Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Student-Teacher Conference

I don't have cover models or agents or editors or fabu critique partners to blog about today, but I do have something equally as wonderful -- my former students.

Twice a year I teach an online class on how to write for the confessions and romance magazines. I've been doing this for a couple years now so I have quite a few folks who've taken my class.

Many, like me, also belong to RWA and write novel-length fiction, using the money they make from selling to the Trues to bankroll their RWA membership and conference fees.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting several of my former students. Most of them recognized my name from my badge and came running over to introduce themselves and tell me how much they'd enjoyed the class and how it had helped them to sell to the magazines. One woman even promoted my class to another woman sitting at her table at the Nora Roberts keynote lunch.

That, my friends, is validation. Recognition. Appreciation. It's the pat on the back I've needed after the kick in the teeth I've taken over the last year. But even without the teeth kicking part, knowing you've made a difference in someone's life and helped them achieve their goals is a real boost. And meeting these women made this a very special conference for me.

It was also special because I did my first ever face-to-face pitch to an editor. She was so nice and reminded me to breathe when I sat down. "No one is allowed to pass out during a pitch to me," she said. That helped break the ice and after a couple deep breaths (I'm a stickler for doing what people tell me to do), I started into my pitch.

Silence. And panic on my part.

Then she asked me a question. And oh my goodness, I was able to answer without babbling, drooling or making a general a$$ of myself. She asked me what line I thought my book might fit, and I told her I thought it would work quite nicely for the line for which she's the senior editor and I gave her reasons why.

More silence. And more panic.

"I'd like you to send me a synopsis and three chapters," she said. She added that she likes a detailed synopsis, so in addition to polishing the three chapters, I am going to have to put my current synopsis on steroids and build it up.

All this, however, will not take place until at least next week because remember that foot problem I blogged about a while back? I'm having surgery tomorrow to correct the situation in my right foot. I'll be in a drug-induced haze for a few days, propped on the sofa or the recliner with my foot raised above the level of my heart to keep the pain level down. I'll either be reading the two Rita nominated books I bought Monday or the historical set at Biltmore Estate or watching one of the mountain of DVDs a friend is loaning me. A wonderful new friend from my divorce recovery group (she's the one with all the movies) is accompanying me to the Surgery Center, bringing me home and staying as long as I need her. And the Playfriends have told me to call on them if I need anything. I am beyond blessed with terrific friends.

So think about me at 7 AM CDT tomorrow when my foot goes under the knife. And as soon as possible, I'll repeat the process on the other foot. Am I a glutton for punishment or what???

And just so you'll know I really WAS at the conference, here are a few photos (and a few is all I have because I just didn't take that many).

Our hotel. Pretty fancy digs, huh?

Me and my BFF Nora Roberts. Okay, so she's not my BFF but she IS an amazing woman and her "Chat with Nora Roberts" workshop is one I'd recommend to anyone.

Fellow "Trues" writer Dee Gattrell.

Now this *is* my BFF -- Rocki St. Claire -- and we're all decked out in our awards night wear.

I just don't think you've lived til you've had a driver meet you with your name on a board. I felt so special. And he was a great driver too!


Cheryl said...

Marilyn, so glad you got wonderful news from your pitch! You looked great in the pictures - must be doing something right to look so snazzy! Take that you ex! Glad you are home!

Hubby will take exceptional care of you and will make sure all goes well for the surgery! No worries!

Sherry Werth said...

Congratulations on the pitch Marilyn! I hope your surgery goes well and you're back on your feet in no time!
Also wanted to say thank you for guiding me through the maze of airports and arranging our shuttles. :-)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

What a great story, Marilyn! And you can call me if you need something too. :)

Problem Child said...

Well, I know you have an amazing lesson plan... ~grin~

Those moments were the ones I loved when I was teaching. That validation I'd made some difference, some kind of impact. Sadly, they were few and far between and not enough to cancel out the eyeball rolling of the other days.

And congrats again on your request. I think all the Playfriends had an awesome conference!

robertsonreads said...

How absolutely wonderful. Not your foot but everyting else. And I am glad that your are going through divorce recovery classes as I did also. These classes are so informative.

Congratulations with your pitch and being asked to turn in 3 rock!

You will be in my prayers with your foot surgery.

Many blessings!

gigi said...

Marilyn, you said a mouth full about how good it feels to get a well deserved pat on the back.
I know I would love to get one every now and again.

Congratulations on the pitch. I have complete faith that you will get a positive response from that senior editor.
You deserve something nice to happen to you after this past year.

M, you really really looked great in the pictures.
If that had been my name on the little board I think I would have had to get somebody to snap the picture with me and driver in the pic.
I will be sure and say a little prayer that this surgery helps and you have a speedy recovery.

Smarty Pants said...

Good luck with the foot tomorrow. Enjoy watching all those Harry Potter movies!