I finally figured it out

why I don't go to a lot of rioter meetings. Here are various parts one can play at any given local RWA meeting:
1. Learning the craft! It's all about the writing baby! Let's talk BOOKS! PLOT! Characters!

2. Nearly there! Enthusiastic, soon-to-get-the-call person! Wants to talk about her manuscript and really, really wants to talk about the market and publishers and publicity and agents! Ready to be a PROFESSIONAL.

3. Newly published! Feels like she's figured it out and can help other people! Noisy and causing much of the fray and wants to talk about The Call! FEELS LIKE A PROFESSIONAL

4. Published! Holds court and often doesn't know what she's talking about but still willing to share knowledge! Somewhat noisy. IS A PROFESSIONAL (at least operates like one)

5. Cassandra! Sits in the corner and sez, yeah, wait a few years. Bitter old hag who's been published once then ignored OR has won about 40 contests (the golden heart a few times) and never gotten a contract. Usually silent except when someone gets too happy and she's ready with a bucket of water. Often does know what she's talking about, at least from her part of the world which is getting more and more narrow.

6. I'm Just Here for the Donut Holes! Cassandra-like, but without the bitterness. Probably sometimes operates like a professional, but usually is so tarred, tarred, tarred, she just wants the coffee and gossip.

7. Real Professional! Holds court and does know what she's talking about when it comes to being a success in her world. Friendly yet, like a queen, is above the fray. (in our group I'd say it was Sandra Marton)

I've been versions of numbers 1-6. I'm sort of stuck at six and I'm on a diet, so no donut holes. I made a conscious decision to head back to one. Cutting out pictures helps. And whining here does, too.


  1. Great list - been there, done that. I think number six sounds like where I am. Tarred, tarred. Tarred of rejections, tarred of deadlines, tarred of the checks I get that make my mom call me up from the states to apologise because they're so small she won't bother going to the back until she has a bunch of them. (She gets my checks, lol.)
    So, got any coffee and gossip? Why the hell don't we live next door to each other so we can hang out?

  2. I think I've definitely been 1-4. Eek. Great list--so true. This is Katharine by the way, who lives on Steele Road and saw you like what? 5 years ago??? I need to go to another Charter Oak meeting but I never quite seem to manage it...

  3. Brilliant. May I add:

    The Perfectionist: has written exactly three chapters of her first novel which she has presented to her crit group, rewritten, queried and pitched at cons ten thousand, four hundred and eight-seven times. Believes she is the next Danielle Steele. Will never write anything else but those three chapters.

    The Church Lady: writes the occasional devotional for her long-suffering minister, who secretly prays she will go over to the Baptists across town, but is really there at the meetings to be the group's moral compass. Which always points to Heaven for herself and Hell for everyone else. Cannot write romance because she's still a virgin. Mostly sits and mutters "Sluts of Satan" under her breath as she glares at the young romantica writers.

    The Elderly RT Reviewer: comes to the meeting to exchange mostly imagined dirt on the most famous members of the chapter, to complain about Lady Barrow's latest scheme to turn RT into a psychic fair, and the outrageous cost of going to National, which she would cut off a limb rather than miss, and to mourn the fact that LaVyrle (sp?), Iris or Janet are no longer writing romance. Only produces fiction when her lips move.

  4. I can't top Lynn, but among the literary wannabees there's also the 'Precocious Child Writer', who won a writing prize in third grade and considers her/himself the next F. Scott Fitzgerald of American literature. He/she has five manuscripts in a drawer somewhere gathering dust and dreams - and they'll never see the light of day because he/she was raised by the
    'Precocious Child Writer's Mother', (who I met at a booksigning one day,) and instead of buying my book, held said child firmly by the arm and quizzed me on writing techniques and how her 'talented baby' could get published.

  5. Oooh! oooh! I've got one!

    Perpetual President : Is re-elected every year as chapter Pres. because nobody else wants the job. Has Robert's Rules of Order memorized, and has been known to scold grown women for daring to speak out of turn, thereby reducing said grown women to passing notes during the meetings. Also has requirements for PAN and Pro memorized, and can recite them at the drop of a hat...and frequently does. Is obsessed with RWA charms that can be earned for various milestones -- finishing a manuscript, submitting to an agent, submitting to a publisher, getting an agent, signing a contract, etc. Keeps these charms in a pouch in her bottomless purse and gives them out like a nun handing out St. Christopher medals to good little children. The ONE year she's defeated in the chapter Pres. election, she spends that year sitting at the back at every meeting and criticizing the new Pres. for being unable to keep order and letting people DRINK COFFEE DURING THE MONTHLY PRESENTATION. ("Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria.")

  6. What about ugly bitter writer?
    Or writer who wants to shut up but can't seem to control herself?
    I thought we were friends. I am so hurt that you left me out like this...
    On and did you miss Perky-I-can-do-it-writer, all-I-have-to-do-is-write-a-good-book? She brings out the best in ugly bitter writer.

  7. *puts $ back in pocket*

    Thank you. Every time I even think of it, there are posts like these that remind me how much I hate meetings like that and how I don't play well with others.

  8. Kate, uh, thank you... I think. But this queen thing makes me wonder, do I have to learn that little side to side wave of the hand? Do I get to carry a handbag with nobody's-ever-figured-out-what in it? If it means my dh has to walk two paces to the rear, well, I might just go for that...


  9. Depressing. I do like the FRWA group in Ft. Liquordale but they meet far to far away from my home. I've never had any interest in attending RWA nationals. Writers just have no business getting together in groups for any reason other than to drink ... a lot. Where the hell is Mary Stella when I need her?

  10. Lori wrote: What about ugly bitter writer?

    Quit talking about me, Devoti.

  11. Absolutely not, Sandra Marton. You are the real deal, as in we're lucky to have you. Let me get that out of the way immediately.

    I only put in the ones I knew I'd been. I will mock myself with numbers 1-6. And why? because I errrr still want to belong to the group. No, really. The donut holes are always fresh.

    But that doesn't mean I don't recognise those other people you all are posting--but not from MY LOCAL GROUP.Nope. We don't have any RT writers or we'd be all over her, fawning and hoping for reviews.

    And as for the rest of you, shame on you. How dare you be funnier than me on my own blog. Beyotches.

  12. oh and KATHERINE S aka KATE H! HELLO! HI!
    You should show up at the meetings even though they're over the river and far away.

  13. and PBW? Devoti talks about you all the time. We all do, constantly.

  14. You get Donuts at these things?! No one ever told me about that!! Time to get writing, then...

  15. this was fun, and I'm sorry I've been absent, but I've been sick, sick, I tell you!


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