When they called my name, I legit laughed. I was shocked. I collected my award and followed Lynn Ames and Karin Kallmaker who won awards before me by winging it up there without a speech. Big mistake. I completely forgot to mention my editor. THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE PROCESS! Ashley is the reason my books sound good. 100% trust.
I'm on a thread with two new writers and we talk about editing and writing and one of my new friends is skeptical of her editor. I told her you have to trust. Yes, this is your baby. You wrote 80,000 words, carefully, precisely, and they mean the world to you. But your editor has been around forever (a very popular name in lesfic) and she knows ALL THE THINGS. That's the best advice I can give because it's a joint effort. Your editor is your best friend when you write a book. She is there for you, night and day. My editor makes me call her so we can discuss things - not through texting or emails. Is it necessary? No, but it gives me the warm fuzzies and I like hearing her voice and her praise (even her ass kicking through the phone helps).
Back to GCLS.
Summary: It was A LOT of fun.
I landed at the airport and rushed into the bathroom to change from my hoodie and Converse high tops to a nice shirt and flats.The rule is you are always *on* even when you travel. This bathroom had two stalls and was completely away from the rest of the world. The blouse was new - never worn it - and when I put it on, I didn't realize it had a giant gap where everyone could see my cleavage. It was horrible! I pulled it up so that the gap was higher up on my body and figured that would work for now. I was stressed because I needed to get to the carousel to collect my luggage (bad experiences in the past of lost/stolen suitcases). I figured I could work through my wardrobe malfunction in the cab on the way to the hotel. I opened up the stall and BAM! Who's there in front of me? Cindy Rizzo. I grabbed and hugged her and apologized for my wardrobe malfunction. Even she was uncomfortable. We laughed and slipped into conversation immediately. She and her wife Jenny invited me into their cab and we got caught up on our writing, our lives, our loves.
I attended a lot of sessions this year. I met new writers, new readers, and hung out with several of them. I love seeing young faces in our group because I know lesfic will continue and still be important long after I am gone. Every single one of us is important in the writing world - whether we write it, read it, review it, or have dreams of being published one day. We watched a film on lesbian writers who made a difference in lesfic in the 20th century. I got choked up three times during that film. It's important to remember where we came from, who the trailblazers were for us, and what's to come in the future. Never forget the past. It was a very rocky beginning for lesfic and it wasn't that long ago. I'm thankful and fortunate to arrive on the scene when I did because there was already a large group of writers and readers ready for more. More books, more stories, more love.
I loved this year's conference. Not just because I won an award (that was truly the icing on the cake), but because I branched out and met really nice, supportive people. Now I have to figure out how I'm going to divide my time for next year's conferences. I only have so much vacation I can take per year and the conferences are growing - ClexaCon, GCLS, Women's Week, Romance GenreCon, RWA. Ack! I need to sell more books so I can write full time and go to all of the conferences. They are too important to miss.
Summary: It was fantastic. If you haven't been to a GCLS conference, you should go.