Riding the Waves… #RWAus13

Not sure about “Riding” more like “Floating” and the “waves” seemed rather choppy when walking around this morning at around 5.30 Fremantle time. Whose idea was it to start on Cointreau Spitzer’s??

There was I thinking it was going to be a quiet evening not knowing anyone at the Romance Writers of Australia [RWA] Conference Cocktail Party last night [Friday 16th August]. I should have known, being out numbered, the female members of the RWA were not going to let someone sit in a corner getting inēbriātus all by himself.

I suppose what did not help was getting up at 2.45am yesterday morning to get ready to depart for the airport [my flight was at 7am]. Too early for breakfast I made do with a MacDonald’s egg & bacon muffin and a poor excuse for a coffee when I arrived at Terminal 2. The breakfast served by Virgin once we were airborne was a trifle better. By the time I arrived in Perth I was starving. The taxi driver, a nice chap, drove me to the hotel and gave me a breakdown of his life history. Very interesting… could be a book in it!!

Fremantle 001

Arriving at the hotel – The Esplanade by Rydges at around 11.00am the room wasn’t ready, no big deal. I made my way to the bar and had a nice cold beer and ordered a beef burger. It was delicious and it set me up for the rest of the day. By the time I had finished eating, the room was ready – quite pleasant, although the view leaves a lot to be desired: a nondescript street with a backpacker’s hotel and lots of trees.

After attempting to have a nana nap I gave up after a couple of hours at staring at the walls and decided on a little TV before getting ready for the Cocktail Party.

As I said before, where I thought I would be standing in a corner like a spare part, I was welcomed into the fold by some very charming people and made to feel I belonged. Copious amounts of red wine and rats on sticks also helped the evening along, and when it all “ended” at around 10.30pm a few of us decided it was too early and continued our delightful discussions at the Promenade Bar. As the night progressed, and the Cointreau Spitzer’s began, I started to being referred to by my pen name, which in a way seemed appropriate in the circumstances. It was also suggested that at the next conference [Sydney 2014] my name tag should be as “Louise Roberts” and not “Robert Borg”.

Saturday 17th August

I would have thought that after such a long and tiring day [PLUS all that booze last night] I would sleep forever – no such luck. Being still on Sydney time I was up at 5.30am. Having made myself a cuppa I started writing this blog, abandoning it after an hour so I could get ready for the day to start.

… And so it began: From around 8am right through to 4.30pm it was an intense day with a few well-placed breaks and lunch. Having had a large breakfast I opted for a very small lunch, so I am now enjoying a very nice chicken pizza courtesy of room service [it is 6.00pm and will need to think about getting ready in an hour or so for the Gala Awards evening at 8.30pm]. I was going to go out for dinner, but it’s raining and I didn’t bring a rain jacket or umbrella. No big deal. This is just as good, and at least I’m writing, which is quite apt when you think about it.

The conference began with a keynote address by the number 1 New York Times bestselling author, Julia Quinn. This was followed by an address made by the conference sponsors, Harlequin; and a panel discussion of the various paths open to authors to third-party publications. This was of particular interest to me as I am still on tenterhooks waiting to hear back for my submission of my historical saga with romantic interludes: The Sword and the Rose. When told that one can wait up to 90 days for an answer as priority is given to novels which have been submitted by agents, I can now understand why I am still waiting since submitting it in mid-May!! So fingers and toes remain crossed.

During the rest of the day I learnt of the importance of an Alpha Male: Hero or Hole and thought about my own Alpha male characters reflecting on their “hero” status and found at times that perhaps they sometimes “slipped” from Hero to Hole…

The presentation was hosted by Paula Roe [http://www.paularoe.com ] and Shannon Curtis [ http://www.shannoncurtis.com ] who gave a most informative and enjoyable session.

Later I listened to Julia Quinn give invaluable tips for effective dialogue for one’s characters, and the do’s and don’ts to watch out for.

Finally USA Today bestselling author Maisey Yates provided a workshop to improve ways of increasing productivity in writing novels. It made me shudder when she stated that writing a book in six weeks was too slow for her… 6 weeks is too slow?? Try 6+ months!!

I really must pull my finger out if I’m going to get my novella finished this year. As she said, I must stop making excuses for not getting the job done. I suppose if I take anything away with me from this conference it is Maisey’s sound advice of setting a daily word count goal to get passed the mental blocks, and switch the internet off!! I must admit the latter is my downfall; as when I switch on the computer the first thing I do is check my emails, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; by then it’s either too late to start writing or I’m too exhausted as another day is over.

Time Check: 7.00pm. It’s time to sign off and start to get ready for this evening’s festivities; and to look forward to tomorrow…

RLB – Tomewriter

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