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A Brief RWA Report

I’m home from Orlando and 2010 RWA National Conference. I think this year’s conference may have been one of the best ever.

On Thursday, we held the PRO Retreat. I had been told (based on historical numbers) to plan on 150-200 PROs to attend the Retreat. I made 200 colored hand-outs and 50 “spare” B&W handouts. Well, to say I underestimated the audience would be, well, an understatement! When I opened the PRO Town Hall Meeting, followed by Donald Maass and Stephanie Feagan, there were 400+ PRO members! Every chair was taken and there was standing room only! What a wonderful surprise! The energy in the room was palpable. Seriously. The PAN (Published Authors Network) Retreat was next door. They told us later that we (the PROs) were loud and having way too much fun. ย I had a couple of “official” photographers there. I’ll post pictures as soon as I have them.

I think the exceptional turn-out was due to two things…an exceptional line-up and AWESOME door prizes. Our own Ms. Keri Ford was in charge of collecting the door prize tickets, pulling out the winners, announcing the winner, giving out the prize certificates and recording the winner information. So picture this…a gal from Arkansas at the front of 1/4 of a huge ballroom (the ballroom had been divided withย movableย walls into 4 separate rooms) and another Arkansas gal at the rear of the this huge room yelling back and forth. I understand our accents caused quite a few giggles but I don’t know what they are talking about, do you, Keri? What accents? ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday, Keri had a pitch appointment with an agent and she had no voice. She tries to blame me for making her yell with the door prize winners but I’m not buying that. Keri is an ex-cheerleader. Nope. I think she’s a big old chicken, so she asks (i.e. tells) me that I had to go on her pitch appointments and help her pitch “Lexie” since 1) I loved the book and 2) it’s my fault she has no voice. So being a good friend, I pitch Keri’s book to a couple of agents. I don’t think she really needed me though! She two requests for fulls. Isn’t that exciting?

It was so very very cool to meet Liz and Beppie in person. I THINK next year I’ll be going out to Kari Lynn Dell’s ranch in Montana to meeting her and her family. So the rest of you better watch out. You never know when and where I’ll show up!

When you stay in a hotel, do you tip the hotel maid? I do. $2 or so per day. I put the money out each day rather than wait until the end of my stay. That way I know the person cleaning the room gets the tip (as it’s possible that if you leave money at the end of your stay to cover the entire conference, the maid may be cleaning your room only on that one day). When I got home last night, I told my husband that I’d discovered if I left a $2.00 tip, someone would come in, clean the room and make up my bed. I tried it at home last night. It didn’t work.

So what did you do last week?

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11 Responses

  1. It was so great meeting you, Cyndi. Felt like I had known you forever. And I heard Keri as I passed the doorway. I didn’t giggle ’cause it sounded just right to me. LOL.

    It was a fabulous conference. I hated that I didn’t have enough time to hang out with the gals from our blog. Would have been nice to have drinks or something.

    Congrats to Keri for the requests. I bet Beppie got some too. Would love to go visit Kari Lynn in Montana, but that country sounds tough. I may be too soft to hang in Montana. Missed all the rest of you, but outside of Kari Lynn, I’ve gotten to meet everyone here ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh, wait. No, I’ve not met Heather either. But we’ll get there ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Sounds like you did a great job Cyndi with the conference!! Major cudos for the fantastic turnout you had.

    Congrats Keri, I’m rooting for you.

    Liz, hopefully we’ll get to meet someday. There are 3 of us on the blog that all live in AR ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Liz – I don’t know if we have ever met but you looked exactly like I thought you did!

    Entering a contest where Wanda Ottewell is final judge. Fingers crossed, okay?

  5. it looks like this needs some better explaining….

    there are 2 types of yells a person can make. There’s the voice box one, that you heard out of me at the retreat. It’s basically your same tone only at a higher volume. it stress your voice and wears it out.

    then there’s the from the gut yell, AKA, the cheerleader yell. Now, I considered using this voice. It’s at least 4times as louder. I used to be able to get over 11 other cheerleaders plus a crowded gym, but I didn’t because I sound like a huge man and knew I wouldn’t have been able to do it without laughing. but the yell from the gut protects the voice box and I wouldn’t have been hoarse. Yes, I really did debate this out in my mind. It was a tough call.

    next year, let me know if I should pack my megaphone cause you know I have one ๐Ÿ˜‰ has my name on it and everything.

  6. That’s funny about the accents, Cyndi. When I pitched to the editor from Source Books, she asked me to repeat what I said because it was difficult for her to understand my Southern accent. Lol! I hope to meet you someday too! Perhaps soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. My fingers are absolutely crossed. Nothing like adding more “Southern” to that Super line.

    I really don’t think they have enough “y’alls,” do y’all? You should have seen some of the things the copyeditor marked. I had the phrase “Root hog or die” and she just put ???

  8. Y’all are so sweet, Liz! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Am tweaking the first 25 for the contest, then the 50 or so for Golden Pen. I have to work on the synopsis…ouch

  9. LOL did you leave it Liz??? that’s fantastic. and good luck Cyndi!!

  10. Sounds like you had a blast! Best of luck, Cyndi!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And, Keri! The megaphone would be a great conversation starter, don’t ya think? LOL

  11. Let’s see…what did I do in Orlando besides write? I met Cyndi again–she gave me my Golden Heart certificate and I have a terrific picture I’ll have to share with her. AND I met Liz again and had Harlequin Heartbreak martinis–I have a couple of pictures with the gorgeous Miss Liz.

    And then…well… I won the Golden Heart. >>very big grin<< just had to throw that in there.

    Seriously, it was good to see you both and I can't wait to do it again. Maybe in Dallas in the spring gals?

    ~~Angi

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