This weekend I flew down to Richmond, Virginia to speak at the James River Writer's Conference. It was my first-ever conference and it was AWESOME. (Here's a link to this fabulous organization's website--you should definitely check it out.)
I spoke on three panels: finding your inner teenager (with the luminary Jacqueline Woodson); how to create convincing dialogue (which, ironically, has been a major preoccupation of my blog recently); and the importance of social networking, with the amazing Harper publicist Joseph Papa, who confessed to finding twitter "life-giving." It was really awesome to meet so many other people professionals in the field, and I loved speaking with the attendees, as well. (And, let's face it, getting put up in a nice hotel with extremely efficient room service ain't the worst part of a writer's life!)
And Richmond turned out to be such a cool city! There were tons of gorgeous old cobblestone and brick streets, and I got to geek out over the house where Edgar Allen Poe lived during his early years. PLUS, PEOPLE REALLY HAVE SOUTHERN ACCENTS HERE. A guy called me ma'am in the elevator and I giggled about it for at least fifteen minutes. I could so get used to a down home way of life...if they could just figure out how to make NYC-style bagels.
I'll be returning to the issue of dialogue later this week, because I feel the topic has not been totally explored, and I have not yet addressed Pam's excellent question about balance, which you can find in the comments section of my He Said/She Said blogpost here. (Incidentally, I met Pam, and her writing-partner-cousin, at the conference. They were both lovely. That's called The Blogisforreal, people...when blogs and real life intersect!)
For now, I wanted to turn over to you a question that came up during my social networking panel: what are some of the faux-pas of the social networking world, in your opinion? How much is too much tweeting, for example? Asking someone to retweet--declasse?
This is why I am a total conference convert already--I love that attending JRWC gave me the opportunity to think more deeply about these issues.
LMK what you think!