Archive for June, 2008

#12: My First “Official” Agents & Editors Conference

As part of my new job as executive director of the Writers’ League of Texas, I had the pleasure of spending the weekend at the WLT’s annual Agents & Editors Conference. We had 23 literary agents, editors, publicists, and various industry professionals in town to meet with the conference 345 attendees to talk about their books and this business of publishing. But for total coolness, our keynote speaker was Sara Nelson, editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly!

Overall, the agents and editors raved about the conference — several of them said this is the best one in the country and apparently, there is much jockeying within agencies to decide who gets to come to Austin! They were also impressed with the quality of the writers and their pitches. Plus, the attendees were really happy and those I spoke with really loved it. As much as I would have liked to bask in the glory, this one belongs to my co-ED, John Pipkin (who’s “co” till his last day on June 30) and our great staff, Amanda King and Kristy Bordine. They did all of the heavy lifting, and I just came along for the last two months!

Besides the conference, there was a whole lotta partying going on. We dinner for the agents on Friday night, and I got to spend time with my pal from last year, the irrepressible Jerry Gross. Then on Saturday we had dinner at Jaime’s Spanish Village (great dinner conversation with superstar agent Kimberley Cameron and her husband, Jerry again, and the wonderful Milton Kahn) followed by bar-hopping with a whole gaggle o’ agents. We ended up at Cedar Street, where we caught Trish Murphy’s band Skyrocket (with a guest appearance by author friend Melanie Wells). Among many blackmail memories was this photo snapped by Ted Weinstein of me “knock, knock, knock[ing] on wood.” I only wish I had video of Kristy dancing with John’s tush!

The Mighty WIDE Mississippi

My sister Cathy has been sending pix of the rising Mississippi as it takes over Burlington, Iowa. Her building and the family’s restaurant, La Tavola, are uphill by about two blocks from where all of this is happening. Apparently, the gas has been turned off in much of downtwon, but Cheryl and Carlo have switched to a “cold” menu with whatever they can do without the gas stove!

The river is supposed to crest on Thursday, but it has already burst through the levees on the other side of the bridge and flooded out Gulfport, Illinois. As weird as it all is, Cheryl says that the most eerie thing is not hearing the trains barrel through town.

Anyway, here are some links to Cathy’s pics:

Tuesday, June 17
Monday, June 16
Sunday, June 15

Look for the random shark fin; as dire as things are, someone in Burlington does have a sense of humor! So much of what is under water is where Cathy usually walks her dogs.

#11: My First Set of China

My new dishes

This one was totally unexpected! My six girlfriends from my Statesman days (collectively known as Heritage Awareness) surprised me this weekend at our annual Wimberley getaway with this spectacular set of Edwin M. Knowles china (dated 1946!) as my birthday present! More to follow…

#10: And the Winner Is …

This definitely qualifies as a Fab First! We FINALLY have a nominee, one who’s got some moves! Hurrah and WHEW! Now, let’s get on with it. And I’m loving all of this chatter about Hillary being the VP. What could be cooler than a historical ticket?!

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