It’s July 7th.  Normally, around this time I am shopping and gearing up for the RWA Annual Conference, a  week-long party an industry business and networking event for romance writers.  I love this week because it’s often my only chance to see a lot my best writing buddies face-to-face.  The rest of the year we survive through text and video chatting.

When you’re a writer, you spend a lot of time alone and in your head by choice.  You measure a day’s success by how well you could hear the voice’s in your head and how easily those voices translated to the page.  Character Arc, Hero’s Journey, Black Moment,  Backstory – they are your tools.  You can spend an hour debating whether your heroine would wear a green V-back gown or shimmery silver cocktail dress to a fictional party.  And, don’t get me started on how long you spend debating word choice and sentence structure.

Last Year’s RWA Conference Career Planning Session.

When you’re not writing, you ‘re thinking about writing. About future stories, and future voices, and how to put those stories in reader’s hands. It’s an existence our non writer friends and family find fascinating, but don’t quite understand.

That’s why this annual week in July meant so much.  It was the one time of year when everyone in the room spoke the same language.  Literally hours – 120 of them to be exact – are spent discussing craft, career plans, story ideas, and marketing techniques.  There’s a magic to the atmosphere that can’t be described.  Other creative professionals and even hard core crafters understand though –  their conferences no doubt have similar atmospheres.

The RWA Brain Trust 2019

This year, there will be no RWA gathering.  Even before the pandemic hit, I’d made the decision to give up my membership in the Romance Writers of America and thus, not attend the conference.  Rather, I’d replace it with a regional retreat with some of my out-of-town writing buddies.  Sadly, Covid-19 killed that plan to.

All of which makes me a little melancholy this week.  Without any kind of gathering, I feel like I am well and truly closing a door on a chapter in my writing life life.  Maybe though, that’s a good thing. Because now I can well and truly think about my future writing plans.

In the meantime, I think there’s a Zoom retreat in my future.  Won’t be the same as drinking all week, spending the week with my bestie, but it’ll have to do.

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On a happier note: My August Title, A Year with the Millionaire Next Door is now available for Pre-Order!  You can order your copy by visiting Harlequin.com, Mills & Boon, or any online bookseller.

And, stay turned for order information regarding Backyards Have Bodies. (Yes, the sequel is real.)

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