Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day 2

and I'm exhausted.

Four sessions today, two of which were good, one was a waste of time and one was an interesting discussion, but I didn't learn anything. One thing about this conference is that if you don't like what's being taught in your session, you can leave (quietly, please) and join another session. Everyone signed up for sessions when they registered, but--as I now know--that was primarly to see how much interest there was in different sessions. Unfortunately, the session that was a waste of time, I got to late and took a seat in the very back of the class, so leaving quietly was next to impossible. So I toughed it out.

One thing I can say, they certainly feed us well at the Hilton. Large breakfast buffet, snacks--bundt cakes mostly--between morning sessions, full lunch with dessert, coookies between afternoon sessions and full dinners with desserts. I've never eaten so much in such a short amount of time. I almost skipped dinner tonight but since I wanted to hear the keynote speaker, Michael Connelly, I went. Unfortunately, the gist of what he had to say I had heard in an earlier session with James O. Born! Ah well.

And my critique went fabulously! Now, I never told my critiquer, Beth Webb Hart, that I had written my first three chapters through a writing course and that my instructor was a published author, so I actually already had a professional critique. But this was someone who had held my hand through the creative process and I was following her direction, so of course she would like it. I wanted to hear what someone else had to say. And she liked it! She had a few specific points, which I had actually heard from a friend who had read my work, so during the break between the last session and dinner, I edited those parts out. She also had some other points to keep in mind while I did a little bit of editing and as I progress. So I'm feeling really good, like I'm on the right track and I'm doing well!

So now I have two more sessions tomorrow, one of which deals with editing (spinning dross into gold, if you will), and my open session. I may attend a slush-fest, where others have already sent in their work and will have it openly critiqued for everyone attending to hear. All anonymously, of course. From what I've heard from other attendees of slush-fests, they're brutal, and there's a small, sadistic part of me that wants to see the blood bath. Especially since my work won't be on the chopping block. I'll make that decision tomorrow.

So now I'll just clean up, get ready for bed, watch the rest of the Bourne Supremacy on TNT (like I haven't seen it a dozen times already--cripes, I can quote dialog!) and go to bed.

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