Posts Tagged ‘doughnuts’

Back and Still Alive

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

I returned from the 2015 RWA national conference this past Sunday evening. Since this was my first conference as a member of the national board of RWA (As a Director at Large) my conference experience included duties and activities above and beyond the usual.

Alas, I was unable to pack in just a carry-on size bag, even with packing cubes and video watching. As a Board member, I was at conference from Saturday to the following Sunday. I would have totally been able to do carry-on, even with my admitted failings, if I were only there from Tuesday to Sunday.

But that turned out to be OK, because that meant I could put lots of books in my luggage. I’m still not clear on why my bag wasn’t overweight. The carry-on failure was mine. I brought too many clothes. There were items I did not wear… ::::but what if I’d needed them?????::::  One year someone spilled wine on my only pair of pants and boy do I wish I’d brought an extra pair. Oddly, my packing cubes were full on the way to conference but on the way back, one was empty. I guess I got better at rolling up things small. I’m a convert. Those make it really easy to keep organized.

Highlights of Conference

Guys. I got to shake hands with Nora Roberts!!!!  Tessa Dare and I met Jude Devereaux. I managed to put some brakes on the fangirling but not much. Tessa was gracious as always. I also met Carol Mortimer. Oh, gosh. It was wonderful.

The doughnut party was another success. Megan Frampton was in charge of fetching the doughnuts and they were delicious.

Box of doughnuts

Why you shouldn’t be late to the doughnut party

Workshops and Meetings

I didn’t make it to as many workshops as I’d hoped. Good thing I bought the conference recordings! The workshops I attended were fun and /or informative. I was able to meet up with a lot of authors I only see at conference even though I “talk” to them all the time on Facebook and Twitter or other author forums. The bar arrangement at the hotel was strange. It was as if no one believed Romance authors would want to sit around and drink and talk all day. I felt for the wait staff. There weren’t enough of them for the demand, but they were all lovely while insanely busy.

The Mood by Numbers

This one is harder for me to assess because as a Board member I have much more insight into the issues of the organization. In addition, my writing career is going far better than when I was traditionally publishing. That’s a pretty simple truth. From 1987 until 2010 I think my total writing income was something like $60,000 TOTAL for 17 books. That’s about $2,600 a year. From 2011 to present, total income is roughly $240,000 or about $60,000 a year, and 140,000 books sold. Those totals are actually higher because that doesn’t include income or books sold from projects that went through accounts that aren’t directly connected to my reporting. It’s closer to $260,000 and 160,000.

I had none of my old anxieties and fears about contracts and publishers, and that was great. I had some killer hallway conversations with authors about career planning and management. My anxieties now are about the bets I placed on certain career events. For example, I “bet” if you will, that I would get reversions for 6 of my traditionally published books. I got three of the hoped-for reversions. I had the basic plan B in place and that’s the trajectory I’ll follow now.

For me, I made contacts and arrangements with my fellow authors that I expect to materially improve my career position and that is the reason to go to the RWA national conference.


The world on 3.5 hours of sleep or less

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Friday I had day job stuff to do that kept me up and working until 2:00 a.m. Oh dear. These things happen, but I learned some time ago that I don’t do sleep deprivation well. My tale of woe gets worse. Not only was I up until 2:00 in the morning, I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. in order to finish up in time to leave for my pre-paid for meeting in Berkeley.

It gets worse.

Weather worse. Last night about midnight, there was thunder and lightening like we here in Northern CA never see. Like ever. People who live where there’s real weather are probably shrugging and saying, so what? But it was freaky and we turned off all the computers except my work laptop which I was willing to let fry in service of the company that employs me.

So, when I went to bed at 2:00 a.m., the storm continued. And while I can say it was lovely to see, it was also annoying to be awakened by flashes of light so bright it was like someone turned on the light in my room and then deafened by, dare I say it (why, yes, I do!) THUNDEROUS long rolling claps of, uh, thunder. and this continued until 4:30 or so.

My alarm went off at 5:25 a.m. and I showered and got to work and for a while I was thinking I might be able to sleep for another couple of hours but the network crapped out in the middle of my file transfer and I had to use another process that added two steps and an hour to my file transfer and it turned out I finished barely in time. Ick. Really.

I was also freakishly awake. This, I knew, could not last. But I rode the wave.

Fortunately, I was carpooling (navigator’s position) to the meeting which meant I could go because, let me tell you, I had no intention of driving by myself in my condition.

The Story gets really good now because There are Doughnuts involved

We got to the meeting with yours truly having already experienced unfortunate sleep-deprivation induced frankness of opinion. I loaded up on four donuts (one plain old fashioned, and three small sugary things) and three cups of tea and got to listen to FBI Agent George Fong talk about his FBI experiences. There was some GREAT stuff there and right now I can only recall his badge (gold and shiny) and gun (holstered, black, scary). I can feel the information paddling around in my brain but I can’t get to it to categorize or analyze it. Hopefully by tomorrow the information will have landed in an accessible part of my brain.

Also got to talk writing. I think. I don’t recall.

I stayed for lunch after, got hit by the sugar crash (no more do-nuts and I could only afford 5$ worth of food…) and when I got home passed out cold for 2 hours.

I’m not sure if I should write today or not. On the one hand, I can’t afford to get behind and on the very same hand, I can’t afford to write crap or accidentally delete stuff that isn’t crap.

But, I ask myself (and you) what are the odds of me writing something brilliant? It could happen.