The blogging group with Jennifer Crusie (second from the right)
Every year for some years now I’ve attended RWA’s national conference in July. This year it was in New York, which meant that my favorite writer of all time, Jennifer Crusie, who also taught the McDaniel College creative writing/romance program I took, could attend. I went to her two conference sessions along with my group bloggers (my former classmates from the McDaniel program), and a nice person took a photo of us all. Proof positive!
The conference was its usual busy self. Besides meeting Jennifer Crusie, the other highlight of the event was that one of our number, Jeanne Oates Estridge (third from right) won the Golden Heart award for paranormal romance. We’re all super proud of her! It’s a tremendous honor, winning over hundreds if not thousands of entries. I’m hoping for a major hardcover release for her.
I got more out of the conference this year than usual (good sessions, connecting with old friends, cementing new friendships, interesting pitches, and did I mention Jennifer Crusie?), but it took more out of me than usual (too much noise, too much rich food [all my fault], not enough sleep [ditto]). It’s been my vacation of choice for a while now, but after next year, when it’s practically in my backyard, I might think about cutting back to every other year or so and maybe going instead to smaller, more local conferences. I could save me some bucks and plan a bigger trip for the times I do go. We’ll see.
Next year in San Diego!
What with one thing and another, it’s been a rough week. I took a hiatus and wandered over to Jenny Crusie‘s site, where I learned about The Toast, which is a blast and just what I needed when I was done assembling receipts for Uncle Sam. For a fun look at oppressive activities, take a look at “Women Having A Terrible Time At Parties In Western Art History” by Mallory Ortberg. In fact, her entire “Western Art History” oeuvre is not to be missed. As one of her women who’s having a terrible time at a party would say, it’s bears.
This week I started an MFA program–that’s Master of Fine Arts–at McDaniel University. And the best part–it’s about romance, analyzing and writing. And the next best part–it’s an online class, so I don’t have to relocate temporarily to Maryland, where McDaniel is. The program will last for a year. It’s taught by Pam Regis, who’s a professor there, and Jennifer Crusie, who’s a world-class writer. The program was funded by Nora Roberts, who as everybody probably knows, is surely the most prolific and and astonishing romance writer ever.
So far this week we’ve been reading two novels, Montana Sky by Roberts and Heaven, Texas, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The post office or the book company I ordered from has screwed up the delivery of Heaven, but I’ve read it a million times so I remember the plot decently enough. But if I don’t get my copy soon, my first paper will be on Montana Sky.
I’m so excited to be part of this smart bunch of people who sit around their computers all day, talking about books! It’s hog heaven over here.