Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Attack of the Time Zone

I woke up this morning and thought – hey, I still don’t feel jetlagged, this is great! Went down stairs, worked on my character sketches and changed/added what I needed to adjust for the new direction of the series and printed them off for my binder (Day 1 of FD30 completed on schedule!). My writing time flew by in no time and sadly I had to turn off the pooter and get ready for work. Still, no jetlag. Hmm, maybe I’ll be okay, maybe it won’t affect me.

Hehehehe…yeah, no. During the 8 minute drive to work the jetlag slammed into me with the force of a train hitting a brick wall. By the time I reached work, I was dragging my sorry butt out of the car and wondering why the god of time zones was torturing me so. In the past hour it’s grown steadily worse. I’ve lost the ability to speak coherently. When someone asks me a question, I stare blankly as if they’re speaking a foreign language. I think it’s going to be a very, very looooong day.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my Mom mentioned to me on the way home from the airport that before they left to get me, my dog - who had been her usual docile self in my absence - suddenly started going all snaky and getting really excited. My parents are convinced she knew I was on my way home, since this is how she normally acts when I come home, they just have no idea how she knew. I don’t either, but this isn’t the first time she’s done that. It’s like they’re tuned in on some cosmic level to shifts in the universe or something.

On Friday night, four of the RWAC posse went out for dinner after our agent and editor appointments to celebrate. At dinner, Lorraine asked us what we had taken away from the conference. I thought it was an interesting question. I had gone into the conference with no expectations other than to just take in as much as possible and make the most out of the opportunity. What I came away with was a much better understanding of the industry and what I need to do to break my way into it, especially into the historical genre which at the moment is reportedly the tougher sell. I also came away with the idea that diversifying may increase my chances at career longevity and the decision to explore different contemporary writing and see which one feels like a good fit for me. I have no plans to sit down and write contemporary at the moment - history is my passion - but later, if I have more time to write, there are some story ideas kicking around the cranium I may want to dedicate some time to.

But I think the most important thing I took away from the conference was how important the support of other writers is, and how prevalent it is within the RWA community, and especially – at least from my perspective – within the small group of writers that make up my chapter in Atlantic Canada. We’re small, but we’re mighty, and a more supportive, talented group of writers I can’t imagine. I’m proud to be a member and it was wonderful to be able to experience my first conference with the five from our crew that traveled down with me. Already, I’m counting the days until Atlanta. At least I will once I can count. At the moment, I can barely remember my own name and I’m about two seconds away from doing a face plant into my keyboard.

9 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

What great insights, Kelly. I love my local chapter, too. We don't have more than 25 members, so we're small, but it gives us the advantage of being very close. I'm planning to go to Atlanta, but we'll see where the finances take me. :-)

Kelly said...

We have 26 members in our chapter. I like that it's small. Just makes it easier to really get to know the other members.

Nikki said...

And when she says "get to know the other members" ... she means hit on them.

Which I'm not opposed to...

I'm glad you came away with a lot of learning out the conference. One thing that always surprises me about your writing, is that you don't write humourous stuff! Maybe when you're ready for that contemporary that can come through -- 'cause you definitely have it.

Kelly said...

Well that just goes to show what you know. I stick my characters in dark angsty situations and then barrage them with humor. Keeps things from getting too murky.

Donna Grant said...

So cool about your dog knowing you were on the way home.

Glad you had a great conference. The only bad thing was them losing one of my bags on the return flight. Fortunately, they found it and I got it the next morning. :)

kacey said...

sorry I never got a chance to meet you! It was fun though, wasn't it? Though, like you, I'm just dead. I was apologizing to the wall for running into it I was/am so tired...

Erin said...

Well, you just KNOW you have to write something, officially, involving farm tools & wells, right? ;)

You need a phone call, with a cheery GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD AFTERNOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!!! to wake you up?

Kelly said...

No I do not need one of your cheery GOOOOD AFTERNOONs to wake me up. I have call minder, you know. And I would use the whole death by farm tool story, but somehow I don't think it would fit the romance genre...

Michelle said...

I learned that in the historical market, your book has to be so different, it will sell without anyone having to lift a finger. Sigh.