Monday, October 3, 2011

Moonlight & Magnolias - Part1

We are back from our first ever Moonlight & Magnolias Conference and ...
 I ... had ... the time of my liiiiiiiiiife!  *chair dances*  And I owe it all to youuuuu!

What we learned, discovered, and realized is too much to contain in one post.  Therefore, we will break it down into three posts.

I'm taking post #1: The pic spam portion of the weekend.  I'll stick to the main points that have pictures.  Otherwise I'll end up with the longest rambling blog post ever. I really could go on and on and on about this fantabulous weekend ... but I'll practice some self control. 

Day 1
We arrived JUST in time to shake off the drive down and go to the Chocolate Bar for the happy hour with Eloisa James and Karen White.  Both ladies are so gracious and willing to share tales and information.  The vibe of the whole place was very supportive and excited.  Plus: Writers, champagne, and chocolate. What's not to love?!

                            Eloisa James, Elizabeth Michels, Heather McGovern, & Karen White

Day 2
The Industry Panel began at 9am, ran as a Q&A session.  Very efficient and informative. The big takeaways were:
1) Historicals are hot/still hot/hot again.  Basically any era WWII and before, except for Civil War.  Apparently Gone with the Wind covered it and that's all until further notice.
2)  They all want Regency YA or Victorian YA.  Historical YA was mentioned a lot.  Who knew?!
3)  Contemporary is in demand too. 
4)  Paranormal is tightening up, so if you're submitting it needs to be new, fresh, and exceptional.

Taking notes on the Industry

We had lunch with the lovely Maria Geraci and Jax Cassidy at 246 in Decatur.  Brief aside, the restaurants in Decatur are the business.  Seriously.  Everywhere we ate was amazing.  And there's this pasta maker ... but, that's for another post.

Ladies who lunch

Friday was almost entirely pitching and, being my first attempts, I was most anxious about this part of the conference.  I thought it went very well though.  It's not the agents and editors that make us nervous; we do that to ourselves! Big takeaway: Deep breath and relax.  It's more conversation than sales pitch. Afterwards we had a celebratory toast with Conelius the Traffic Cone (he goes to every retreat/conference - it's a thing). 

That night we went to dinner at Two Urban Licks in Midtown with Carole and two new friends, Sharon & Sherry.  If you haven't been to this restaurant, go!  YUMMERS.  All I'm going to say is Gouda Grits.  Gouda. Grits. I don't even like grits, but ... wow! 

Day 3
We got over our nerves enough to remember outfit pics for this day!

There were a few more pitches that morning and then the Keynote Luncheon with Eloisa James as Keynote Speaker.  Elizabeth is going to do her post mainly about the luncheon, so I'll leave that for her.  I'll just say I'm not a big public crier, but was I weeping!  Once we all reapplied eye makeup, we went to a great workshop by Anna DeStefano & Michelle Grajkowski on "Turning Your Proposal Into I Do!" Also another first for me, someone was escorted from the workshop!  Still don't know what was going on there, but the curiosity is killing me!

That night was the Maggie Awards Dinner.  After polishing, buffing, shellacking, curling, and only one incident of, "OMG I'm hideous!" we were ready. 
Looking faboo and fiesty for the Maggies!

We were slick enough to grab a table near the front for the dinner and ended up with "The Best Table Ever."  You know those moments when you have the right mix of personalities and everyone is excited and wants to have a laugh?  It was one of those moments.  We met new friends in Trish Milburn, Tanya Michaels, and Michelle Grajkowski.  I was educated on what a Badger is NOT (Oops!), they had to hear the tale of Conelius, and we all shared a love of pretty dresses, shoes, and unique dance moves.  AND I got second place for the Maggie in my category!  Yay! *Snoopy dance*

Finally, the shoegasm! OMG THE SHOES!!!  There were squee worthy shoes everywhere, all weekend!  Special mention goes to Hillary Raymer, Carole St. Laurent, Sydney Carroll, and Elizabeth Michels for wearing some stand outs.  Work the heels, ladies!  Work the heels!

It was an epic weekend! Thank you so much GRW and everyone who made it happen.
 Only 364 more days 'til we do it again!!!


Elizabeth Michels said...

Just looking at the pictures I'm squeeeeeeing all over again! What an amazing conference! Seriously, can we do that again...oh I don't weekend? :D

Pamela Mason said...

HA! I didn't recognize you dancing because you kicked off your shoes! Glad you had a great time, but next year I hope to meet you in person!

Elizabeth Michels said...

Pamela-I know! I saw you briefly when you were recognized for your work on M&M at the dinner. I said to myself, I need to find her later. But there was a lot of wine in between then and later. LOL Maybe I'll catch up with you at nationals. :) Sorry I missed you but I have to say great conference!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you girls had an awesome time. I LOVE THE SHOES!!!! And congratulations on a much deserved win H. Very proud of you.

Pam Asberry said...

Great recap, ladies! Like everybody else, I am already looking forward to next year. M&M ROCKS!!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Had a great time meeting you guys. And you're right -- best table ever! We must do it again next fall.

Jenna McCormick said...

looks awesome, you girls know how to dress!

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