I ended up at a the Connecticut FictionFest this weekend despite myself. I wanted to go last year but couldn’t because it conflicted with Kiddo#2’s First Holy Communion (I joked at first “I’ll miss you, honey!”) and this year I almost wasn’t able to go either due to schedule issues. But seven days before the conference, I figured out I could go, and because God looks out for fools, drunks,the United States of America, and me — they still had room.
Going to the conference involved getting up at 5:20 and being in the car by 5:45 AM, leaving my groggy baby in my husband’s arms, and taking off with my coffee and my manuscript. I got there a little after the conference opened at 7:30AM,and thank heaven they had more coffee. In the way conferences always seemed to work, I found The Perfect People when I arrived. I attached myself to the two people in line behind me, one of whom it turned out was interested in Christian inspirational (which I know a bit about) and in turn she saved my bacon by having white-out so I could change my conference-given name from Janet to Jane.
Throughout the day, I met a number of really interesting writers and may even have scored the ultimate prize: a new critique partner. A good beta reader is worth a million dollars. Let’s hope she feels the same!
Another amazing score at the conference: the morning session I attended was about Jungian archetypes and the heroic journey, and learning about the stages, I realized how I should turn my string quartet novel inside out to make it a hundred percent better. Yes, the guy leading the session just handed me two months worth of work. Yes, it’ll be worth it. 🙂 Something to hand to the new critique partner.
I also met with an agent and an editor, and both wanted to see part of Honest And For True, so I’ll be sending those shortly.
In the past I went to conferences to see agents and editors. This time, I went to see other writers and take the classes. I wanted to have — and indeed had — great conversations. There was the vicious debate about the evils of the Kindle over lunch, for example. It was fun. There was laughter. There was a guy whose story focuses on luck and then it turned out that six of the door prizes were won by:
1) the person who sat in the chair he’d sat in at lunch
2) the four people who sat near that chair, two chairs in each direction
3) his wife
Tell me that’s not the funniest thing ever.
Overall, it was an awesome conference, and I’m hoping to get there again next year.