Hey grandma. How goes things? I always make sure to say hi to you since you are my number one fan on here. 🙂
So, yeah, I suck bit jammy toes, don’t I? Geez, it’s been like a month since I have been on here and I have no excuses or valid reasons other than; it’s summer. But loads of stuff has happened since I posted last and I am super excited to share with you. This may have to be broken into more than one post so bear with me.
I went to UtopYA and met some of the gals from my WRITING group! ::Sigh:: I wish we could have spent more time together but that place was like a whirlwind of activity. Seriously, if you ever want to vacation somewhere go to Nashville. It’s huge! And everyone is so nice. I had some great eats out there as well. But the humidy! Ya’ll can keep that. When I walked out of the airport, there was a tangible wall of moisture pressing up against me. And it sucked big time. My hair stayed in a perpetual ponytail for the duration of the trip.
Let me just reiterate how honest to god scared and nervous I was when I stepped off that plane. I was alone,
I was going to a place I had never been, to meet about 15 + people I had never met IRL.
These people had all met at some point in time and I was the odd one out. I gotta say I am super proud of myself for how I handled meeting everyone. I can come on a bit strong when I am nervous. I’m loud and boisterous and entirley too undereducated and sarcastic. Most of my smarts comes from common sense and quite honestly, street smarts. I think that was the most daunting for me. I didn’t want my ghettoness to show too much. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT ashamed of my past, but it might have burned some ears to know some of it.
Anyway, everyone was so nice and huggable and more than happy to include me on all their shenanigans. I felt truly welcome. It was like a retreat almost. I spent loads of time just sitting around the lobby talking to perfect strangers about what I love to do most, which is, obviously, writing. We debated the difference bewteen betas and alpha readers. Also, whether is was worth it to find a critique partner or just a good developmental editor. Some of those strangers were accomplished authors, some were bloggers that help to promote. I made it a point not to ask their names until we had a good rapport going on because I didn’t want to puke on anyones shoes with my fangirling nerves. (Omg, could you imagine? I would forever be THAT lady LOL)
Moving on; they had some great panels like Gender Roles and Stereotyoes and What to Look for in a Beta Reader. They had keynote speeches each morning from accomplished authors to inspire us. The authors were all very approachable. They had an all day long book signing and I didn’t bring nearly enough money for that.
And the awards! Oh my gosh, the awards were so fun. They were engaging and not boring and long. The Lip Sync battle and the dance party afterward was the highlight of that night for me. I met so many wonderful people I couldn’t possibly name them all. But I can try, he he.
Meeting Rachel Higginson tops that list. She let me be a part of a picture with her and I almost knocked everyone down in my exuberance. Which I was forgiven for, I think. 🙂
I met Rebecca Donovan, and we talked tattoos and how much she loved San Diego and wanted to live there someday. I met Chanda Hahn and she told me about a project she was thinking about doing on one of her series that I flove.
I did a drive-by hugging to Mandi I read Indie, a blogger friend of mine.
I got to go Honky Tonking with my mentors and street team buddies, which was so much fun, I can’t even tell you. We all got our tarot cards read by an author and she told me after I flipped the last card that I was gonna be a muther fucking mermaid. And we had a giggle.
Oh, and I tried sushi for my first time and the gals who went with me did not make me feel stupid for having no idea how to use chopsticks. I’m doing that again!
It was the first conference I had ever been too and I had such a wonderful time I can’t wait to go back next year. It is totally worth it. I recommend it to any aspiring authors, blogger, or just readers who want to meet their favorite authors.
Till next time, cheers.