Mar 3, 2008

ANWA Conferences: Then and Now

by Joyce DiPastena

Considering my next posting date falls almost immediately after the 2008 ANWA Conference, I’ll bet you’re all expecting me to share my experiences and impressions of all the excellent workshops on March 1st. Sorry. Although I know that the workshops will indeed be excellent, and I’m looking forward to attending them and learning how to continue to improve my writing, the fact is, I’m actually typing this post a week prior to the conference, so I don’t have any experiences or impressions to share with you yet.

The reason for my “early” post is that I’ll be staying overnight with an old college chum in Phoenix after the conference and going to Church with her the next day. By the time I get home Sunday night, I’m sure I’ll be too exhausted to write any kind of post that would do justice to the conference, and since Marsha (harsh Blog Mama task-master that she is ;-) ), wants my post online by noon on Monday, (and since I’m not an early riser, especially after trips out of town), I decided to type my blog early, so I can get it posted by deadline on Monday, March 3rd.

So, since I don’t yet have any reflections about this year’s conference, I thought I’d share with you some of my reflections from ANWA Conferences of the past.

I’ve only attended three or four ANWA Conferences, as I recall. I’ve enjoyed them all tremendously, and always learn wonderful things and come away much inspired. But since I’m very shy, I have always sort of made a point of “hanging back”, trying not to be seen, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible while drinking in the information that’s there for me to learn. Lunch has always been the greatest challenge for me, because I feel awkward talking to people I don’t know and I’m not very good at making conversation with “strangers”.

But this year, I’m looking forward to things being different. Thanks to participating for the first time in the various ANWA email loops (ANWACritique and ANWASocial) and participating Marsha’s ANWA’s Founder & Friends blogsite, I’ve “met” all kinds of wonderful ANWA members I’ve never known before, and they’ve all been so tremendously kind, that I’m honestly looking forward to meeting them this year, and not spending the entire day trying to be “invisible”. I may well be as tongue-tied as ever, but still, for the first time, I feel like I have both acquaintances and friends. What a loving, supportive group of women. And how grateful and blessed I was on the day the Spirit prompted me to move from strictly newsletter membership to active participation in the various online ANWA groups!

By the time anyone reads this post, it will already be out of date, as hopefully I will finally have met many of you in person. But my gratitude will be no greater come Monday, March 3rd, than it is today, for all the kindness, support, and friendship you have all extended to me! I only hope that eventually, I can somehow return to favor to you all!


  1. Joyce,

    How glad I am that I got to meet you yesterday! It was great to see you at the bookseller's table, too. I'm shy, too, so I know what you mean about the e-acquaintanceship making it easier.

  2. It was good to see you on Saturday. I was amazed how many people were there I didn't know at all. But it was also very nice to be able to visit with friends I hadn't seen for a few years. By nature I am not a visitor. I have the perfect writer's personality - in that I can be extremely content to stay within the 4 walls of my home and write or do any other of many projects. I have to make myself get out there and actually speak to someone. For that part of being a writer - the part where you have to greet the readers at book signings it is a huge stretch.

  3. It was so great to meet you, although briefly!

  4. It was wonderful to see you, Joyce! I am so glad you came without your invisibility cloak this time. You are an amazing woman! thanks for letting us get to know you through our blog...and at the conference...and through your books!

  5. Great blog post, Joyce.

    So, tell me, how did you make it appear on the right date? I tried to do it with Kristine's post, and it came out way early.

    Unless you want to share publicly, just email me the technical details. :-)

  6. I don't mind sharing, Marsha. I typed the post into my Word program a week ago, then just copied and pasted it into the "post" box this morning and hit the "publish" button. ;-)

    I've learned from past experience that if I type it into the actual blogsite ahead of time, I can't get the date to come up right when I want it to.

  7. Oh, Joyce! What a joy to finally meet you and get a signed copy of Loyalty all my own! When the first nomination for your wonderful book came across the Whitney line I thought, "I know her!" I've probably name-dropped a hundred times by now! :)

    Lovely post -- I so agree!

    Can't wait to see you at the Whitney gala later this month!

  8. Aha! Thanks, Joyce. You write it ahead of time, but don't post it until the actual date. Got it!

  9. Yes, Joyce, I agree with all the above. I'm thrilled to have at last met you. I count you as one of my best friends.

    And I'm amazed at how you do things ahead of time, instead of dragging behind like I usually do. Maybe you'll inpire me to progress in that direcion.

    You may be shy in person, but oh, when you're creting stories you're bold and dashing.


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