There's been a lot of chatter on various blog sites and loops about getting ready for Nationals–what to pack, what swag to take, how to pace yourself, what workshops to attend, what events to not miss. It's all very exciting and overwhelming, even if it's not your first rodeo.
But what about those of us who can't attend? Up until a month ago, I was an attendee. I had put together my wardrobe, ordered my swag, confirmed my airline reservations. Then, an ambulance ride and emergency surgery made all those plans evaporate, like morning dew. Now, as I watch the excitement build for those who will attend, I'm trying to temper my envy with a game plan of my own.
I think I'll call it Becky's Version Of Nationals. It goes something like this:
Tuesday–Instead of spending the day in transit, I'll write 1,000 words in my final book in the Cotillion Ball Series, which currently stands at 3700 words. It's going to feature the youngest girl in the family, Saffron, who was seven when the series started. This book begins during the height of the Civil War conflict and Saffron is fifteen, missing out on her Cotillion ball and resenting how the war has impacted her life. She's still young, and spunky, and she'll be fun to write. I'm looking forward to it.
Wednesday–Add another 1,000 words to the manuscript. Review my notes from the Margie Lawson workshop I recently took.
Thursday–Keeping my head down, I'll add another 1,000 words, and will begin to solicit for reviews for Book 8, A Widow's Salvation. I saw a sneak peek of the cover last week, and think it's my best yet. Can't wait to show everyone. And the book is a departure of sorts for me, since Pepper Brown is a thirty-one year-old war widow with three sons to contend with. Instead of showing her strength by being a vocal advocate of social causes, she has an inner strength that equals or exceeds that of her sisters. The book will be out in September.
Friday–It's my day on the History Imagined blog, and I'm talking about an often overlooked museum in Ohio–The National First Ladies' Library in Canton, OH, and their featured exhibit on Forgotten First Ladies. I'll drum up some traffic for this great blog site, and respond to comments throughout the day. Oh, and I'll add another 1,000 words to the WIP.
Saturday–Okay, I'll give in to the jitters today. Two of my chapter mates–AE Jones and Jane Lynne Daniels–are up for RITA awards, both in the Paranormal category. Who knew Cleveland could be so scary? And, AE's also up for Best First Book. My sister and I will settle in at the computer at 8 with a big bowl of popcorn, and watch the proceedings with our fingers crossed. No writing today, but hopefully, rejoicing, before it's all over.
Sunday–I'll finish out the Nationals experience by adding another 1,000 words to the manuscript, which will get me close to 10,000 words by the end of the week. Instead of spending my days in workshops and networking with fellow authors, I've kept my nose to the grindstone and my WIP on track, making my deadline a workable one.
But I'm still envious. And counting the days till the San Diego conference.