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Monday, October 1, 2012

Part 3 - Who Hoo! I Have Arrived.

I was so happy to get to Norfolk I fell on the ground and kissed it.  Well, I threw a kiss at it.

Yea.  Norfolk is actually pretty small for an airport.  And the Hampton Roads Writers group had someone to meet me.  Wasn't that nice of them?  I actually cannot snark about someone being nice.  It's a rule.  I can only snark about mean or unfair people.  (Fortunately human nature gives me a lot of material.)  So after seeing Banana man (see part 2- the man with the bungied banana, which sounds slightly obscene.) I got to the bottom of the escalator and the nice people even had a sign with my name on it.  (I felt like a rock star.  Or at least someone who got their head patted too much as a child.)

I can only say nice things about these people who picked me up.  They were friendly and welcoming and they gave me a ride to the motel!  Plus they bought me dinner!  I won't say their names because I don't want to inadvertently embarrass them but I hope that if they ever come to Alabama they will let me know so we can take them out to dinner.
The view from my room.  Did I mention I'm
afraid of heights, especially from tall,
spindly buildings like the Eiffel Tower or the Space
Needle in Seattle?  Haha.  Can't get my
tushy up there anymore.
On to the motel.  This place was pretty good sized.  It's a Doubletree Inn about a half/mile from the beach.  I could see the ocean from my window, although it looked a little cloudy.  Everyone was so danged friendly.  I was thinking to myself, "If something interesting doesn't happen soon, I will have nothing to blog about."

That evening I sat in on a session with a literary agent who was letting people read their first two pages of their works.  (They had signed up previously.)  Then comments and discussion followed the readings.  Let me tell you there was some very nice material there.  I was particularly impressed by a young woman's sci-fi/fantasy story, although I think I would have called it urban fantasy.  (I'm going to kick myself for not remembering her name later.)
Based on the reaction of all the writers, this is what the literary agent
looked like.  Jealous, who me?
Okay, but the literary agent (from a reputable agency) looked about 12 years old.  He wasn't really, but I felt old.  He was probably in his twenties, but based on what he discussed, he might have been in his thirties.  Poor man.  He was the one all the writers wanted to attack.  I hope he remembered his bullet proof vest.  Seriously, he was mobbed every time I saw him.  (I had an urge to ask him what he thought of indie authors but I never did get to speak with him.)  The conference had actually nabbed three literary agents, as well as some very cool authors, poets, and reporters, so everyone was hopping.

The next day I listened to Rick Mofina give a keynote address.  Then some critiques of the first ten lines of peoples' works.  The panel had all the literary agents in it, plus the two big writers, Rick Mofina and Patricia Hermes, who writes historical YA.  Honestly, I thought the literary agents were a little too nice about the works.  I don't think they wanted to hurt anyone's feelings.  Then I went to a session by Alma Katsu, who has two very interesting paranormal/urban fantasy/dark fantasy/hard to describe novels out.  Talk about a lady who is straightforward and hard hitting.  She had a lot to offer and I was happy to listen.
This is the convention center next to the hotel.
It's like Thunderdome, except with glass.
I did not see Tina Turner or Mel Gibson.
Then my shoe broke.  Yes.  One of my favorite little half-boots that went amazingly well with my outfit broke.  These boots are really old, but I loved them.  I'm going to bury them in the back yard.  The shoe guy said he couldn't fix them.  I was going down the stairs and my ankle did a little twist.  (Thankfully no damage to my ankle.)  Then something went pop.  I was doing a little drag, walk, shuffle and realized there had been causalities to the area of my footwear.  I took a picture because I wanted to kibitz at HIM, who told me not to take another pair of shoes.
I loved these little half boots.  But they served valiantly.
Then they died.  At the wrong time, but they died.
I'm burying them with full honors in the back yard.
So I did my breakout session wearing tennis shoes.  Fortunately it was a long dress and people probably thought I was eccentric.

I asked the front desk if they had glue and they said no.  And there wasn't any close by stores.  (HIM also told me I should rent a car in case something happened and I needed it.  So I guess we're even on the not-bringing-the-extra shoes thing.)

As if I wasn't nervous enough about the presentation.  The nice lady who arranged my presence at the conference had said there was a lot of interest in my breakout session "How to Epublish and Make Money," or something along that line.  More accurately it should have been "How to Epublish and Try to Make Money," because I couldn't guarantee that anyone would make money.

It was pretty much a full room and it was a big full room.  Later on I realized a couple of the bigger authors were present too, otherwise I would have been really nervous.  The big points were editing, proof-reading, formatting, cover design, and publicizing the work.  Upon further reflection I realized that the class could have been a set of five classes, because it's a lot of material to cover.

The feedback I got after the class was positive, which is just as well because I don't remember much of the class itself.  I was honest with them about my numbers this year and how much I'll probably make as an author.  I think that impressed them more than it should have.  It's really hard to tell writers that once you make the indie decision you're going to have to work your ass off.

Of course, HIM had to contribute to my nervousness by sending me a text.  It said, "Cressy's running a fever."  This, of course, made me freak out.  Then he qualified it by adding, "It's 99.1."  There was not an option to fly quickly back to Huntsville, slap HIM in the back of the head, and fly back to Virginia Beach, so I had to just go out in the lobby and call him back with basic mommy instructions.  "Did you give medicine?  Have you called the school?  Has she thrown up?  Is there any copious amount of blood?  The name and address of the urgent care center is on the Doc Find website, bookmarked on my computer.  I also pointed the building out.  It's open 24/7.  If she runs a fever over 102 degrees she needs to go there."
This is the Veteran's Memorial in Virginia Beach.
It would be a fitting locale to bury HIM, whose
text privileges should be revoked.
Then I made fun of HIM throughout all of my sessions and sometimes in-between sessions.  I got a lot of mileage out of poor HIM.  He had mommy detail and it had taxed him sorely.

Part 4 in  few days, which shall be, I promise by my computer's eternal keyboard, shall be the final segment, for I have blathered enough.

4 comments:

Lauran Strait said...

Poor HIM...Poor boots... LUCKY US to have you at the conference.

In part 4, I expect to read about your ride in my van, about how I talked your ear off (Notice I didn't say ears; last I looked, you still had one), and about my attempt to crash a non-existant party next door to the real one.

Andsetinn said...

Go to the next sporting store and buy a tube of stuff called Shoe Goo. It will fix your shoe. :) You might also be able to get it in a hobby store.
I thought normal body temperature was just under 100 F. Good thing you didn't freak out.

Tom Cheezum said...

Thanks for the laughs. Just what I needed on a Monday. I also enjoyed our conversation about epublishing out in the hotel lobby on Saturday at the HRW conference.

Jeanette Cheezum said...

All three parts were great. We had a nice talk at the hrw conference. I can't wait to find the time to read some of your books.