’m totally doing this from now on.
  • I also have a good idea now of what sort of questions will be raised and what parts I can narrow down or cut in the presentation for my shorter version at RWA national conference in July.

Next presentation is a panel this Friday at the Popular Culture Association conference in St. Louis. Thank goodness I have back-up from authors Crystal Jordan, Sela Carsen, and Amanda Berry for this one.

I just received a note from the workshop chairperson reminding us that the attendees there want a lot of time to ask questions. In other words, keep it short and simple gals. I’m very much okay with that. 🙂

Workshop in Framingham, MA on March 27

I have my first speaking engagement this weekend in Massachusetts at the NECRWA conference. The workshop is titled, “Page 1, 5, 50 — Keeping Them Hooked” and is based on how I was using my contest and submission process to track the “red line of death”. I learn what was working to keep readers hooked from page to page.

I’m going by the old teaching adage of being overprepared. I have excerpt books printed with my first 10 pages to hand out. I also have an outline. I’m going to be bringing a couple of craft books — got to have props!  I’m even going to wear a watch like I did when I was a newbie since I no longer have my internal clock set to be able to feel out 50 minutes. It’s been a while since I’ve had a watch with cell phones and all.

The thing about teaching is no matter how much I’ve prepared, I’m absolutely jittery until that moment I’m standing in front of class. Then an hour just flies by. Right now, I’m a total nutcase. Just thinking about it sends the butterflies swirling in my stomach. This is odd when I consider that I’ve gotten in front of groups of people to present over a thousand times. It must be the adrenaline, that’s my story.

I should be updating my webpage with an Appearances section soon. My next talk is the week after. Just an author panel though at the PCA conference in St. Louis. So it begins!