07 March 2010

Day two at EPICon!

I'm not sure several days didn't hit at once. Grinning...

As you saw, I was up posting an update for you early yesterday morning. Probably awake at about 5 am and doing e-mail. Several people sent me information I needed for the GM the night before, so I still had printing to do in the morning. Since the business center doesn't open until 7, and the GM was at 8, I was on a tight schedule to get everything I needed for it, but I did.

The hotel threw us a couple of curve balls. For one thing, they scheduled the breakfast and the GM at the SAME TIME, thankfully in adjoining rooms. So, we all got breakfast and then noshed while we did the meeting, which went very well.

The other changes were room changes, because they didn't have one of our scheduled rooms available.

The hotel has been a peach about answering questions. Jeanna and Lisa (not our Lisa...theirs) are available at all times, and the hotel does one thing I DEARLY love. People enabled to make changes to the master account (the convention proper and not just their own rooms) are given a little gold pin to wear. If I look at any hotel employee and say, "I need X for EPIC.", I get an immediate "Yes, ma'am." That settles the problems we had in Portland, where I signed the contract for the conference but the hotel would let no one but Jude make changes. If hotels in the future don't offer it, I think we should have some marker of our own that will let them know who is on the master account and possibly copies of the contract in hand to show empowered account members.

I took Pauline's class on Managing Your Writing Business and am seriously considering buying her book on the subject. And, I took Jim's class on Improving Communications in an Impersonal World, and I think that would make a great panel or class for the NV track next year. I'll post a recap of some of the classes later. But we had a great line-up this year.

Jolie and I signed copies of our books for sale in the bookstore, which has lovely signage everywhere, BTW. Lisa, Jim, and I spent some time talking to the B&N folks running it for us.

Holly Jacobs was a dream keynote. She is funny, but her speech on How to Sell a Million Copies had serious lessons to teach. Actually, some of what she said overlapped with what Pauline did, which gave a feeling of continuity for me.

Of course, Holly was using me as her straight man (I wish someone had been filming that one), and she texted that the empty soda bottle that I knocked over during her speech was thrown at her. Grinning... I was going for the gimp angle, since my left arm is back in the sling, but she thought the thrown thing was more dramatic. If she's watching... "I threw it. Honest I did. Holly told me to." Nah. All of you that know me know I'm a klutz, and I really did knock it over by accident.

I started out in Nick's class on Writers and Taxes, but I got pulled out of that with questions about the Arianas. Since we had been so overloaded at the GM, we didn't do the usual Arainas there. So, I worked out with Debi to do them at the afternoon food break. The break was delightful. They had sodas and iced tea and water, as well as sandwiches, chips, pralines, and so forth. It turned out none of the winning artists were there, but Dan took his company's awards home, and we got some great pictures of the new awards. Let me just say "Pretty...pretty."

I caught the end of the Publishers Forum (Erotica version), and it was a blast. They were covering everything from POV to purple prose, present tense and tense problems, to dialog tags. It was high energy and very informative. I ducked into Carol's class on Writing 1,000 Words an Hour a little late...putting out a few more fires and answering questions on the way. Nothing remotely approaching problems we've had other years. Char did a great job organizing in advance, so there are few problems to handle.

Back to Carol... Again, great class, and they linked one to the other very nicely. Some of what Carol was saying harkened back to what Holly had.
After that, I took a break and walked the French Quarter with Lisa. Since she lived in the area a while back, she played tour guide. She did get me to ditch my diet long enough to eat one beignet and I'm hoping I don't pay for that today...Atkins and sugar do not mix. For anyone that is from PA, it's a diamond-shaped funnel cake with a TON of powdered sugar on it...so much that you can dump a bunch off and just eat what sticks to the pastry and use a spoon of the rest in your coffee.

We also went to see Lafitte House and Napoleon House and we found some great little shops. If I was driving, this place would be a nightmare on my pocketbook.

We met back at the hotel and went to the Steamboat Natchez. Half of us walked the 9 blocks and half took the trolly. I haven't seen real trollies since I was a child in Pittsburgh. Strangely, those of us that walked got there at the same time or before those taht took the trolly. Grinning...

The boat was fab. Dinner was excellent. The music was loud and robust. The view was beyond anything I've seen in the last twelve years or so. And anyone with a camera got a bunch of pictures. I'm hoping to get some of me from others. Lisa, Sean, Lorna, Larry, and I walked back to the hotel together along the Riverwalk. It was a chilly night but not too bad for temperature.

And I started typing in the GM report. Unfortunately, my internet timed out, and the Sheraton's system locked up and wouldn't let me back in. Since Lisa and Sean were asleep, I fell into bed at a little after midnight and didn't call IT (which is NOT even in the building) then to get the report posted last night. Instead, I was up at 6 am, taking gorgeous sunrise photos out the window (from a few feet back...you all know I don't do heights, and the 19th floor is extreme for me) and fighting my way through the IT Hades for 45 minutes to get me back online and working again.

Day two... 19 hours on my feet. Day three...back in business again.

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