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Stuff 'n Nonsense Simply Wonderful
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It's been a few weeks since the hubby and I took our trip to the northern coast for a much-needed getaway and immediately when we returned, my business trip to San Francisco for the RWA National conference and I can finally share my experiences. In a word: wonderful.

First, the getaway/research trip. I had no idea the northern coast was so breathtaking. The ocean air was crisp and invigorating, the skyline was beautifully blue and unpolluted by whatever it is gunking up the skies here in the Valley, and for the first time ever, my husband and I just enjoyed each other's company and reacquainted ourselves with those feelings that brought us together nearly 16 years ago. It wasn't all fun and games. I had work to accomplish, but it was such a great time, I hardly noticed the work part. And I don't have enough space to write entirely about our lodging accommodations but I will say this: everyone should stay at the Howard Creek Ranch at least once in their life. It's magical. No, truly. Check it out on the web. Just thinking about our stay there makes me want to return.

When we got home, I barely had enough time to wash my clothes and repack to leave again as I headed to San Francisco for the RWA National conference. If you recall the first conference I attended was in Atlanta, Georgia shortly after I sold my first book. I wasn't able to attend Dallas last year due to finances and I won a scholarship to attend this year. To sum up: amazing. My brain is still processing all the experiences and the information overload from the event.

The conference is always packed with all sorts of workshops to fit anyone's skill or professional writing level. It's a strange thing to be standing next to one of your favorite authors at a workshop or listening to them speak about their craft. I came home with copious notes (and I didn't get to attend as many workshops as I'd hoped due to schedule conflicts) and I'm still trying to sort everything I learned into easily accessible piles in my head. Anyone who aspires to write should make it a point to attend a national conference. What you learn is invaluable, not to mention, it's a lot of fun.

Let me say that again ... it's A LOT OF FUN.

I met with my editor, Johanna, and we had a lovely chat about my career (which is going swimmingly, I might add) and she made my day when she said I was an "up and coming" author. My numbers are steadily improving (as a new author I automatically started at the bottom) and that's always a good thing in the eyes of a publisher.

I enjoyed a delicious breakfast with my agent, Pam, whom I simply adore with her dry New York humor and sharp business sense. She agreed that my career is going well but she reminded me to keep focused on the big picture as well (i.e. don't fall into bad writing habits, always stretch when writing that first draft, quality is better than quantity).