I'm not leaving until Thursday morning, but I doubt I'll have time to make another entry before then.
I blog about Saints and Sinners, the GLBT literary festival held in New Orleans, all the time, so you're probably already aware of it. Still, if you're waffling about going, let me praise it once again.
There's something indescribable about being in a room full of other queer writers. It's comfortable, it's familiar, it's home. Through the years, I've made many friends there, so a lot of the fun is socializing with people I normally only get to talk to via email, facebook, and writer's lists. Plus I get to be fan girl.
The feature that sets Saints and Sinners apart from most writer's conferences is the focus. The first day of master classes is all about improving your craft. Other writer's conferences I've been to have given a nod to craft, but the real focus is usually selling novels. That's important, and every writer who wants to sell stories needs to hear the basics about how to go about being a professional writer. By their nature, those types of conferences are suited for beginning writers. It's the same basic information over and over. Once you've been, there's no reason to go back. On the other hand, Saints and Sinners offers different classes every year, and I take away something new each time.
This year, I have a wonderful roommate who hasn't been to S&S, so I get to introduce her to everyone and hang out with her in the evenings. I'm looking forward to that. Many writers from my publisher will be there, so we're going to have a meet and greet. Unfortunately, the publishers couldn't make it this year. And this year, I hope to finally go on an official tour of New Orleans.
When I get back, I'll try to share the highlights. I'm usually so overwhelmed that I can't, but I'll try. Or better yet, come yourself.