I haven’t been to an RWA conference in a few years, but I’m thinking of attending this year even though things are different now. Firstly, the conference will be held in June for the first time in my memory. That’s odd. Secondly, it won’t include a weekend, which is unusual. And thirdly, I won‘t be waiting for my next book release. And that’s downright creepy.
See…it’s been almost twenty years since I’ve packed myself off to a major conference while I was between contracts. That’s what I call my situation when I’m being optimistic. Not unemployed or unpublished or say…desperate. Just between contracts. But I have a bunch of questions: What does one do at a conference when one is between contracts? Does she go back to stalking editors like she did in the old days? Does she hang out in the hotel bar with old cronies, drinking Shirley Temples desperately attempting to look cool? Does she attend workshops and try to absorb current wisdom?
I’ve always thought that when your career is in jeopardy is when you should really attend a conference like this…especially if it’s in the Big Apple. But now that I’m in this position myself it’s practically impossible to justify the expense. And since it is in New York, I figure it’s going to be more expensive than ever. The cost of the event alone is $550. Airfare is skyrocketing along with fuel prices, and I don’t even want to think about getting a hotel room in the world’s most cramped metropolis. I figure I’ll be lucky to get back home without dropping a couple thousand bucks.
So what do you think? Is it worth going so I can watch someone else win the Rita? (Helen, I’m talking to you. Hey, lose once already will ya?) And if I go what do I do there? What’s the best use of my time? I sincerely need some advice. So please help me out, ladies.