Sunday, May 2, 2010

Two Weeks

So, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer's Conference (talk about a mouthful) is two weeks away.


Insert Darth Vader theme music here. Extra points if you add in the heavy, ominous breathing for the full effect.

Are you getting the idea that I'm starting to panic?

You would be correct!

So, in order to distract myself from the things I should be doing - like polishing my one-sheet and practicing my elevator pitch - I've been thinking about a few things missing from the conference preparation.

Keep in mind, I've never been, so maybe I'm wrong.

For example, when perusing the class schedule and realizing I need to clone myself at least eight times in order to take every class I want, I decided there is one class that they really need to consider adding.

Goal Setting for the Fiction Writer - this class will help you set realistic goals, both for your writing and your life. Topics covered will include:
  • You cannot complete a manuscript, edit, polish and prepare a full fiction proposal for said manuscript, while also polishing and preparing a proposal for the one completed manuscript you have in the three months prior to the conference. While your hero is able to hunt down the bad guys and save the girl on three hours of sleep, you are a grouchy, ill-tempered mama when you don't get at least seven hours. Take it slow sister. One manuscript at a time, thank you.
  • You cannot lose ten pounds in three weeks. While your heroine may be 5'2" and 110 pounds and prefers to drink French roast coffee - black, you, my dear, are a 5'3", slightly heavier than 110 pound southern girl with an addiction to sweet tea who only drinks coffee loaded with sugar, milk and chocolate. There is a Liquid Highway less than two miles from your home and you drive past it twice a day, five days a week. Given the stress levels inherent with conference preparation . . . honey, you don't stand a chance.
And then there's the matter of "what to expect" at the conference. Our Yahoo group has seen post after post regarding proper attire (side bar - most of these are from women - the guys don't seem fussed about it) and tips on how to be organized. I've seen great suggestions for wearing flat shoes (lots of walking) and carrying breath mints (don't want to fry that uber-agent's eyebrows off).

But there have been a few suggestions that no one has offered and I can't imagine why. For example:
  1. Do not, under any circumstances, order spaghetti or fried chicken. Do I really need to explain this?
  2. Do not wear white. Although, if you adhere to tip #1 you might be able to get by with it.
  3. Do pack at least two changes of clothing for each day because as soon as you go to breakfast, you are going to spill tea down your pants or dribble syrup on your shirt (note - add pancakes and french toast to the "do not order" list). Moments after this event, you will come face to face with the "ONE EDITOR YOU'VE BEEN PRAYING FOR AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO" and you'll have huge sweat rings under your arms by the time the conversation is over because the whole time you're trying to pitch your devotional or romantic suspense novel you'll be wondering if that editor has noticed that it looks like you have a bladder control issue and you want to explain about the tea but you don't want to call attention to it on the off chance she didn't notice. Bottom line, you'll need to change clothes at least once, maybe twice a day. Be prepared.
  4. Carry dental floss, Kleenex and a small mirror with you at all times. Pop into bathrooms frequently and check your teeth and nose. You don't want to be all confident because you just delivered your best pitch ever, only to walk into your room and realize there's a poppy seed (note - add poppy seed muffins to the "do not order" list) stuck in your teeth or a booger hanging out of your nose. I'm just stating the facts here, people. It has happened (see one of my favorite blogs - the ScribbleChicks - if you don't believe me).

Thankfully, my caffeine and chocolate powered imagination has already come up with all of this and I'll be the best prepared newbie there! Whoohoo!

Unless . . . all those other newbies stepped away from the mochas and actually spent their time preparing for the conference. You know by praying. And having their one-sheets, synopsis, first chapters and proposals all critiqued, maybe even several months ago. And by praying. And reading books written by the faculty members. And praying. And memorizing the bio of every agent and editor who will be attending. And praying.

Two weeks.


I think I'll start with the praying. Feel free to join me.


Aunt T said...

My prayers begin with gratitude to God for your talent and end with gratitude to God for your talent.

Edie Melson said...

Trust me - you don't have to be a newbie to relate. I just love your blog, I really needed a laugh today!

Keiki Hendrix said...

As a newbie myself, this is priceless info - thanks.

Vonda Skelton said...

Hilarious, Lynn! I love your style of humor!

Vonda Skelton said...

Ha ha! You won't believe it, but my confirmation code to insert for the above comment was "hogha"!

Southern-fried Fiction said...

Lynn, you must have been spying on me when I first went to the BRMCWC! But that was donkey's years ago and now it's like going home. I can't wait! See you there, and be sure to save a hug for me.

Alycia Morales said...

I'm a newbie to the conference this year, too! Your humor is priceless! I am thankful for the chuckle, and I'll be praying with you!

Little Sis said...

I wish all of you knew this writer like I would know that she really IS worried about this stuff...not just trying to be would also know that she has nothing to be worried about because she is pretty close to perfect to me!

Anonymous said...

Mom agrees with Lil Sis. And we are all praying!

Bare Naked Blog w/Bekah said...

Haha - Love it, Lynn! You're going to love the conference!

Pepper said...

Funny Lynn!
BRMCWC is pretty great, but the changes of clothes are a good idea. Not so much because of clumsiness prone people (like me), but because the weather is so crazy in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Cool in the mornings and warm in the afternoons then really cool in the evenings.
Love it here - but I'm just sayin'
I want to take the Goal Setting course, for sure. My mind is as organized as a broken roller coaster, so I could really use some tools for repair :-)
See you there.

Mary Ellis said...

Hi Lynn, great post! Considering the only capris willing to zip up are white, I'll have to break the "not before Memorial Day" rule, and forego the spaghetti and fried chicken. This will be my first BRMCWC, and I'm soooo looking forward to it! Mary Ellis

Anonymous said...

That was great! You had me crying I was laughing so hard. How I wish I could be with you all this year. I've never been, but hope to see you next year.
Cindy Patterson