No, I did not take this picture. I snatched it from trekexchange.com.
Honestly, I don't even know where to begin. The whole experience was rather overwhelming. I guess the best place is at the beginning!
It all started with Gorgeous asking the night before I was scheduled to leave if I was positive my flight wouldn't be cancelled. Apparently, there's been some snow in the East Coast. I actually live near Buffalo, NY so we've been getting this too, but I live near Buffalo, NY (i.e. we tend to be like "Snow? Yeah, what about it?")
So, needless to say, I hadn't even considered the possibility my flight would be cancelled until Gorgeous put it into my head. Thankfully, there were no problems. However, I heard some pretty nasty horror stories from other writers who barely made it to the conference in time.
After arriving in NYC, I came to the conclusion that no business should have the amount of profit it earns dependent on how fast one drives. Yeah, I'm talking to you, NYC taxi drivers! You crazy bastards. I thought I was going to die at least three times on my way to the hotel where the conference was held. Seriously, what is wrong with you?! I want to live!
After arriving at the Grand Hyatt and thanking God the moment my feet touched solid ground, I had to accept with some horror that I was totally and completely ill-prepared for what I was about to step into.
I started wondering if every person I passed was an agent or editor and if they would recognize immediately that I was this ill-prepared writer they could prey on. For one, I had not memorized my pitch yet. So unlike most writers there, I'm sure, I actually spent my first few hours there hoping and praying no agents would actually ask me about my book. Thankfully, I arrived with my sister while the intensives were underway and didn't have an opportunity to humiliate myself.
We spent the afternoon walking around NYC, seeing sights and torturing my feet with high-heeled boots.
(Note to self: Next time bring walking shoes)
That evening, we met up with a writer friend you all may know--Ishta Mercurio. And that right there, dear readers, is one of the best things about going to a conference. Yes, it's a wonderful opportunity to hear from industry professionals, but meeting other writers tops it all. Especially when you get to meet writers you've been communicating with online.
Of course, do you want to know what's even better than all of that? Meeting other writers while also chatting with one of the most amazing literary agents for 1 1/2 hours in the hotel lobby!
Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency (and author of kidlit.com) was kind enough to invite all of her participating blog followers for a little meet-and-greet on Saturday evening. We talked about movies, traveling, and (of course) the publishing industry.
Everyone throughout the conference was really nice, and though the entire experience remained overwhelming, I'm glad I did it and I'm sure I'll do it again.