Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Recently I attended my very first RWA conference in Atlanta. It was so much fun, but exhausting since I tried to squeeze in as many workshops as possible. I was particularly impressed with its professional level of workshops and how smoothly it was run with 2,000 authors congregating to further their careers. This picture is the literary book signing that RWA does each year. We raised $52,000 for literacy. Any books that weren't sold were donated to area libraries. There were 450 authors signing and readers were already lining up by 3 although it didn't start until 5:30. To top it off, we had the worst and longest thunderstorm in history with 3" of rain, but that didn't keep people away. Amazing!

This is how all the elevator doors were decorated at the Marriott Marquis. Each one had four different book covers. Isn't that neat? No, mine wasn't up there because my publisher wasn't a sponsor for this event.
One of the workshops that I enjoyed was given by the CDC on viruses, epidemics and everything you wanted to know about them for novel writing. I can see you raising an eyebrow but no, I'm not writing about epidemics, but every since my brother died of the Hantavirus I've been interested. I even stepped up to the microphone and told them they need to better inform the public about the deadly virus, most of whom have never heard of it. The panel shook their heads in agreement when I told them my loved one died from it. I never had to mention his name--they knew. They suited up some authors to demonstrate how they remove contaminated gloves and gowns after they had been called in to work with emerging contaminates.

I enjoyed the Faith, Hope and Love chapter meeting and met many of my fellow inspirational authors. I didn't final this year, but wow, so many talented people did. I enjoyed the Georgia Romance Writer's masquerade party and came away a winner of one of their gorgeous baskets!

While I was going down to for the literacy signing, I heard bad news about a family member's health and was feeling down as I took my seat in front of my stack of books. About 25 minutes later, my husband texted me that I had a message at home that I was a finalist for The Maggie Award! That really perked me up tremendously for a while. I'm truly honored to make the list. The winner isn't announced until October at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference. Wish me luck!

I thought you might like to see my view of the atrium level from the 17th floor. (Their were 40 floors). A really fabulous hotel.
I really had a wonderful time meeting some authors I knew online and our late night chats with a few. I even met Rita Estrada, the namesake of the Rita Award. By the way-I've been nominated twice for the Rita but never finaled--at least not yet. :) I sat in on Nora Roberts chat too! She's a hoot! Our speakers were wonderful! I learned new lingo--like swag and the hybrid author, and felt honored that some authors were excited to meet me! Imagine that! Little ole me!

I'll close with one more  wonderful thing this summer we did before my conference. My granddaughter, Maggie, attended her 2nd Fox Broadway Camp in Atlanta and it was a delight to watch her perform  in Damn Yankees. She's a natural actress with a voice of an angel. I just have to share these pictures. She's the one with the red bandana and dark hair in the center of each pic. She's so beautiful! I hope to see her on Broadway one of these days!

Hope you're summer is turning out the way you hoped it would. As for me, I'm waiting for the autumn leaves, and sweaters...impatiently....

Happy Trails,



CatMom said...

It was wonderful meeting you at the RWA Conference. I also enjoyed visiting as we ate lunch together on that Saturday. ~ Congratulations on being a MAGGIE finalist! And how exciting about your granddaughter--I know you're proud of her.
Blessings, Patti Jo Moore

Maggie Brendan said...

Patti, it was so wonderful to connect with you and have lunch. I count myself luck to have met you, finally. Hope to see you again soon.

Kelly M. Long said...

Great writing and love the CDC stuff!!!!