Conference’s Edge

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The Romance Writers of America held their National Conference this week in New York, and for four days, I’ve hung on the #RWA19 and #RWA2019 tags on Twitter, gleaning what information I could. It’s not the same as being there, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to make it next year, when it’s up the coast and not 2,800 miles away. (The cost of the breakfast buffet will only be slightly better, but that’s another rant completely.)

Recently, while excavating the office, I found something I’d penned following one of my trips to RWA National, a rare excursion into poetry. What struck me was how much hasn’t changed from when I wrote this nearly twenty years ago — and how some of it has. For one thing, that was back when we had to mail full manuscripts and five copies of our Golden Heart entries to the office in Houston, which usually meant you were at the post office or FedEx at the last possible moment. With conference ending today, and writers returning home to “real life,” I thought I’d share this piece for the laugh it might bring some folk.


I’ve come back from National’s edge
With a brand-new plot and a solemn pledge:
To start at once and finish it all
So I can sell it in the fall.

But there’s friends to see, and news to share
And washing to do, for I’ve nothing to wear.
The house is a mess. I’ve lost the cat.
Writing must wait until I’ve cleaned up…that.

I’ve come back from chapter’s edge
With character sheets and a solemn pledge:
To start at once and finish it all
Before our contest in the fall.

Lay housework aside, forget the fuss.
No one has died from a little dust.
Nothing will stop me! I work without cease —
And my pre-writing’s as long as War and Peace.

I’ve come back from critiquing’s edge
With lots of notes and a solemn pledge:
To start at once and finish it all
Before Golden Heart in the fall.

My group said they adored every letter,
But a few tweaks could make it better.
Change the plot, rewrite the hero,
Just to ensure my score won’t be “zero.”

I’ve come back from a conference’s edge
With an editor’s card and a solemn pledge:
To start at once and finish it all
Before submission in the fall.

The editor said it was very nice.
In fact, she read my partial twice.
But because they’ve just cancelled the line, you see,
The next author she buys won’t be me.

I’ve come back from National’s edge
With another new plot and the same old pledge:
To start at once and finish it all
And I’m sure I’ll sell this one — in the fall!


For any who are traveling today, safe journey home and may the stories in your head come to fruition. 






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