Yesterday Selwa Anthony, Australian literary agent extraordinaire, held her annual all-day seminar and gala dinner for her ever-growing network of amazing authors. Once again at the Novatel Hotel in Brighton-le-Sands, Succeed, It's Great in 2008 was as stimulating as the first one I attended (way back in November 1993, Succeed Some More in '94.) The seminars take their title from a little self-help book, "Succeed With Me", which Selwa once wrote with Jimmy Thomson - and it's now available in audio by Bolinda Audio; we received a freebie in our goodie bag upon arrival!
Despite the fact that, so far, I haven't earned Selwa any percentages, she keeps inviting me back. These seminars have certainly directed me into numerous opportunities over the years but so far nothing commercial enough that would earn Selwa her percentage. Yet. Selwa continues to have faith in me, but i always feel quite humble in the talented company of Selwa's network.
The first speaker yesterday was a no-show. The poor person ended up booking a flight and heading to Brighton in Melbourne instead of Brighton-le-Sands, Sydney. So compere, Mark Macleod, brought on stage Selwa's young assistant, Selina, for an insight into a day in the life of being Selwa's assistant. It was a great impromptu session, and it also meant that Mark could offer up what he called "one-minute spots", over the course of the day, to anyone wanting to share something special to the rest of the network.
A few people availed themselves of the opportunity and, in the morning tea break, I was boasting to author/journalist Sue Williams about my Kindergarten students' recent work writing fables on the World Wide Web via a wiki. Sue's eyes lit up and she said, "Go and tell Mark you'll do a one minute spot! If anything, you'll also get to show off that fabulous jacket" *
The next thing I knew, I was sharing my young students' work - from memory! - with the likes of Tara Moss, Kim Wilkins (now also writing as Kimberley Freeman), Ian Irvine and so many other Australian literary luminaries. It was a highly energizing experience, and it made sooooooo twitchy to get to the keyboard. Maybe there'll be a chance for a much longer session at the next seminar?
And now, back to the drawing board.
* Oh - I must mention my new jacket, as seen in the picture of me with Selwa (above). I bought it on my recent trip to Perth (not usually a place where one thinks of buying a jacket, but I couldn't leave it in that shop in Northbridge. It was way too cool!). As well as the upraised silver "Superman" logo on the front, it has a larger one on the back. It picked up compliments all day and night, including a most enthusiastic accolade from first-night red carpet denizen/veteran, Susie Elleman. Someone came up to me later and whispered, "Wow! Susie likes your jacket! That's great, getting compliments from celebrities." But then we wondered... Poor Susie is annually castigated by the media for her poor clothing choices every Logies Award night, and her outfits and hairstyles are the stuff of Logies legend! So is it, in fact, good to get a high rating for my dress sense from her? ;)
Last night's Sassy presenter was the very sassy Dinah Lee. As I always say, it was a great day and night, and a highlight of my year every November. Maybe by next November I'll have a book of my own on the way.
Sunday's magic number: 90.3 - much better! A two kilo drop at last. You know, after the last few weeks' disappointment, I could actually feel the weight disappearing this week, as I cut out almost everything yummy I hold dear (the late night snacking especially). It is gratifying that I was able to eat my way through two gigantic meals yesterday at the seminar (and the Sassy Awards' banquet) and still wake up two kilos lighter than last Sunday, to smile about it this morning. Yay me!
And I should point out that I first met my "Fat Free Forever" dieting gurus, Dianne Barker Wilson and former "Gladiator" Geoff Barker, via the "Succeed With Me" seminars.