Monday, July 8, 2013

Warped Week To Come

Next Tuesday, I fly to Atlanta for the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference. This will be my first year attending as a published author, and my first time participating in the Literacy Autographing. Am I ready for this?

Hell no.

I have a rough schedule, but no packing checklist. I do have a dress for each day, and a new pair of shoes, but there's a lot more to coordinate in the next week. But this isn't my first go around with conference. I've been four times before and though I'm meeting my editor and attending a party put on by my publisher, more firsts for me, I'm not really all that nervous.

Where I'm going tomorrow is what has me worried. I'm taking kiddo to Van's Warped Tour, and I already know I'm going to be the odd one out. For the uninitiated, Warped is a full day music festival with artists from acoustic folk to screaming metal core. Lots of tattoos, piercings, and colorful hair.

Not a lot of straight-laced moms. I'm guessing.

But these are similar to the nerves I had at my first conference. I'd never written a full novel, didn't have the English and/or Creative Writing degree, and felt as if these facts would be evident on my face. As if everyone else would have pink and purple hair, and there would be me with my plain mousy brown.

The good news is, I have faith that the people at this festival will be open-minded and accept my straight-laced- ness with a smile and a kind word. So, with one week before two-thousand of us descend on Atlanta, I ask that you do the same for a nervous first-timer.

If you see a writer who looks scared out of her tree, wide-eyed and nervous, say hello to her. Make her laugh, and show her that there's nothing to be nervous about. My guess is, she'll never forget that awesome writer who reached out to her at her first national conference, and will someday pay it forward, doing the same for someone else.

What was the last event you attended that had your nerves on edge? Did someone extend a kind word to you at your first conference? Anyone else ever been to Warped Tour? Do you think if I start applying sunblock now, that I might come out only slightly well done? (I've bought SPF 55 baby sunblock. I'm ready.)


Marnee Bailey said...

I say you'll do great at both. :)

The Warped Tour? Just stay out of the mosh pit. I think that's sound advice, for both you and your daughter.

And RWA... how much fun to have your first signing? I'm so excited for you!

I was nervous the last time I went up to NJ RWA. I was meeting Caroline. Even though she was super nice on the phone, I was still incredibly nervous. It turned out great, though. As with all this stuff, afterwards I always feel like, "that wasn't so bad! Why was I so silly?

The show's tomorrow right? It's going to be hot hot. Is wearing only your underwear frowned on? Yes?

Well, I don't know if I have any other advice then. :)

Terri Osburn said...

Yep, tomorrow. And I'd probably blend in more in just my underwear, but then everyone would lose their appetites and the food vendors would suffer.

We got in the pit at the start of the concert in April, and had to fight our way out pretty quick. I'm not naturally claustrophobic, but we were packed so tight, I couldn't breath. Kiddo started to panic. It wasn't pretty.

There will no moshing for us!

And that does seem to be the case in most situations. They're rarely as bad as we fear they'll be. :)

MsHellion said...

You're like a Dream Mom. I think I'd hire a bodyguard for my child and say, "Have fun. Don't outrun Harley and don't talk to strangers." But we know how I feel about crowds. And happiness.

Last time I was nervous. I'm not sure...I get freaked out on a regular basis. And we know how I freak out about crowds. (Though, yes, like Marn, I usually am like, "That wasn't so bad, why was I so silly? THIS is so much worse." Oh, well, close enough.)

Love the advice though. Always good to make someone feel welcome...and like they belong. When I went to the Chicago conference thingie, I felt like a biggo fraud, but Leslie was there--and I attacked her because I'm reserved and easy-going that way--and she totally made me feel I had every bit of business being there as I did, even though she had the published books and I did not.

Terri Osburn said...

Leslie. Is. Awesome. She took me under her wing in DC, which was only my second conference. I kept thinking, "Why is she talking to me? She knows I'm a nobody, but she's still talking to me."

Maureen said...

Last event I was really nervous about? My MIL's party in June. I'm still nervous about it!

The convention in Vegas next month has me in knots. Part of my feels like a real phoney but I'll pirate on. I always look for the lost and offer help at cons. I was there!

The concert sounds insane. Have fun!

P. Kirby said...

As uncool as it may be, I recommend wearing some kind of hat and yep, slather on the sunscreen. I suspect that there will be more people in your age group there than you expect.

I did the volunteer thing recently at Albuquerque Comic Expo, which is a small, regional version of Comic Con. My concern was that I'd be the oldest person there, odd man (woman) out, etc. Ultimately, although the age skewed younger, there were a variety of ages volunteering and in attendance. And, as usual, I found that I got on better with the younger crowd, anyway. I plan to do it again next year (and cosplay, too).

The belly dancing class regularly freaks me out because we have to come up with routines and perform before the class. But it's a good freak out. I think I'll push the envelope farther and take an acting class.

Recent stint as an extra on Longmire was a little scary, mostly because I had to drive two hours all by my onesies at 4 AM. Was afraid I'd get lost and end up in Oklahoma. But, worth the hassle.

Never been to a writer's/reader's con yet. Vaguely contemplated RT next year, but it sounds like the hotels are already sold out. Oh well.

Maureen said...

An extra on Longmire? Details!!!!!!

P. Kirby said...

Since I've never read the books or watched the show, I can't tell you very much. Plus, extras aren't supposed to blab spoilery stuff anyway. Not that I'd recognize a spoiler if it bit me in the ass.

I didn't see Longmire himself, or Lou Diamond Phillips. My "big" scene was with somebody called Branch. Saw Katee Sackhoff in the distance--was way-far-back background in that scene. A. Martinez (Nighthorse?) was around for a couple of scenes.

Martinez is a pretty laid back guy; he visited with the extras between takes, and even had lunch with the crew and extras later that day. I didn't realize who he was until I Googled later. Then I was like, "Hey, it's Cruz from old daytime soap, Santa Barbara!"

Fun experience. Basically, you get paid to do a lot of standing around and they feed you frequently and well.

Janga said...

It's so exciting that you and Manda are going to be signing at RWA this year. I hope someone gets pics to share online so we can all see you.

I spent three decades enduring sleepless nights and contending with monster butterflies the night before and first day of each new semester. I nearly hyperventilated each time I delivered a conference paper, and I was a breath away from needing emergency room treatment the hour before my Ph.D. oral examination. In each case, once the event started, I was fine. But I think I ODed on conferences during my tenure as an academic. While I would love to meet friends face-to-face, I don't know if I'll ever attend another conference.

Terri Osburn said...

That sounds horrible, Janga! Maybe if you'd taken up drinking... ;)

The pirate way, ye know.

How is it looking for next week? Will you at least be joining the Duchesses??