Going to take a bit of time, (I've been talking to the English guy in the newsroom too much, I think. Ian's rubbing off on me.) before I have to run to pick the son up at the airport (from England--hmm) and do that blog about RWA workshops I went to, while I have it. Time, I mean.
Okay. The first workshop in my little notebook (a non-spiral composition book in a smaller size I bought just for conference, and have decided I really like), is MEDICAL FACTS AND FALLACIES. This was presented by an actual doctor, who said that movies are really bad places to get information about how doctors and hospitals and emergency rooms and the like actually work. For instance, in one movie, a man was trying to look up poison someone had been given by thumbing through the Physician's Desk Reference to match pills. A doctor would actually look in one of the books called a "toxidrome" which lists poisons by their symptoms. She gave lots of juicy little details. Like, bullet wounds don't get infected like knife wounds, (the bullet's speed of travel makes it too hot for germs to stick, or something like that) so they don't dig them out, unless the location is dangerous. She recommended a book GREATEST BENEFIT TO MANKIND (according to my notes), and said that writers could fudge the facts for the benefit of the premise of the story--as long as you don't fudge too much. This was a great workshop, and if you can get it on tape, do so.
I went to HOW TO REVIVE A DYING PROJECT OR A DYING CAREER. This was more of a motivational workshop than a crafty "how-to." Yes, it was How To, but it was How to deal with fears and perfectionism and the stuff that gets in the way of getting the writing done. It was pretty good too, and in it she recommended the books by Ralph Keys, COURAGE TO WRITE and THE WRITER'S BOOK OF HOPE.
I also went to Theresa Meyers' DOWN AND DIRTY MEDIA TRAINING which had a lot of great ways to handle interviews and how to get interviews. Like, in order to get a media interview, you need a hook to connect yourself to the audience, so first you can identify a problem the audience might have, and then shoot it down. "The economy is bad and people are depressed. But Romance makes people feel good, and it's cheap." Had some really good stuff in this one too. I've been impressed by Meyers on line. Now I was impressed by her in person.
I went to the PLOTTING WHEEL workshop, but the original person who was supposed to give this workshop couldn't be there, and the sub wasn't very good.
The workshop on how to make the Regency Historical connect to today's readers was a good one. It gave me some good ideas for my own works--like creating a place on my website where my readers can experience my fantasy world. The early 1800s is far enough away that it's like a foreign universe, so that's what these speakers did.
I went to a Writing the Selling Synopsis workshop. I always need a good way to write a synopsis. I'm not sure I use any of the stuff that I've workshopped on, but maybe it's soaking in. Anyway, this workshop gave one way to organize things and did a good job of it. And since I sort of use this method, maybe it helped and will help me refine what I do.
I think I went to a couple of other workshops, but they weren't the kind where you take notes. I went to the theft of intellectual property/plagiarism workshop and got a lot out of it, and I went to a "What RWA can do for you" workshop that I liked a lot. And as I said earlier, I went to the Tor spotlight and saw my cover.
Okay, time to go. Though the boy's (and girls') plane is about 2 hours late, this will give me time to go by the bank, and mail the son-in-law's birthday present.