October has sure turned out to be a very busy month! Along with the college admissions/visit journey we've been on at home, there's been a lot of fun things going on in the writing life.
For starters, my fellow HVRWA members and I participated in a Wine & Sign event at Palaia Vineyards in Highland Mills, NY. That was Saturday, October 4, and despite the gloomy weather, we had a fantastic turnout, and everyone sold books - we had something for everyone who came by that day. It was so much fun, we've decided to look into doing similar events in other area wineries, so keep an eye out for details as we plan.
Here's the whole crew just prior to the start of the event:
Our Fearless Leader, HVRWA Chapter President Elf Ahearn:
And some of our other prolific members:
The biggest October event was the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book conference. I attend this every year, and it is always a great time. I think all my fellow attendees had just as much fun as I did. It really was a fabulous time – a good chunk of my local RWA chapter attended, which always makes it more fun, because we all know how to trigger each others' silly spots! We all know what couple of words will set one of us off into a tizzy of delirious laughter.
The thrill of being a finalist in the Golden Leaf this year added to the excitement. Alas, neither I, nor my fellow finalist, critique partner and friend, Elizabeth Shore, took home the coveted award. Still, as they say, it was an honor to be nominated. But I really do mean that – having my book chosen as one of the best in the category says a lot, and tells me I'm doing something right.
Special thanks to Tara Andrews who managed to get a shot of this:
Truly, though, as always, this conference is a wonderful experience, on so many levels. I posted last year that the hotel services were very strangely a little under par – this year, they were on the mark (or above it) every time, so that was great. I've been to this hotel many times over the last 20 or so years, so last year was truly an anomaly. Though I must be honest - $9 for a glass of wine was a bit much. A lot much. Even when I was working FT, I learned a long time ago how to work around that, but this year, it was on the outrageous side.
So what did I like? Everything! The PAN retreat, the Editors Panel, the workshops – everything offered was just what I needed, whether I knew it going in or not. I gained some really valuable info, which has me re-arranging a few things.
I also got to meet several people in person who I'd only previously met online. Yeah, there's a bit of fangirl in me. I doubt it will ever go away completely!
I made some good connections, discovered some new opportunities, and learned a few techniques (some that will make life a whole lot more manageable, if I do them right). So stay tuned, I hope to be able to be sharing some upcoming events – I promise they'll be a ton of fun!
One event on the horizon that I can share now is that a few of my critique partners and I are participating in a Book Talk at the Washington Township, NJ library on November 20. We'll be talking about our books, writing craft and the romance fiction industry, holding a Q&A, plus we'll be signing our books. I'll have more specific details about that later on, with links and how you can get in on the fun!
October is also a big birthday/anniversary month in our house, too, and it reminds me of how truly blessed I am to have such a wonderful family, fantastic friends and a rich full life in general. I am truly thankful for that.