Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Conference, part 3

Current work: Venice book (but today is swapped with Tuesday…)
Listening to: Corelli (and drinking caffeinated coffee because it’s “Tuesday” and I bought nice coffee for Jim to say thanks for sorting me out)
Reading: Soon. Soon. Soon it will stop being so hot that my head is imploding.

Sunday, it was a question of packing and then having breakfast with Nicola and Sarah in Starbucks (did I mention how much I love having breakfast out? That's a rare treat) and chatting to Susan (iPad testing!).

Then it was time for the first session at 9 - Julie Cohen's talk on character. (For me, that was the book after next – which I think has to be a Greenwich book. My dog-in-disguise book. Thanks, Julie.)

A quick break for tea and bacon sandwiches (well, not me, too nervous to eat - thank you, lovely Katie Fforde for putting milk in my tea for me, because otherwise I would have spilled it everywhere) and it was my turn to talk. Jean Fullerton did a sterling job of introducing me. (And Kate Walker did a sterling job of taking pics for me - thanks, Kate.)

Actually, I really enjoyed doing it. "The Planner's Guide to Creativity" was about time management and creative brainstorming, and several people said afterwards that they found it helpful. They might've just been kind but I'm hoping that everyone something home that was useful (either as "this can work for me" or "this can't work AT ALL for me" - in a way that made them think about a different way that would work), then I'd be happy I did my job. [Extra note here to those who wanted the notes, please email me again because lovely BT engineer did the trick yesterday. BT ate 29 out of 36 emails on Sunday night, so if I haven't replied to you, it means that you were eaten...]

Then Katie Fforde introduced our guest speaker.

Joanna Trollope was our keynote speaker and her speech gave me food for thought.

Then it was lunch in the courtyard (and it was lovely to sit in a shady nook and chat with Jenny Haddon, Louise Allen and Natalie Rivers - and most especially with fabulous Lizzie Lamb, who let me grill her for research purposes and really deserves the dedication she's going to get in the dog-in-disguise book – I shared some of it with husband and kids later and they were utterly charmed).

And then it was time for the bit I really hate - saying goodbye. (Thanks to Liz Fenwick for taking a really nice pic of me with Kate Walker - and we BOTH have our eyes open, which is quite unusual!!)

Then it was time for home. Lovely cool breeze on the DLR, then lugged my book-heavy suitcase through Bank and caught the central line to Liverpool Street. A caramel frappucino cooled me down a bit. Made notes on the train but was just too hot and tired to work on the Venezia book. And wonderful DH and kids met me at the station and took me out to dinner. (All gratifyingly pleased to see me, so clearly they missed me as much as I missed them.)

So, how many times did I ring home? Only three times (OK, OK, so that was per day, and there were texts and emails as well... Well, hey, I miss my husband and children terribly when I'm away, even though I think the conference is great for kickstarting creativity and making you think seriously about your writing and I always enjoy going).

I can't wait for the next one. Jan and Roger always organise fantastic sessions and there's something for everyone, regardless what stage you're at in your career.

And here's to the next 50 years of the RNA. Cheers.


India said...

Thanks for full de-brief, with pics, Ms Hardy. It looked fab and very, very interesting too - will definitely have to make sure there's a mum-shaped blank over Conference Weekend on our calendar next year. (I want to have breakfast in Starbucks too!)

Caroline said...

So glad you had a fantastic time Kate, and your talk went well. You looked great up there on the podium!

Hope to make next years conference - I understand that it might be in Wales. Is that right? Caroline x

Kate Hardy said...

India - my pleasure. It was fantastic (and we missed you).

Kate Hardy said...

Caroline - it was BRILL :) (And thanks for the compliment.)

I have heard rumours of Caerleon but will have to ask Jan. If it is there, it's a 5-hour drive from here, so I will have to think very hard about it - train is a no-no (east-west routes are a nightmare) and I'm always shattered after a conference. (In a good way, but I need sleep!) I never do Penrith for the same reason - it's 7 hours from me and it'd just wipe me!

Lacey Devlin said...

I've heard so many great things about your talk Kate! I envy every one! Is anyone uploading Kate on youtube? ;)

Shirley Wells said...

Lol, it's my dogs I always miss when I'm away. Ssh. Don't tell DH. :)

Fab pics and glad it went well. Time management and creative brainstorming - I need those notes!

It all sounds wonderful. I haven't been to a conf for years - maybe next year - but I remember how much fun and how exhausting they are.

susanwilson44 said...

Kate, you've left me panic stricken! I would find it really difficult to get to Wales and definitely don't want to miss the next conference! Oh the joys of staying in Scotland. How about you ask them to have it here!
I know there were issues around the accommodation this year, but I would happily go back, the venue was gorgeous x

liz fenwick said...

Love that photos of you two! One of my best i have to say. I am so missing the conference right now!