Wednesday, July 26, 2006

On my first RWA Conference

What I'm reading: "Reader's Guide to the Troubleshooter Series" by Suzanne Brockmann

What I'm writing: not much -- afraid if I'm writing new stuff, I'll forget all the pitch stuff for the book I'm supposed to be trying to get represented/sold.

Greetings from Atlanta. I arrived late Monday afternoon, pleasantly surprised at the totally uneventful trip (and I even got an upgrade to 1st class, although why I get those only on 1 hour trips is one of those life questions.)

Room is nice, tucked into a quiet corner (as long as nobody visits the ice machine at 2 am) on the 32nd floor. The welcome tote included 18 books and I was afraid I'd pull my back again. I'll have to find our chapter president who drove up in a big van and said she'd transport our surplus baggage.

Tuesday was the Kiss of Death chapter's all day workshop on firearms. Morning was lectures -- I guess it's kind of important to teach a little safety before turning 100 women loose with live ammunition. We had a chance to shoot a variety of handguns, including one of those big "Clint Eastwood" revolvers. There were also a couple of long guns. I tried one, and was suprised that there was so little "kick" -- I expected a bruised shoulder. My biggest problem with the handguns was that after the instructor carefully and rather forcefully told me where to place my hands, I couldn't reach the trigger. After making the necessary adjustments (and without 'muzzling' anyone) I was ok, and hit the target every time. We shot 9mm, .22 calibers, and that .38 revolver. And just so I don't feel so 'gun stupid' -- our instructor is a firearms instructor for the GA PD, and she had no clue how to load or fire the Ruger .22 they had for us.

We also got to do some laser simulations -- shoot/don't shoot kinds of stuff. Amazing how the heart rate escalates even though the guy pointing a gun at you is simply a video on the wall.

Suzanne Brockmann was the dinner keynote speaker, and entertained the group with her "this sucks" remarks. I suppose it's nice to know that everyone, no matter how successful still deals with the disappointments. Of course, they're getting respectable advances and royalty checks, so that has to take some of the sting out of it.

Things get busy starting tonight. A glance at the program shows that like all conferences, the sessions either have nothing of vital importance/interest, or 4 things I want to see, or I'm scheduled to be elsewhere. I might have to break down and buy the proceedings.

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