Monday, April 26, 2010--First Day of RT

First off, I'm an idiot. I took my camera and didn't take a single damn picture. Mea culpa.

I opted to take Bobbi Smith's two-day pre-convention workshop for Advanced Writers. First off, let me say that Bobbi is a lovely, lovely lady. She is personable and genuinely interested in the writers in her class. The entire day was enjoyable and stimulating and well worth the money.

Throughout the day, there are mini-workshops that deal with specific facets of romance writing. And while they have all been helpful, for me the high point of the day was Jade Lee's workshop on characterization. Jade is an expressive firecracker of a lady and has a sense of humor I really respond to--sarcastic and knee-slapping hysterical. Her description of how they staged a clinch cover was hysterical. Barbells and a crate become a drawing room and an exercise bench turned into a chaise lounge for a pair of models posing for the photographer. Absolutely. Hysterical. She also made a comment about cougars in turtlenecks.

I am a cougar; I was wearing a turtleneck.

No rest for the weary.

I could watch her for hours, but it didn't take long for me to get sucked into her presentation. She asked us all to assign our hero/heroine three adjectives and then assign them an elemental theme based on those adjectives.  She loved my heroine; hated my hero.

Totally fair, by the way. I was getting a series of dramatic text messages from my daughter who was throwing a tantrum over something stupid, so I copped out and picked adjectives for him like 'engimatic.' Duh. Seriously, Celina? You paid a hundred and twenty-five bucks to describe your hero as 'enigmatic?'
I am so glad I took this workshop. THIS is exactly what I needed to hear, not ‘oh Celina that’s so great!’ And I won a prize for being brave enough to go first and not crying like a little bitch which was what I first wanted to do when she critiqued my hero adjectives. Again, keep it simple, stupid. If the story and the characters are so damn complicated that you have trouble explaining them in a workshop setting, how in the hell are you going to explain them in a pitch?
I think I’ve just connected the dots on Terella. Damn! The problem with Jade's workshop is that the concept is so simple it's brilliant, and it always pisses me off to learn a concept from someone else that I should have thought of myself.  Bottom line--lovely lady, fantastic workshop, great experience.

And I won a book!  Always a great thing.

At any rate, between Jade and Bobbi, I learned a lot of new approaches to my work. A lot of the information I gleaned from the first day of workshops will be better employed by me as an editor than as a writer.

After we were done for the day, several of us went to the big bar on the second floor (I should have capitalized it; the name of the big bar is the Big Bar--no lie!  Ohio creativity at work...) for a few glasses of wine. I spent a pleasant hour talking with a fantastic lady and writer from Florida named Linda--and yes, I'm a big enough idiot I forgot to get her last name. I'll rectify that today and provide pictures too. We hashed over the workshop, e-publishing, and the twists and turns of the erotica genre before I went home.  I laid down on the couch at seven...

...and woke up this morning at seven. Everything I needed to get done, I didn't. So now you're caught up. The rest of the week is all RT--and look for several posts a day.

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