I just got back from a wonderful trip to the beach. Gulf Shores in southern Alabama was fantastic! The beaches were beautiful this year, the weather was glorious and oh! how I basked in the sun, taking in all the sunshine I could get! There is something about the rhythmic soothing sound of waves, a cooling breeze fluttering a beach umbrella above your head, and a good book, like Lynn Raye Harris' BEHIND THE PALACE WALLS. (If you haven't read it yet, run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore!)
But as with every vacation, the relaxation and laziness must end. So it is that I've returned home, switching my attention to the main event that fills every romance writer with expectant bliss (expecially this one), RWA Conference.
Conference is coming almost a month early this year. I'm sure the date change has everyone running hither and yon. There is so much to do to get ready, packing lists to make, clothing to sort or buy, shoes (the ever incredible staple of life) to match those outfits day and night, shopping for practical things and most of all, referring to my Handy Dandy Conference Spreadsheet to keep me on task.
Yes, I know RWA has a really good agenda page up this year and I'm using it too, but I couldn't help plugging my spreadsheet. For me, there is something very linear about gazing upon the color-coordinated phases and blocked days that helps me figure out where I need to be when. At a glance, I'm able to tell what time an event begins, what that event is, and if there will be a conflict with any of the workshops I've chosen to attend. And, because I know spur of the moment ideas creep into my head, I've also got space for 3 choices of workshops. This always keeps me on task because if I find I really don't need one particular workshop, I can simply look at my spreadsheet and see where else I need to be at that time.
If I want to attend a booksigning or a spotlight on a particular publishing house, that information is on my spreadsheet too. If you'd like to use my spreadsheet at conference this year, I'm more than happy to share it with you. Everything is in Excel. Adjusting the spreadsheet can be easily done by copying the cells in one row and then pasting those copied cells into the right place. After that, you can adjust the typing, add your event, and so forth.
Send me a request at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure you get a copy.
What tips do you have for going to conference or taking a trip to NYC?