Saturday, July 14, 2007

Measuring Success

Todd's workshop at RWA (Romance Writers of America), "Unstick Yourself – A Dozen Dynamite Drills From Novelist's Boot Camp" was a HUGE success. I had 60 handouts and ran out with two rows of people left to go. To me this was especially amazing given that it was on Friday night from 6-8PM. The bookseller has also sold out of the Novelist's Boot Camp books and from my estimation she brought at least 40 maybe even 50 copies and quite a few people ordered the book online to have it waiting when they return from the conference. So we are jazzed. We have no flyers left and very few business cards. BUT, wait there's good news (I think) - Todd now has a camouflaged Toby Keith cowboy hat! Yes, you got it - Novelist's Boot Camp does
Dallas.

We also found out that some published authors are using Novelist's Boot Camp as their guide and text book for online workshops they are giving and several are here at the conference. The feedback is that they love using the book for this purpose.

And, most important of all - Todd and I have been able to spend some much needed alone time reconnecting. It's so damn easy to get caught up in all the work that has to be done with this crazy writing and publishing business (not to mention working full-time jobs) and lose sight of what's really important. Too much opportunity for feelings of neglect and not being appreciated, and while that type of angst works for characters in a book it's not that great for real relationships. It makes one vulnerable to predatory people who love to exploit the situation. So, don't neglect your life and your important relationships for your writing or the sake of being published. It really isn't worth it in the end if those relationships are important to you. I consider this trip to have been a success in our relationship as well as with the book. Ah, what a nice feeling that is.

We're looking forward to going to RWA National next year in San Francisco and then Todd will be on my turf. I grew up in Venice, California but spent an army assignment as a Company Commander in Monterey, California before heading for back-to-back assignments in South Korea. While stationed in Monterey, I spent many weekends in the San Francisco area and of course lots of trips to the various wineries for which Northern California is so famous. I would have taken Todd out to travel around this area before but I was (and still am a little) afraid that he wouldn't come back to the Chicago area. We're already making arrangements to rent a motorcyle and travel the area and as much of the Pacific Coast Highway as we can. We're thinking of retiring out that way.

As far as I know our daughter hasn't burned down the house in our absence, just a few other minor problems that can be worked through. We head back home tomorrow and then the reality of our day-jobs (the ones we can't quit!) loom over us sooner than we'd like.

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