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Hey all! This admin assistant is reporting to you from a cozy bed in the hotel hosting the very first writing conference she’s EVER attended. Stabbing neck pain couldn’t keep me away; I am happy to report that I’m much more functional then a few days ago, thanks to an amazing chiropractor. Not pain free and totally mobile yet, but come hell or high water, I was GOING to this conference. Three days of witnessing how different authors pitch their work to publishers, sitting in on workshops and author interviews, mingling with my writerly people where I feel most at home? Aww, yeah.

A year ago, I had only read about conferences and workshops in Writer’s Market guides and online, balking at the distance and monies it took to attend one. I didn’t have a clue what went on at these things, how it could help me, and whether it would be worth the time and expense. It always seemed like something I should do at some point, if I ever got around to it, or got up the courage to even go without feeling like a fool, as if I wouldn’t belong there.

The opportunity to even attend one now is amazing. I can’t wait to see what it’s all about tomorrow afternoon, when it officially starts. I still couldn’t really tell you what I’m in for or what the heck goes on at a conference like this for three days, so guess what – you’ll be finding out right along with me! I’m going to post every evening this weekend to let y’all know what went on that day – the workshops going on, the authors who present, what a publisher does while they’re here…the food (I can’t help it! I live to eat!).

Mel, you silly fool, what conference are you AT?

Oh, yeah. Heh. I am at Love Is Murder, a mystery writers’ conference. I am somewhat ashamed to say that my reading of choice doesn’t include a lot of mysteries (mainly because I don’t even know where to START), so most of the authors here are not familiar to me. I’m a little out of my element, but it’s cool – I came to learn, absorb, eat food. There are two authors here I have met that are presenting: Michael A. Black, a mystery author who has also ghostwritten a memoir for a WDP author, due out in two weeks, and Julie Hyzy, whom I met at her book launch for her White House Chef mystery series last month. Mr. Black is presenting a workshop about guns and how to write about their usage properly on Saturday, and I’m pretty intrigued, so I’ll definitely be sitting in on that one. Heeere is the website for LIM:

http://loveismurder.net/home.html

Well! Tomorrow, the festivities begin at noon after registration. There’s a whole slew of workshops on how to pitch, writing the beginning/middle/end of your novel, a bunch of really cool forensic/crime oriented workshops like ‘Anatomy of a Drug Investigation,’ ‘Computer Forensics,’ and ‘Cyber Crime.’ From what I understand, they’re being presented by ex law enforcement (one would be Mr. Black). A few of WDP’s mystery authors will be there, as well, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again. Weaving Dreams is also hearing pitches in the afternoon, and I can’t wait to see what that’s like. So for those of you who are like me, and didn’t really know what all the fuss was about with writing conferences and whether they sacrificed baby kittens to the gods of writing before imparting their great writerly wisdom to the attendees (I’m almost positive registration did not include small kittens. Unless the publisher’s holding out on me), I’m here to shed a little light on the goings on at one of these kitten sacrificing shindigs. Kidding.

Dude, I’m so excited! Some good food, a pen and a notebook, and a pain pill or two to ignore that nagging ache in my neck, and I’m a happy girl! Let’s DO this!

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