Well, the worst happened - I didn't have internet for 4 days!! It was horrible :) Kidding. Sort of.
While not having internet was not fun because it puts me behind on everything I really didn't have much time to sit on my computer anyway. We had some SUPER long days - up at 6 and in bed at 12. Not my thing :)
So, how did it go?
I left on Wednesday evening with my new friend, Johnese. She is in the same writer's group that I sometimes go to (when I can) and we were the only two going so we drove the four hours to PA and got in pretty late Wednesday night.
Like I said we got up early on Thursday and headed to the University for breakfast and then it was registration and open assembly. In our registration packet was our schedules and all our appointments for the upcoming days. We all got 4 appointments if we were attending all three days - less for less days, etc. So, I open my packet to find 5 appointments plus my paid one. That was weird.
My first appointment was with Glenn Rambo and I asked him all kinds of technical questions (he led a workshop called Feds, Firearms and Forensics) - yea, that's right up my alley :) So, I picked his brain for a few days - I probably asked him forty or more questions but he was a huge help and I got a wealth of information including some new chapter ideas. Yea!
When not in appointments I had a continuing session led by James Scott Bell I already love his books so I really enjoyed this class. I have pages of notes on how to write a better novel and I'm very excited to put them to use. Ideas such as turn up the heat when you add a guy with a gun! I like doing that so stay tuned for a guy with a gun in my novel soon... Tons more I could say about his session but mostly I learned A LOT. I also met with him at one point and I liked my prologue and synopsis. Good things!
Jim Bell and I...
I was also in a clinic which I paid extra for and sent in my stuff early for everyone to read. I have to say this was my biggest disappointment. There was more talking and less working on our novels. I wanted more critique and less "girly talk". There was even crying and not because someone said something bad but more because it was emotional about something. So, I am disappointed about that but who knows maybe someday it will be worth it.
Now for the great news! I paid to meet with Wanda Dyson I really love her work so I didn't want to miss a chance to meet with her. Plus to get 30 minutes with her to talk about my writing. I couldn't pass it up :)
Turns out it may be the best $30 I've ever spent!
She LOVED my work. Loved it. It also turns out that she was the appointment coordinator and she liked my work so much she put the extra appointment in my packet. Wow! She said she would endorse my book, loved my character and passed on my work to an agent before I met with her. This was HUGE!! She had no suggestions for what I'd sent in and really saw nothing wrong. I was shocked. I think I'm okay but not THAT good. She said lots and lots of other great things but I won't list them all - that seems weird :)
Needless to say I'm appreciative of her words and am grateful that she thought enough of my work to pass it on to a publisher and an agent. Wow!
That was Thursday.
On Friday I met with the agent she had endorsed my work too and she also loved it and wanted more. She even mentioned that she's thinking about a contract! To say the least I am blown away by the response.
But what does that all mean?
It's encouraging to me to get good feedback of course but in the end it comes down to whether or not I actually get accepted by the agent. If she likes it after she's seen everything and then wants to sign me she would then represent me before publishers. Most large Christian fiction houses do not look at any submissions without an agent.
So, I guess I'm on the right track writing fiction :) That's a decent sign! The harder part is finishing and living up to all the good feedback!
Anybody feel like editing my novel? :) I need to go back over what I have for all the typos so I can at least submit a clean copy to the agent even before I finish and re-write everything.
And that was my weekend. It was exhausting but profitable and I think went as well as it possibly could have. I'd appreciate your continued prayers as I write.
Of course I have to say thank you to Kirk for doing a fabulous job caring for all the kids and keeping the house in one piece while I was gone for three days. I am certainly grateful to be home and glad to have some met new people while I was gone and I look forward to writing with them!