Conference Post Mortem

The Pennwriters Conference, 2007 version, is history. I think I left some of my brain cells there, because I don’t seem to functioning very well today.

It was great fun. I reconnected with old friends from across the state, made some new ones, and put some faces to names of folks I only previously knew from the Internet.

Besides being on the planning committee, I’m also the local area rep, so there were a few demands on my time. I would have loved to sit down for long conversations with several attendees, but kept being called away. So I had to settle for lots of quick chats on the fly.

Hands down, the most terrifying moment was Saturday afternoon when I took part in my first ever panel. Finding an Agent. The panel had been steadily growing all during the planning phase. We started with three of us, then there were four, and by the time it came to fruition, we had seven panelists. Six of the seven, I already knew and were fellow Sisters in Crime. The seventh, our token gentleman, turned out to be a real sweetheart. Very funny and a big hit. Truthfully, I got the sense that the entire panel was a hit. The audience asked lots of great questions. None of us made fools of ourselves. And we all got some terrific experience for the next time.

I don’t have any photographs of the panel. I was on it, so I couldn’t very well take pictures, too. A friend and another fellow Sister (Mister) in Crime, Mike Crawmer snapped some photos, but I’m not going to bother him to send me a copy today. An agent he met with requested his full manuscript, so he’s a little busy giving it a quick edit this morning. (Mike, if you’re reading this, get back to work!)

I do have a picture of Mike with a big grin on his face being congratulated by a couple of our “sibs.”

And here are a couple of the cake my friend Jacque baked for our Saturday night party.

If I do receive any shots with me in them, I’ll post them later.

I attended some wonderfully informative and inspirational workshops. Hallie Ephron stirred the creative juices so much that I was making revision notes while she spoke. Things that had been hazy became clear. If you’re a mystery writer and haven’t read her book Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, order it now!

Tim Esaias gave a terrific workshop on Bobble-Headisms. (He nodded. She nodded. They nodded. Everyone nodded.) Now I have to go through my manuscript and remove all the widening eyes, clenching stomachs, and, yes, nods.

My friend Tory Butterworth presented a fascinating workshop on the psychology of villains. What was really creepy was recognizing the characteristics she mentioned in people I know. Yikes!

As for today, I should be writing. But I’m not. My brain is too overloaded with information. So I’m giving myself a day to assimilate all I’ve learned over the weekend. Tomorrow: back to work!


mike said…
Annette--Thanks for the mention, but that photo? Is that really me? Time for a diet! Let me second everything you said about the truly was inspiring. And, as much as I wanted to take every "bobble-headism" out of "Cat Fight" yesterday, I just didn't have time. I caught some, but editing 300 pages in one day, well, the best I could do was make sure all my storylines (main plot, subplots) made sense. The "nods" and "eyes turning to look" will have to wait for another day.
Annette said…
Yes, Mike, that's you. Don't forget the camera puts on 20 pounds. You looked quite dashing, truth be told.

I'm sure the agent will over look the bobble-headisms. The story will carry the day.
Judy Schneider said…
Annette, thanks for the recap of the conference! It sounds like it was an extremely productive weekend for all. Good luck to Mike with the CAT FIGHT submission. And cheers to you, Annette, as the new conference director!! You'll do a great job!

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