OWFI Conference . . . I’m There!

Okay, it’s been way, way too long since I’ve been to a writing conference. (I’m in Norman at the Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference.) I’m having SO! MUCH! FUN!!!

I feel like a dog who can’t wag her tail fast enough. “Oh!” pant “Hi!” Wagging tail. “It’s so nice to meet you!” Pant, pant. Tail wagging faster. “This is so cool! Isn’t it?” Panting as fast as tail is wagging. “Don’t you love this?” Pant, wag, pant, wag. “Isn’t this the best speaker/breakfast/group/whatever?!?” Passes out from hyperventilation and tail exhaustion.

Okay, I’m not quite that bad, but do tend to run out of exclamation points when I talk! (lol)

I know you won’t believe this, but sometimes I don’t get to talk. (Yeah, they lucked out.) Writers love to tell stories, so they kind of pile up on each other. I have a whole scorpion story I didn’t get to tell last night.

Funny how much there is to learn at one of these places.  And how many people there are to meet.

I’ve gone to workshops I didn’t think I’d particularly like and been bowled over. So far, my favorite speaker has been Jane Friedman. Not that I didn’t love the others, but she was fantastic! And the fact that I had lunch with her (along with the other Smart Women who’re here) and we got to chat a while had nothing to do with it. 🙂

And I’ve met lots of nice, nice people, such as my very first editor, Rhonda Penders, who just happens to own my publishing company, WILD ROSE PRESS! She was so nice and had so many great stories to share. (And she has three sons, kinda like moi, so she’s good people!)

Jodi Thomas is also here. (I have a lunch-time workshop with her today.) While she was talking to Wild Rose Rhonda, Jodi told her, “Wild Rose isn’t a small press anymore.” And she’s right. (I think Rhonda is going to have a pillow made with that on it . . . or maybe T-Shirts.)

The only bad part? Days are kind of long at these things. (Giving us our money’s worth, though!) Workshops started yesterday at 9:00 a.m. and the Buzz Session I was in last night didn’t finish until after 11:00 pm. There was a lot of information flying around. I just hope I caught the part I needed. 😉

Everything is going so smoothly, it looks as if the conference runs itself. But having been in charge of a few conferences, I know how much head-banging work it is. (Thank you to whoever did this. Wow! Great, great job!!!)

How about you? Do you enjoy going to conferences?

What’s your favorite part?

(Mine? Meeting people! wag, wag)

Refill That Well

Wow. What a weekend! I attended the Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc’s (OWFI) conference Friday and Saturday. They were busy, packed days and nights. But they were fun packed. From the workshops to the editor/agent appointments to the Famous Author Banquet to the Buzz Sessions to the Awards Banquet, it was all great. I made some new friends, reconnected with old friends and generally had a terrific time.

Stayed up late every night and got up early every morning. Have to tell you…I’m pooped! LOL that’s why this blog is so late.

The Keynote Speaker was Steve Berry, who wowed the attendees with the keynote address, then gave an impromptu session at 7:30 Saturday morning to a packed room. His wife, Elizabeth also presented a very enlightening workshop during the day. Both demonstrated that “IT” can be done (going from an unknown to a highly recognizable name). All it takes is perservance.

And HARD work!

During the course of the conference I gained tons of new info, heard the buzz about epubs, found new and awesome books just published, networked, learned to condense my very wordy pitch down to the bare bones for the 7 minute appointment and came home with a new determination. Yes, I refilled my near-empty well in those 2 days.

All in all – a GREAT time! How can it not be? I was surrounded by writers, both newbies to seasoned pros. If you didn’t catch the wave (sorry, I know that’s a cliché), then you simply weren’t at the same conference as me. Or weren’t paying attention.

I’m glad I went. Yeppers. Local or regional conferences are a fantastic way to keep your enthusiasm up and keep you inspired about your writing career.

Thanks OWFI!!!!


Love or hate them? OWFI is this next weekend, and I won’t be going due to assisting with Open Water check-out dives for my students. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for this conference. What an eye opener, a heart breaker, an opportunity to grow. It was this same hotel where I met the man who changed my life. That’s another blog topic.

RWA National is just around the corner and I won’t be attending that one either. The crowds, BS, and workshops do not justify the expense of attending no matter how many free books or potential for learning. I was overwhelmed by information overload.

At our conferences, I ended up doing more work, becoming exhausted and wishing the entire thing was over. I had more fun during the drives to the airport. Each year, I promise myself that I will go to a few regional ones, but don’t. Other things get in the way, even for our awesome our RWI retreats!

So. . .do you love conferences or can do without them?