When Words Collide Conversations

My tattoo, on the inside of my left forearm. Art by Kat Hayes.ink1I love writing conventions. I’ve only been to a few, but every time I leave feeling exhausted, but also invigorated, inspired and motivated.

During his pre-convention marketing workshop Mark Leslie spoke about serendipity and creating the opportunity to make connections by attending things like conventions and festivals. The whole time he was talking about it I was just nodding along with him. Every time I’ve attended a convention-type-thing I’ve met new people and made new friends and connections. Attending When Words Collide last weekend was no exception.

I met Laura VanArendonk Baugh and Adria Laycraft who have stories in Fae, Leslie and Megan who I’ve connected with online for what feels like forever but is actually closer to a few months, people I share tables of contents with, publishers who’ve believed in my work enough to include it in their titles, local writers who I somehow hadn’t managed to connect with before and lots of other new people (readers, writers, editors, marketers… the list goes on and on…).

And I got to re-connect with people who I only get to see at events like this.

Also? I got to have conversations like these (vagueified–which should totally be a word–anonymized and paraphrased):

~*~

Him: Can I see your tattoo?
Me: Blah blah blah… as you can see I like corvidae. In fact, I’m editing an anthology called Corvidae, and a companion anthology entitled Scarecrow.
Him: I have a scarecrow story, how would I send that to you?

~*~

Me: I’ve always wanted to write a book about THIS THING which totally falls into the same category as a lot of your work but I lack the expertise and there never seems to be enough time in the day.
Him: Do you want to write it together?
Me: Uh, lemmethinkaboutthat–YES^

~*~

Friend: Oh my god! After that panel where part of my story was read I was approached by a publisher and asked to submit!

(Note: When awesome things like this happen to your friends, it’s almost as cool as when they happen to you. It’s amazing to be there in person to help them celebrate.)

~*~

Me: I can’t wait to read your book, when does it come out?
Her: *tells me*
Me: I don’t know if I can wait that long. Do you need blurbs? If I like it as much as I think I will…
Her: Oh, that would be great. I hate asking people for blurbs!

~*~

Awesomesauce Editor, after reading & marking up the opening to Hollow^: I like this. I really like this. Close your eyes and listen to this *reads my (edited) story back to me*
Me: Wow. I didn’t know I could write that well!

~*~

Post on Facebook: Rhonda! The dealer’s room is sold out of copies of Fae, do you have any more?^

~*~

A couple different people (!!): Rhonda Parrish? I’ve heard of you… (and they didn’t mean in a bad way LoL)

~*~

Me, right before my first panel ever in life: Dude, I’m really, really, really nervous.
Fellow Panelist, who is awesome #1: Come sit over here beside me.

Me, after being on my first panel ever in life: Oh man! I made it through and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even say anything stupid! (my goal for every panel was just not to say something stupid. I think I only failed once LoL)
Fellow Panelist, who is awesome #2: You were great. Hugs!

~*~

My point? Conventions rock. I’ve never regretted attending one, and I had an especially awesome time at When Words Collide. Such a good time, in fact, that I’m already registered to attend it again next year. Maybe I’ll see you there?

 

^more on this later or much later as is appropriate given the subject

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