RWA Nationals: Day Four ~ Workshop

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So sorry this post is late, however, computer problems, a time crunch, and travel home prevented me from posting this yesterday. But my final day at the convention was just as eventful as the others. And the trip home was quite a story.

Saturday, the last day of the conference, I gave over solely to my workshop, Swag for the Romance Author. I grabbed breakfast, got to hear Nalini Singh give a funny keynote speech about her first trip to RWA (that actually resonates with me as you’ll see later). Then I headed to the hotel room of dear friend Beppie Harrison, to put my swag bags together for the workshop. I’d brought an entire suitcase of swag with me—both for the Goody room and for this workshop, so I proceeded to fill and decorate the goodie bags while Beppie and I talked about all kinds of stuff. Great way to pass the morning and keep my nerves at bay.

Saturday's Key Note Speaker Nalini Singh

Saturday’s Key Note Speaker Nalini Singh

After chasing Ella Quinn, her husband, and a group from our Regency Romance Critique loop to an Irish Pub for lunch, I went back to the room to finish the bags and go over the notes for my workshop while trying not to panic. I may teach public speaking, however, I’m usually terrified of speaking to large groups. I had an inkling that this one wouldn’t be over twenty or thirty people, because my time slot was the last workshop on the last day of the conference: 4:30-5:30pm. Everyone was exhausted and getting ready for dinner and the RITAs, right? But with my luck the room would be packed, so I prepared 50 bags just in case.

My Swag Bag for the Workshop

My Swag Bag for the Workshop

Long story short, the workshop went very well. I had been correct and ended up with only about twenty people, including my friend Beppie, who said it went very well. My moderator was another friend, Lindsay Downs, and the group asked some really great questions and even had some suggestions for me, which I appreciated a lot.

After the workshop, time seemed to telescope. I needed to get changed for the RITAs, have dinner with Beppie, and drinks with Lindsay before attending the RITAs. Everything got done except for attending with ceremony. I had to choose between spending time with Lindsay or going to the award ceremony and I chose the friend. We had drinks at the bar and talked for two and a half hours about all things writing.

Lindsay Downs, Regency Author

Lindsay Downs, Regency Author

At last we said goodbye and I started the final marathon: the train trip home to Virginia. My train left Penn Station at 3:00 am, so I simply didn’t go to sleep at all. I packed up, said goodbye to Beppie and Ella, and headed to the lobby of the Marriott to wait. At 1:30am I got a taxi to the train station and boarded right on time.

So far, so good.

I settled into the Quiet Car and promptly fell asleep. I awakened at 6:00am to the sound of silence. Nothing was on, no lights, no engine sounds, nothing. Going through a tunnel outside of Washington, DC, the train engine had died.

Not good.

And the first thing I thought of was Nalini Singh’s keynote speech the previous morning, because in her trek to her first RWA, the exact same thing had happened to her, the train engine had died in the deserts of Utah.

Oh, the irony. (Well, if my career takes off like hers because of it, it will have been time well spent. LOL)

So we were stuck on the tracks with no lights, no air conditioning, and no flushing toilets for two hours. I ended up starting my signed copy of Jo Beverley’s Too Dangerous for a Lady, which took my mind off my troubles quite nicely. The train finally got a new engine and with only another short delay in DC, I arrived home safe and sound, only three hours late. I got in at 3:00 pm, so I was on the train for about twelve hours total.

Amtrak Train

Amtrak Train

Now, safe at home, another journey begins, as I finish polishing my Regency romance To Woo A Wicked Widow to send out as requested. RWA is over for this year, but the writing goes ever onward.

Thanks so much for following my RWA saga last week. And if you’re wondering what became of those 30 unused swag bags? Well, if you’d like one, shoot me a comment in this post, include your email address, and I’ll send you one while they last. 🙂

Have a great week, everyone!

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19 Responses to RWA Nationals: Day Four ~ Workshop

  1. elfahearn says:

    Hey Jenna, so glad to hear the presentation went well. It was an exhausting conference–I’m only now starting to feel human again. I think the Marriott Marquis takes it out of ya.

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thank you, Elf. Sorry we didn’t get to spend more time together, but the itinerary was crazy. I’m still catching up on sleep. Hope to see you again at Disney in 2017!

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  2. Mary says:

    I’m so sorry I missed your workshop. It was on my calendar but I sat down for fifteen minutes and slept until my roomies woke me to go to the RITAs. Glad you had a great week!

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      LOL! This was the most exhausting conference I’ve ever gone to. Hardly a minute to spare all week. I’m still catching up on sleep. Glad I got to see you there at least. And congratulations again on your award!

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  3. danijace says:

    Glad you had a great time, except for the train trouble. Still think I’d like the train better than flying theses days. Can’t wait to hear all about the trip!

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  4. melissakeir says:

    Congrats on a wonderful trip. It sounds like you had a great time. What was your presentation on?

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thanks, Melissa! My workshop was on Swag for the Romance Author. Fun topic I’d given at my local chapter a couple of years ago–expanded as I learn more and more about the intel behind marketing and swag.

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  5. Daryl Devore says:

    Read your comment on how your pitches went – fabulous! Best of luck with the submissions. Sounds like you had a blast and yes I’d say a broken train is probably a good luck sign.

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  6. D'Ann says:

    Awesome! (except for the train bit)! How did your pitches go?

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      I got two requests for fulls–one from Michelle Bitalspach at Grand Central and one from Kim Lionetti at Bookends. I’m really excited and polishing the heck out of the ms. right now. 🙂

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  7. Yasmine Phoenix says:

    Wow what a great trip. Have you presented your workshop to CRW? Or thought about it? I’d love a swag bag and notes on your workshop for guidance.

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      I did present that workshop about two years ago, Yasmine. But if the memberships wants it again next year (we have gotten a lot of new members) I’d be happy to do it again. And I will absolutely give you a swag bag. I’ll bring some to the meeting in August and we can talk swag over lunch. 🙂

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  8. You’ll have a travel story to tell for a lifetime. I’m glad your seminar went well and that you got home safely — that’s the important part. Enjoy your recuperation time!

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    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thank you, Trish! Yes, this one’s going down in history, like the Memphis trip. LOL Not much recupe time. Gotta get to that polishing. But a good night’s sleep in my own bed did wonders. 🙂

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