I had the most FANTASTIC time this weekend at the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group's "I've Always Wanted to Write a Book!" conference. This was the first conference this group has offered, and you would never know it. It ran very smoothly and was a wonderful experience.
I didn't attend every workshop offered, but the ones I did were very much worth my time.
Friday evening, there was a wine tasting. The wines offered were all Michigan wines...who knew there was such fabulous wine in that state?! Well, I do now and I think I'll be stocking up on some when I drive there to visit family. :-D
The first workshop I attended was on relaxation for productivity. Much of this workshop was experiential, which was wonderful. We listened to a CD with guided imagery. It was very relaxing and I felt very refreshed afterwards. Writing this reminds me I have to buy a copy of the CD! I've always been a big fan of guided imagery and self-hypnosis. I know there are skeptics out there, but I'm firmly in the believer camp. I used the techniques to quit smoking and it worked when nothing else did!
Next, I went to "How to Make the Most of Your Writing Time" presented by the delightful Margaret Yang. She had some wonderful ideas and suggestions. I loved how passionate she was about the subject, and it really made me acknowledge to myself just how much time I wasted during the day. While not purposefully wasted, it's an obscene amount of time during which many words could be written.
After lunch and my pitch to the literary agent (yeah, those were my knees knocking. This stuff never gets easier, I swear), I attend "Authors Behaving Badly" where Jen Armintrout and Bronwyn Green talked about, and sometimes demonstrated, some things authors shouldn't do--on social media, in public venues and so on. It was hilarious, but very, very informative.
I hit the book-signing, then visited with my new buddy, Shannon in the hotel lounge for a while. Funnily enough, we ended up on the same flight out of Grand Rapids, one row apart. What are the odds of that? Definitely made what was sure to have been a very boring plane ride fun and enjoyable. :-D
And that was it--the end of a conference I loved attending. I hope this is something GRRWG will do annually, because I would love to go again.
On a non-conference note, I went to dinner with a small group after the conference. We went to the Melting Pot. O...M...G!! Seriously this was one of the best meals I ever had. And when I say mean, I mean MEAL. Four courses of awesomeness. There were many moans of pleasure around the table, let me tell you. I was so excited to find out we have a Melting Pot in the Twin Cities. I can't wait to take the hubs. I tweeted about how good the food was...and Melting Pot tweeted me back. How funny (in a cool way) is that?
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. I was a little sad to leave, but quite happy to come home to the family.