Monday, March 27, 2006

INTERACTIVE BLUSH AND CRINGE AT WRITING CONFERENCES

With all the conference talk starting up in the writing community.....I thought it would be fun to do an interactive blog about conferences.

Specifically, your MOST embarrassing moment at a conference.

I'll start: I accidentally handed a male editor my room key with my business card after an appointment at a Christian writer's conference last year. ROFL! Only I didn't realize it until an hour later as I stood at the door of my room. I went to grab my room key from the badge holder....and behold NO key! I kept it in the same pocket as my business cards. I found the editor later, horrified at the thought that maybe that's what had happened. Thankfully he didn't take the wrong way, and yes, my key was stuck to the glossy business card. Sigh.

SO what's yours? Or you could make it even funner and tell on a friend!

HAPPY TALKING!!!!

Squirrel

11 comments:

Pammer said...

ROFLOL! Lucky for you he didn't take it the wrong way, lol!

I have so many embarrassing moments. The first thing I did was throw a meatball at Deb Raney. Then I startled Brandilyn in the bathroom, it actually took me several attempts to get up my nerve to talk to her so she probably thought I was stalking her. I don't know if she was truly relieved to find out her stalker was none other than The Gun Lady. :0)

And at a later dinner, I stared in dismay at the undercooked meat on my plate (okay, so I didn't know that is what prime rib was supposed to look like). My friend had twisted my arm to sit with an agent who I desperately wanted to represent me. But once at her table I was too embarrassed to talk. Camy kept kicking me under the table, but still I couldn't talk) I focused on my food. I thought I'd never be able to stomach the pink meat, but they were kind enough to put out some sour cream. I dipped a generous amount (okay, almost all of the container) on the bite of meat and ate it. Only, it wasn't sour cream. It was horseradish. HOT horseradish!! I drank my water. All of it. And Camy's. And the agent I wanted to impress? Well, I doubt she'll ever forget me. I drank her water too. :0)

I won't even tell you what poor Joan Marlow Golan had to go through to meet with me this year. She is a very gracious lady though, I will tell you that.
And if you are really nice to me, and pray for me, I'll dump a glass of water on your shoes. Won't I, Cynthia?

What a fun post!

Camy Tang said...

Okay, this is from the RWA National conference last year:

Marilyn Hilton and Anne Kim went with me to the conference and Marilyn is friends with agent Wendy Lawton, so she arranged for us to sit with her at lunch on Friday. I had to do something else, so I was supposed to meet them in the dining room. It was utter Godwork that I managed to find their table.

The only clue I had was that Wendy wore a bright green blazer. I just started wandering and praying (it's 2,200 attendees sitting at about 200 tables in this massive ballroom).

Suddenly I turned my head and thought I saw a woman who looked like Wendy. I approached the table, and lo and behold, it's them. Pure, unadulterated miracle.

Who's sitting next to Wendy? Oh, just Debbie Macomber, one of the keynote speakers. Gaaack!

I plopped down at the only empty chair and formally met Wendy, who remembered my face from the Mt. Hermon conference. Wendy piped up, "Oh, and Camy, you're sitting next to an editor, so be dazzling." (or something like that)

I turned to my right and introduced myself to Hilary Sares from Kensington. My tongue had turned into a big flapping piece of felt. Lovely.

Things got better as the meal progressed. Hilary had to speak to the girl sitting next to her for a few minutes, so I had time to compose myself after the double-whammy of Best-Selling Author and Important Editor.

I posed a few rather intelligent questions about the Kensington lines, namely, "So why did Kensington get rid of the Regencies?" (Insert some cheese with my whine)

Hilary graciously explained the fact that publishing is a business (Gasp! Imagine that! You should have known that, Lamebrain, before you asked her). However, despite my stupidity, she generously offered to send me a few of the last of the Regency line.

Score! I couldn't say yes fast enough, or say thank you often enough.

Anne, sitting on the other side of me, had the supreme courage to actually ask Hilary if Kensington was interested in multicultural Chicklit. (I found out later that Marilyn and Wendy had threatened to beat her up if she didn't pitch to Hilary.)

Hilary gave a resounding yes. Anne mentioned she wrote Asian Chicklit, and the darling girl also added that I did as well (who needs working vocal chords with friends like that?). Hilary gave us her contact information and said for us to send our manuscripts to her. Is that cool or what?

I did get up the gumption to ask about the Christian elements in my writing, and she said she was open to it. Awesome, huh?

Then 6 months later, I queried Wendy and nabbed her as my agent. So I guess my stammering at the table didn't put her off my winning personality. :)

Camy

Margo Carmichael said...

Thank goodness there's no photo of this!

I was leaving the Denver conference, walking across the asphalt to the plane, when the wind whipped my silk circle skirt straight up in the air. My arms were full, but I freed one hand, as did Michelle Hutchison, and we each held my skirt down as I shouted to other passengers, "Quit looking! Quit laughing!"

Actually, come to think of it, I do have a photo. I'll soon place it on my blog. That dark red silk skirt lay artfully arranged as a lovely, swirly, base for my Christmas centerpiece on my dining room table last year!

I haven't worn it since. I won't be wearing it to Dallas, where the wind comes sweeping down the (Dallas) Plain.

Yes, I know that song is from "Oklahoma." That's where the wind comes from!

Ane Mulligan said...

My embarrassing moment at a conference came at the 2005 BRMCWC during the awards banquet.

Yvonne Lehman was handing out awards after dinner. My shoes were hurting my claustrophobic feet, so I kicked them off and watched the award winners walk at a dignified gait up to receive their certificates.

Then Yvonne called second place in the ficiton contest and announced my name, the only thing that went through my mind was GET UP THERE, before they give it to someone else! I jumped and ran.

When Yvonne and everyone started laughing, I realized I'd left my shoes at the table. Groan.

But at least I didn't hand my room key to an editor! LOL - that has to top them all! :o)

Jenny said...

I'm so glad others have embarrasing moments. Here's one of mine.

After nearly a year of e-mailing each other, our crit group (or most of it) was going to get to meet in person. I saw Greg, our lovable token male in the lobby while trying to check in. He was done and said he'd wait across the room by the luggage hold. When I finally finished (a major ordeal) he needed to leave with another friend. We made plans to meet again that evening and he left. I grabbed up my luggage and made it to my room for a nap only I couldn't rest without getting my good clothes hung up. That's when I discovered, I didn't have my own bags. On top of it, they belonged to my crit partner--my male, pastor, crit partner. I raced them down stairs, visions of him opening my bags and seeing my unmentionables and then having to look me in the eye at dinner spurring me on. Thankfully, I made the switch before he made it back. It was a good laugh when I eventually confessed.

Abundant blessings!

Synner said...

I guess I was blessed. My first conference experience went pretty well without any embarassing moments. Or maybe my brain has conveniently forgotten it! I guess that means I'm really in for it this September.

Anonymous said...

... hey, y'all! : )

At my very first conference, I just knew my manuscript was the best thing since ... well, you know. Anyway, I knew it was different than anything else out there at the time, so, when the keynote speaker said to write something that "fit a hole in the market," I knew that was what I had done. So, how delighted was I that I could score an appointment with him? He just so happened to be representing the one house here in Oregon I just kneeeeewwww would love to publish my manuscript. I hurried to the appointment, only to watch my fifteen minutes be swallowed up by the previous appointee -- in other words, she allowed herself a thirty minute appointment at my expense. So. I'm all bummed, but as they get up to head for dinner, I sidle up to the editor thinking that since my appointment was squandered, he'd just now have to take my proposal home with him to look at. I actually told him that. And he agreed! I was overcome with ... well, you know.

So. We're standing face to face, I'm overcome, and he asks me what the manuscript is. You know: fiction, non-fiction, romance, memoir ... And all I can think of is that it is something that will "fit a hole in the market," as he so aptly said in his speech.

So. We're standing there. He's waiting for an answer to his question, and I'm ... well ... overcome, and all that ends up coming out of my mouth is, "It's a hole. It's a hole."

Well. Smiling, he takes my proposal, walks away with it, and I'm left standing there -- much like Baby in Dirty Dancing, saying, "I carried a watermelon?"

"IT'S A HOLE???"

Fun stuff. : )
later!
donna

Anonymous said...

Serving as a workshop hostess, I introduced the speaker--one of my favorite writers--and misprounnounced her name EVERY time I said it.

And the workshop is taped.

If you bought it, you so know who I am.

Sigh.

Pammer said...

Don't feel bad anonymous. I volunteered as a hostess for the first time, and I KNOW I hate speaking. I forgot that it was being taped and that I had to introduce her until she handed me the sheet that said a few things about her. The first time, I transposed two of the words and the second class, not only were we recording and didn't know it, but when I did introduce her I mispronounced a word in the introduction and that got the rythym of the sentence off and stumbled through the rest.

Then I sat down, glad that the talking part was over and only then realized that it was recorded for posterity.

Michelle said...

I'm not sure if this qualifies, but I have to tell you anyway. I went to the First Coast Romance Writers Awards Banquet as a finalist in thier Beacon contest. Since this was only my second final and the first time I'd actually be ablet to attend the awards ceremony (it was held in my hometown) hubby and I decided to make a night of it. We dressed up (cocktail attire was specified), dropped the kids off at my parents' house, had a nice dinner and then went to the hotel where the dessert social was being held. When we walked in there were four or five other woment there. We introduced ourselves and took a seat as other women came in. Then more and more. Finally there were forty or more women in the room and one man (my wonderful hubby). He ended up being the only guy there, but he sat through the whole thing and even made jokes with the other women at our table. I felt really bad for him, but that will probably pass since he promises I'll pay for it later.

Margaret Daley said...

I'm gonna pled memory lapse on this one. I think I've purposefully forgotten everyone of them. I loved reading everyone's, though.

And Cheryl, I don't know if I would have had the courage to go back to the editor and ask for my key. ROFLOL!!!

Margaret