I left 60 degrees and sunshine for 32 degrees and a biting wind. Yes, folks, I'm back home. And it feels good. It feels good to be sleeping in my discount mattress with no down mattress topper or pillows (although, I do admit, I want to buy a down mattress topper now). It feels good to be back in our modest home with a crazy dog and an amazing husband. It feels good to know that I'll be back in the familiar grind of work starting tomorrow morning.
The 2012 San Francisco Writer's Conference (#SFWC2012) was the best one I've attended so far (ignore the fact that I've only been to two, and no, that doesn't lessen the impact of my statement). The classes offered in each session were pure, refined gold and I found myself really struggling on deciding which ones to take. The amount of agents in attendance increased from last year and there were A LOT of major literary agnecies represented (Writer's House in NYC, Kimberly Cameron & Assoc in Tiburon, BookStop Literary Agency, FinePrint Literary in NYC, Foundry Literary + Media, Andrea Brown Literary, Full Circle Literary, Larson-Pomada in SF, Sara Jane Freymann Literary, the Knight Agency, Andrea Hurst Literary, and many, many more). Editors from Algonquin, St. Martin's Press, Turner, MIRA, Dragon Moon, S&S Touchstone, McSweeny's, S&S Pulse, Dutton, and more. We also had great speakers like Lisa See, Robert Dugoni, and Ellen Sussman. If you get the opportunity next year, you need to make it to this conference.
It was weird this time around, though. I was a veteran now. I had confidence and a certain je ne sais quoi about the whole weekend. I made so many more friends, unique ones too, that I am going to try and keep in contact with. When it came to pitching to the agents, I owned it. Last year I was a terrified-nervous, this year, it was more of an excited-nervous. I had a good handle on who the agents were, their personalities, and why I wanted to pitch to them. I went to every panel I could that they were on and studied them. Writing down things that described the kind of person they showed themselves to be. That was probably the best thing I could have done. Going into Speed Dating, I knew them already. I was comfortable and confident and had a good pitch. (I'll tell you all about that one tomorrow).
All in all, it was a great conference. It felt like a family reunion to see Beth, Clint and Dave again. And we added one to the family, Madison. We picked up where we left off from last time as if a year hadn't gone by. We got the traditional group photo taken at the breakfast on the last day (I'll post it as soon as I get it from Beth), and went off to speed dating. I'm liking this tradition. Next year we hope to add another member. Maybe it will be you. :)
Happy Monday, my friends, I'm off to unpack and get my life in order for this week. Oh! I almost forgot! I hope to have a very special guest blogger sometime this week. ;) It's sure to entertain. Enjoy the rest of the day!