Friday, April 16, 2010

Romance Slam Jam Conference - 2010

Today I'm back from my writer's conference. Okay, it was also a vacation, but for the benefit of the Tax Man I spent the last five days at the Romance Slam Jam 15th anniversary conference, and loved every minute. It just happened to be on a cruise ship - the Carnival Destiny, and we just happened to stop at Miami, Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman. But it was all business, so help me God. Rochelle Alers keynote address was spectacular, as she covered the history of African-American Romance and Woman's Fiction writing. I was able to meet a number of author's I'd only heard about, A. C. Arthur, Crystal Rhodes, Monique Lamont, and Gwyneth Bolton, to name only a few. I was especially pleased to have a chance to talk with, and be encouraged by, Shirley Hailstock, a past president of Romance Writer's of America. Our group spent the last day of the cruise in a mass discussion session between the featured authors and the group of readers and aspiring authors present. It was encouraging, enlightening, and great fun. I've already put the 16th conference in Boston, 2011, on my calendar.

The vacation part wasn't bad either. While I had enough sense not to climb Dunn's River Falls, I had great fun watching those who did. (Then spent three days with my legs recovering just from climbing the staircase beside the falls.) I descended to over 100 feet below the ocean to view the coral and undersea life in the Atlantis Submarine (and I have a certificate to prove that I am now a true submariner). Then had an airboat ride through the Florida Everglades where I ended up holding an aligater.

Now, after the long trip home, I get to take that energy and feeling of togetherness and keep on writing.

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