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:~: Thursday, April 20, 2006 :~:


As most of you know, the RWA National Convention is coming up. I had a fabulous time at Nationals in Reno last year and learned a lot, and the thought of going to this year's conference has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Living on the West Coast though, it's a big expense to travel all the way to Atlanta, esp. since I am unpubbed and unagented. So while I didn't want to commit to going or not, I made a decision that I wouldn't spend the money on Nationals this year unless 1) I finaled in the GH, or 2) I won a conference registration. Well, I didn't final in the GH, but I did win the conference registration through the Romancing the Tome contest in February.

Now, at first, I was really psyched about going to Nationals. I've been looking forward to this year's National Convention in Atlanta for several reasons: 1) it's just such a cool conference, 2) my cousin lives in Atlanta and I'm excited for an excuse to go see her, 3) Linda's in Georgia and part of me is hoping if she's not going to the conference, maybe I can talk her into driving up for dinner or something, and 4) networking, networking, and more networking. However, now I'm just not so sure if I'm going to go.

Last year we had nearly twenty people from our chapter attend Nationals. It was close and cheap and a lot of people who probably wouldn't have gone from our area did. We had a great time. I saw people all over that I knew. Always had someone to pal around with in the evenings and someone to sit with during lunch and dinner. This year, no one from my chapter is going, so if I go, I'm really not going to know anyone. Sure, I know names from online loops and websites, but no one personally. In addition, I don't have a roommate, and I can't see spending the money for a single room (they're more expensive than they were last year.) Money isn't really the issue. I won my registration, and my mother's offered to buy my airline ticket (because she thinks the whole reason I'm hedging about going is money-related, which it isn't.) But the thought of putting my name out there for a roommate makes me feel a little odd (anyone see Single White Female???). Not sure I want to do that.

The real reason I'm hedging is because the conference is overwhelming. It was overwhelming to me last year and I wasn't alone. This year I think I might be way overwhelmed, esp. with no one to chat with and let off steam with about the whole experience. I know several of you find this hard to believe (knowing my snarky personality) but when I'm in a new situation, surrounded by people I don't know, I can be really shy. Esp. in a group full of women (and we all know how women can be.)

But here's the thing. Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you believe in signs? I can't explain it, but I feel like there's a reason I won that registration - when I've never won anything before in my life - and a reason I'm supposed to go to the conference. I don't know if it's writing related or not. And in the back of my head this little voice is telling me I'm nuts. There is no reason. It's just a coincidence. If I go, I'll feel foolish. But if I don't go, I have a feeling I'm going to regret it.

So someone tell me what to do. I'm very indecisive at this point. I need to make a decision within the next two weeks. PRO agent/editor appt sign-ups are mid-May and if I'm going to go, I need to have registered before then. There's no guarantee I'll even get an appointment, but if I go, I'd like one.

What do you think????


Blogger Allison Brennan said...

I think you should go. But I thrive in atmospheres like conferences.

Don't worry about a roommate. There are ways to discreetly get one without worrying about SWF (yes, saw that movie. Trippy.)

Hmmm, and remember the story about the man drowning at sea? He prayed to God to save him. God sent him three boats which he didn't take because he had faith that God would save him. He gets to Heaven and says, "Why didn't you save me?" God says, "I sent three boats, what more can you want?"

Free registration, mom footing the airfare, no worries about roommates with Allison's surefire way to find a good one . . . what are you waiting for? If you believe in omens, there are three big ones. AND the fact that I only come to your blog once a month or so and today I come and see you hedging. Another big fat omen right there.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Piper Lee said...

Okay Eli, I totally agree with Allison.

You are sooo close to being pubbed, you've got to go.

I would go with you for support if I could get my hands on enough long green, but at this point the dh would kill me if I spent money on another conference. LOL

You will end up having a great time, learning a ton, and making great contacts because you won't have anyone else to talk to keeping you in your comfort zone.

Go for it. It's only a few days and you can always call me or email and I'll be there for you. LOL (You know you have to give me every detail of the experience anyway.) So go with my blessing (and envy) and get your name out there in a big way girlfriend!

You are a NYT Best Selling Author waiting to happen. GO GO GO!!!

2:13 PM  
Blogger Christine Keach said...

GO! If money isn't an issue, why not? 2 years ago was my first conference. Although I had people from my local RWA group there, I really didn't have anyone to hang around with. I got invited to sit with people when they fund out I was alone, I made new friends and I didn't let my shyness stop me from getting everything out of it I could. You know you want to, so go for all of us who can't be there!

8:35 PM  
Blogger TJBrown said...

I do believe that things happen for a reason. I would say go. You don't have to do everything you sign up for. You can always skip out and do a bit of sightseeing on your own or with a friend. Maybe someone from the portland chapter is going that you can room with. Want me to ask around? Nice women all.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Jennette said...

Being an introvert myself, I can certainly understand your dilemma. But I agree with the others - contest win + your mom paying for airfare = you're meant to go! I've enjoyed your blog a great deal - if I see you there, I'll step up and say hi!

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Pulliam said...

I know what you mean. I've been planning to go, but no one has talked about it on the loop so I figured no one was going either...I thought about posting a roomie request on Romance Divas, but that did scare me.

Everyone who has commented is right - you HAVE to go. And you did win that contest for a reason. Free registration and airfare? Gotta do it.

I'll probably be going too (going to decide in the next week), so maybe we could room together! Much better than SWF... ;-)

9:48 AM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

Get off the fence and register! You'll find a roomie and become best buds. You'll schmooze with the agents, editors, and big name authors. (after all you were just down the hall from Nora last year) You've visited so many authors webs and blogs you can talk to them like old pals, even some of the agents and editors. Go For It! And come back and tell us all the good stuff!

PS- sorry I didn't go, but without a good reason it is too much of an expense for me.

2:32 PM  

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