Wednesday, August 10, 2011

RomCon Report 2

Thanks to Sharon for yesterday's post. Lots of things to think about. Being a writer is a lot more than writing books, isn't it?

Back to RomCon.

I stopped yesterday before I mentioned the Western dinner. To be perfectly honest, my budget doesn't usually allow the "high-priced" hotel events. Having been on the conference planning side for years in my previous life, I know there aren't many economical options when dealing with hotels and their food and beverage services. But, since the theme was Western, and I'm now an official 'Westerner', it wasn't like I had to deal with buying anything new. I did buy them recently, but not exclusively for the conference.

I hooked up with Nancy and Donna, two of my buddies, and we worked our way through the chow line. Now, unlike most writing conferences, where the icebreaking question is, "What do you write," here it's "What do you read?" Everyone was friendly, and it really doesn't matter if you know a lot of people when you mingle at these events.

After eating, I let Nancy be the brave soul who tried the mechanical bull. Too risky for my back. But I did let one of the cowhands try to teach me how to rope a calf. Let's just say the cattle population of Colorado (and the entire US, for that matter) has nothing to worry about. I got the theory down, but execution left a lot to be desired. (Unless you were the calf). And no, they weren't live, just metal mockups.

I fared a little better learning some line dances. My background was a couple years of ballet as a kid, and some ethnic folk dancing, primarily Greek and Israeli in college, so I didn't feel TOO out of place.

Not being much of a night person, I skipped the late-night "Mangasm" party and headed up to my bunk.

Day 2:

My first activity was the Mad Libs hour with readers. Our organizer gave us some commercially prepared Mad Libs sheets as well as a version created from Pride and Prejudice, and some works of the participating authors. In case there's anyone out there who doesn't remember or never played the game, you're given a short piece of writing. There are blanks where words have been removed. Only the group leader knows the story, and merely calls out for the correct part of speech. Since (if you play fair) the words are more or less random, some of them are better fits than others. Then, when you're done, you read it out loud, with all the blanks filled in, and the results can be hilarious—especially when the group decides it's fun to go a bit raunchy. Our table's favorite was an ad for an internet dating service. Let's just say we had a few cool lines in that one.

And now … the saga of Annuit Ollalong. I costumed up, including working my hair into braids as might befit a Native American and went down early to see if there was anything I could do to help, or (what I hoped for) some actual instructions! To my surprise, due to unforeseeable circumstances, we could no longer use the original story and we were thrust into uncharted waters. The new story was "A Chocolate Covered Killing, or Who Butchered the Baker?" I became Sugar Ann Spyce. I was a traveling saleswoman for Sugar Shack Confections, the wholesale distributors of GoDieVa Chocolates. One of my customers was brutally murdered on the night of her grand opening celebration for her new candy shop. At least the story was set in Texas, so most of my clothing was appropriate. I modified some jewelry, ditched the braids and hat, and was good to go.

**Note: It just so happens my current WIP also involves a woman who's opening a chocolate shop and there's a dead body, although it's not hers. I'm on Chapter 12 in the writing, so it's just a matter of another writing coincidence.

At least I showed up early enough to review the back story and my lines, including what I wasn't supposed to reveal. The attendees were divided into 8 groups, and each group visited one of the 8 suspects in turn, and we had 3 minutes to read our speeches and answer questions. We had three sets of clues to reveal, so the group made 3 circuits of the room. The thing was—they learned a LOT more than we knew, so they'd ask us questions we really didn't know how to answer, since we each had only a small piece of the picture. The only 'rules' were we couldn't lie about the facts we were given, but we also couldn't reveal the parts we were told had to be secret.

At the end, everyone turned in who they thought the killer was, and of course, prizes were aplenty. I wasn't the murderer, although I did have a few people tell me later that they thought I'd done it, so I guess I did all right in the deception department.

Out of time/space for today – come back tomorrow for more!


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like fun! That's nice that they had those icebreaker type of games, too. I don't blame you for not trying out the bull. I think I'd have broken my neck...

Maryann Miller said...

It's been fun living the con vicariously via your blog. I may have to make a point to try to get to this one next year.

Karen C said...

Sure does sound like a lot of fun! Looking forward to hearing more.

Terry Odell said...

Elizabeth - they DID have a lot of padding. It wasn't falling that worried me as much as wrenching my back with all the crazy directional shifts.

Maryann - you ought to give it a try. It's a whole 'nother experience.

Karen - I'll have more tomorrow.

Isis Rushdan said...

There was no way I could make the RomCon and have been eager to get details. Give us more :), please!

Isis Rushdan said...
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