I am like Cinderella, but without the last minute save by the Fairy Godmother. I am not going to National. In fact, I have never been to National. I want to go, and I intend to go next year because my parents are now living within spitting distance of Atlanta. Good excuse to attend the conference and get some visiting done too. 🙂
Why have I never gone to National? Money, for one thing. I have never been able to justify the expense when I hadn't sold a book. When I first joined RWA several years ago, I couldn't afford the conference even if I had wanted to go. When it finally came to the city I lived in, I'd moved to Europe two years prior. 🙁 And no way could I justify an international flight back to the States in any of the six years I spent overseas. Not to mention, I wasn't writing much then.
But now I want to go. I still don't know what good it will do me. Pitches, yeah, okay. But when you see the stats on how many books actually get bought that way, it isn't much. Contests, the right ones, offer as much of a chance of getting your work in front of the right editor as the pitches do. Or so it has been said. I do hope to have a first sale ribbon by the next conference, though I refuse to hold my breath over that one. It'll happen when it happens.
The thing that amazes me in reading blogs and stuff about the conference build-up is the focus on appearance. I never knew I needed a tan or manicured nails or a killer dress or a tiny waist to go to National. Good thing I've got a year. The tan is happening naturally, and certainly not on purpose, just from the strength of the Hawaiian sun. I don't care how much sunblock you put on, the sun turns you brown over time anyway. If you spend any time outside, you're gonna get brown. Now, for the manicure, I can get those in Chinatown pretty cheap. No problem there. The dress? Well, I figured I'd wear my Aloha dresses, but I can always bring the three evening gowns I possess (and never wear in Hawaii because no one gets that dressed up evah). Now, the tiny waist. Oh my. Guess I have to keep hitting the track for that one. Hubby's been making noise about training for some damn marathon they have here. I ain't running 26 miles for anyone! But maybe I'll have to sneak it up to 3 or 4 or 5 miles from the 2 I usually do. Damn it, and I just thought I needed money to go to National!!