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Excited as a Puppy with Two Tails

I’m as excited as a puppy with two tails.

I’m going to American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference in September!

My life is consumed with the details. ACFW 2010 is among the premiere Christian fiction conferences in the world, and I, Karla Akins, who used to type stories on her Mom’s Smith-Corona perched on top of a TV tray is going to be there!

This is my first time to attend ACFW. As a newbie, it’s easy to get confused about the do’s and don’ts, ins and outs of being successful at conference. But I’m pretty sure I’ve got it down. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Be yourself, but don’t be annoying. (But what if annoying is who I am? Maybe a prescription for Ritalin will help.)
  2. Don’t bother agents when they’re in the bathroom. (Well, duh. Everyone knows you wait right outside the door to accost them. More of a surprise factor, less germs.) (See #1.)
  3. Bring one sheets, proposals, business cards, and first three chapters of your manuscript, but you probably won’t need any of these because no one wants to carry them around. (Okay. So here’s my strategy: I won’t bring anything. That should guarantee everyone will want them, right?)
  4. Don’t monopolize the conversation at the dinner table. (Do they sell human muzzles at Pet Smart? “Oh, look, it’s that Silence of the Lambs guy…oh wait, no, that’s just Karla.”)
  5. You needn’t purchase more than 250 business cards because you probably won’t give out more than 20. (See #3.)
  6. Don’t hide in your room. Being an introvert gets you nowhere. Get out there and socialize! (Remind me again how this gels with #1?)
  7. Don’t spend the night curled up in front of agents’ and publishers’ doors to have first crack at them before their first cup of coffee. Your nighttime halitosis could mean instant rejection of you and your manuscript. (I’ve sewn an extra toothbrush in the lining of my robe. No worries.)
  8. Wallpapering editors/agents/publishers rooms with your WIP falls somewhere along the obnoxious spectrum. (Better to slip it under the pillow maybe?)
  9. Remember that editors/agents/publishers are people, too. Don’t smother them. (Hmmm. Maybe the duct tape and rope I bought is going too far…)

10.  Don’t do cannon balls in the pool, manuscript in hand, when your favorite agent is doing their morning laps. (The ink will run. Got it. Laminate the first 25 pages.)

11.  Don’t say you’re nervous. (The tic giving me whiplash won’t give me away?)

12.  Keep track of expenses because conferences are tax deductable. (Does that include the fifty pounds of Godiva chocolate I bought to bribe people with so they’ll like me? They’ll really, really like me? What about the duct tape and rope?)

13.  Offering your novel for use as place mats at the banquet is also excessive. (The lighting isn’t all that great in there anyway.)

14.  Selling T-shirts with the name of your WIP is not allowed. (But wearing one of them everyday should be okay, right?)

As you can see, I’ve done my homework, and I think I’ve pretty much got this conference stuff down. Not too bad for a newbie, right?

Right? Hello? Hey, where’d everybody go?

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