And one Misfortune. (That’s the addendum to my title.)
This past Friday and Saturday the NEC Writers conference was held in Salem, Mass. As you may know, I chaired the conference last year, and to tell the truth, I wasn’t going to go this year. I decided at the last minute to register, and for some crazy reason I paid the extra fee to see the EXTRA workshop. When I paid I was waffling, but then I decided it was fate (I didn’t remember signing up for the EXTRA) and went ahead and paid for the whole thing.
Boy, I’m glad I did. The EXTRA was Michael Hauge, who I hadn’t really heard of, but who was fantastic. He gave a five hour workshop on the six act screenplay – which happens to also work for novels. Let me tell you, I’ve read a lot of writing books but the way Michael explained the way this works had light bulbs popping in my head all day long.
Did you know screenplays are only about one hundred pages long? I almost jumped into screenwriting on the spot. But no, I’m a novelist, so I stuck with the program and learned how to translate the information so it would apply to my stories. He explained the character arc, and the transformation from identity to essence in a way even my overactive brain could assimilate. Michael Hauge, great, great teacher. If you are a writer and ever have the chance to take a workshop from him, I highly recommend taking it.
After Michael Hauge was dinner, then dessert (YUM!) with prizes for the best witches hats and tiaras. I don’t know who won that. I guess I wasn’t around for the prizes. I didn’t get one for mine. Still it was quite fun. I had an appointment for a Psychic Reading, but at 11:10 pm, when my appointment was scheduled, there were still five people ahead of me. So I cancelled and went to bed. I couldn’t sleep so I wished I’d just stayed and had my appointment. Who knows what I would have heard!
On Saturday I attended a host of presentations, won a center piece and a tea tray complete with camel teapot. Yes, you read that right, a teapot shaped like a camel. I’m tickled! It was donated by Susan Carlisle. Thank you Susan! The presentations I attended were all quite good. Two that especially come to mind are the Marketing Presentation by Jennifer Fusco, who I now adore, and the digital publishing workshop by Marie Force, at whose feet I worship. She is such an inspiration. I missed the first part of Jen Talty‘s presentation, but I quite enjoyed the end. But truly, NEC always has fabulous presenters, and this year was no different. Kevin and Arlene were worth it on entertainment value alone. And if there is a Mrs. Kevin, forgive me for exchanging banter with your husband, he is quite enjoyable to spar with.
The misfortune? I got a flat tire. But even worse, I discovered it was flat when I retrieved my suitcase from the car, and then promptly forgot until I was ready to leave. I waited ninety minutes for the repair guy to come swap out my tire, which I found annoying. It would have been much quicker for me to change the tire myself. Next time I’ll consider it. I’m certainly capable. It’s only my laziness that stops me.
Last, but not least, I roomed with Megan Coakley, who is FABULOUS and gracious and who I love to death. Thanks Megan. It was great to see you.