I came home Thursday night after the first day because I didn't have hotel reservations that night. the next two nights I had hotel reservations and I was pretty grateful I did.
It's exhausting to be "up" for four days straight and sometimes I just needed a nap because I couldn't come down fast enough to go to sleep at a decent hour before I got up and did it again. It was kind of like camp... they started you early and kept you busy until late. It's times like those I was glad to be an adult and be able pick and choose, unlike camp.
I had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people. It's amazing to be in a crowd of people who have the same interests as you. We also had the opportunity to pitch our books to agents and editors.
I had help from the friend I roomed with on perfecting my pitch for my children's picture book. I chose not to be stressed over it as some people were, but to use it as an experience and not have high expectations.
The agents were cool over the story, but the editor wanted to see it. It's not a book deal, but a foot in the door. It will give me the experience in writing a query letter and going through the process of submitting a book.
Again, I have no expectations, but once I get the experience it will motivate me to keep sending things out. I'm the type of person who gets bogged down in the details and just being there and talking to other people who are writers and buyers of writing helped clarify a lot for me. Plus, I'm great with a deadline and although the editor didn't tell me she needed to see it in so many days, I announced she would hear from me soon.
There were also published authors there and they had the University Bookstore there too. I made five trips into the bookstore; every time I heard an author speak. I think I single handedly supported the bookstore and at my third trip they began to recognize me and gave me a canvas book bag; apparently I earned it.
It's a shot in the arm for new inspiration, plus I accumulated a lot of new ballpoint pens. If that's not inspiration for writing, what is?