The first time I attended one, it was a one-day thing. I sat near the back; attended the workshops; asked a few questions; just basically absorbed everything.
The following year, I felt a little braver and sat closer to the front. The final workshop of the day, I had left my bag in my seat, never dreaming I'd be included in a discussion at the workshop and would be late getting back to my seat.
Imagine my surprise when I reached said seat...and my briefcase was missing! Suddenly I hear the leader of the conference, agent J Andy Murphy calling my name! My name! I hurried up to her and reclaimed my briefcase. I was in the presence of author royalty, and I tried to sound professional as we discussed my alter ego's work.
Year three had been expanded to include a get-together on Friday night. Despite vehicle problems, I made it and enjoyed chatting with editors, other authors and writers, and to my surprise, J Andy Murphy remembered me! The following day, I ended up sitting in one of the front tables and had a great time. I met local author and TV personality Dick Wolfsie, whom I'd watched every morning for the past 16 years. I also encouraged the wanna-be writers to follow their dreams.
The past two years I've tried unsuccessfully to get to Lori Foster's event, as well as RomantiCon this past October. Hopefully 2010 will be the year I finally make both.
And since I'm outgoing online, I'll be the one with the smile plastered to her face, searching the crowd anxiously until I spot either a name or a face I recognize! Get me to the bar; it might loosen me up a little. But I promise not to make an ass out of myself, unless I'm in the company of friends or in the elevator!