Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Fling: a recap in links & photos

The Chicago-North RWA Spring Fling Writers' Conference was this past weekend and, oh, was it ever action-packed and fun! (Pictured left are Pamala Knight and June Sproat, our amazing conference chairs, with author Cherry Adair between them!)

I'd intended to try to organize my notes and write up a semi-coherent list of things that went on in the 48 hours I was there...but guess what? I don't have to! The wonderful, incredible Pamela Cayne did such a comprehensive job of hitting the highlights, that all you need to do is just visit her blog!! Why try to improve upon perfection, right? (Pamela, Jenifer and I are in this photo on right, taken by the kind and very helpful Montana... Thanks for sending it to me, Pam! :)

I will add some other photos, though, because I had fun snapping these--or receiving them when friends snapped them for me--LOL.

When I arrived, I was greeted by good friends Erika Danou-Hasan and Karen Dale Harris (with me in photo on left) and also the NEW New York Times & USA Today
bestseller (!!) Simone Elkeles (on right).

I quickly went to work setting up the Goody Table (on left) and got a little extra help from our wonderful conference co-chair June Sproat.

Got to hear some of Nancy J. Parra's inspirational workshop on "Perseverence and Perspective"--so good!! (See her on right at the podium being introduced by Tracie Loy.)

In this photo (left), I'm signing copies of According to Jane alongside Sourcebooks author and Chicago-North friend Laurie Brown, who's signing her RITA-nominated paranormal romance What Would Jane Austen Do? Our fearless conference chair, Pamala Knight, is standing in the photo and looking as glamorous as always.

At the lovely dinner, my table companions included Chicago-North friends/chaptermates Blythe Gifford, Hanna Martine and Pat White (left photo) and Laura Moore and Laurie Brown (right photo).

Happy sigh.

To all those who helped by speaking, volunteering, organizing or just attending and being so enthusiastic--thank you!

In other fun news, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for My Book Buddies, and the post just went up yesterday. Thanks so much for asking me to visit, Mary!

Finally, in celebration of spring, check out awesome author Susan McBride on a new episode of "Great Day, St. Louis," as she gives a book talk on three garden-related novels (she comes in about midway through the segment), including Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells. Very, very cool!!

And now I think I've reached my quota of uploaded photos and inserted hyperlinks for the month ;). Have a wonderful rest of the week/weekend, everybody!


Edie Ramer said...

It sounds wonderful. I wish I'd been there. I'll be at the next Spring Fling in two years -- I hope.

I have Sarah Addison Allen's book on my counter right now, ready for me to read. First I'm going to check Pamala Cayne's highlights. Thanks for the link!

Pamela Cayne said...

It was such a great conference--I'm sad that we don't get to do it again this weekend! And Marilyn, it was worth flying 1500 miles with seats in front of kicking childred to get to see you! *hugs*

And now I need to get back to my blog and post Day 2 highlights!!! *waves to Edie*

Pamala Knight said...

What a great recap, Marilyn, and how come I didn't know someone was snapping photos when I was trying to make purchases from you and Laurie??

Pamela's conference musing part one was fabulous too. I'm still disappointed that we didn't get her in front of a microphone. Next time ;-)

Thanks for all your help with Spring Fling. You're THE best!!


Nancy J. Parra said...

Oh, man, I don't remember getting my picture taken. I would have stood up straight. lol.

It was wonderful to see you, Marilyn, and to meet Pamela Cayne.

Pamala Knight and June Sproat did so much work and it was a great conference. Applause!!

Susan McBride said...

Wow, the Spring Fling sounds like a blast! Thanks for sharing the pics and your enthusiasm, Marilyn. And enjoy GARDEN SPELLS when you get the chance to sit down and read a bit. I loved it! (And thanks for plugging my TV spot from Monday, where I got to babble about GARDEN SPELLS, THE FRENCH GARDENER, and THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN, all fabulous, plus my encounter with the garter snake). Life is never boring, eh? Sending you lots of good writing vibes, girl!

Marilyn Brant said...

Edie, I wish you would've been able to come, too, but now I'll be expecting you in 2012 ;). Hope you have a wonderful time at the WIS-RWA conference coming up. *I* want to go to that one sometime soon!

Pamela~Seeing you was an absolute highlight for me, my friend :). Can't wait to read your Part 2!

Pamala~under your leadership, the conference turned out beautifully. I'm STILL in AWE of all you did!! (But nothing's changing my view of karaoke...)

Nancy, your presentation was wonderful--I only wish I'd been able to get there from the beginning! The staggered start times were helpful for some workshops and trickier with others, but I know you made some new fans this weekend :).

Susan!! You know you're my hero for encountering a real live snake and handling the situation so gracefully. I would've screamed like I'd just come face to face with Freddy Krueger--LOL! And you are SO good on the air. Great job on this latest "Great Day" segment!!

Kwana said...

Great photos! It looks like such a good time.

Tonya Kappes said...

I'm so glad you had a great time. Sometimes conferences can wear you out!

Maria Geraci said...

Looks like you had a great time!

Marilyn Brant said...

Kwana, thank you! I don't know if I'll get over how cool it is to use a digital camera and just upload photos to my blog or website! All those years with a clunky 35mm...

Tonya~conferences *definitely* wear me out, but I loved Spring Fling because I got to see so many wonderful people and it's a far easier event to manage than those huge ones. Sounded like you had a great time at your conference w/Misa, too!

Thanks, Maria!! It was so nice to hang out with everyone ;).

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!! xo

Caryn said...

That sounded/looked like so much fun! I'm glad you (and Pam!) had such a good time.

Marilyn Brant said...

CARYN!!!! Hello, stranger! :) I know you've been caught up in the hectic world of new mommy-hood, but it's so nice to hear from you... Wishing you and the little one a wonderful week!

Robin said...

I'm so happy to hear you had such a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing pictures. Wish I could have been there, but I can't wait to see you in July! :)

p.s. I got the appetizer book. Thanks so much! I can't wait to try out some recipes.

Judy Croome said...

I read about all the fun you had on Pamela Cayne's blog - so lovely to see some photos! Looks like it was a great conference - congratulations to the hard-wroking organisers!! :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Robin, you were missed in Chicago! I'm glad to hear the appetizer book arrived :).

Judy, thank you! I loved Pam's recap of events, too!!