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Final verdict, local RWA meeting...

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Jun. 20th, 2009 | 04:27 pm
mood: contemplativecontemplative

ETA: I just wanted to say that I certainly don't believe this is how all, or even most, of the chapters of this organization act--just this one on this particular day. So I'll definitely be investigating other chapters, in hopes of finding a better fit. ;o)

So here's how it went down.

11:50 Arrived a meeting room. 3 ladies inside, eating their lunches. (Web-site makes clear this is normal) I asked if it was the RWA meeting, they said yes. I sat down (in the chair next to them (it was a long table)), they continued to talk among themselves.

By 1:00 about 16 members are there. No one has asked me who I am, what I'm doing there, or if I'm interested in joining. No one has initiated any speech with me. One person gave me her first name after I tried to introduce myself.

The lecture subject is about setting up webpages, using FrontPage (which I already know thanks to OK TechMasters). Not a real challenge for me, but it is for many of the members. I am sitting at a table near the center of the room. Alone.

The lecture is supposed to go from 1-2. Because some members came later, it essentially starts at 1:30. I read ahead in the instructions, because I've pretty much done all this before. After 2, members start leaving. I pack up at 3, since I've been there 3 hours and no one's spoken to me. (To be perfectly fair, there have been a few off the cuff comments, such as the woman who told me her computer uses Linux, so this wasn't helpful for her.)

However, I left that place with only one person knowing my name (I actually doubt she'll remember), and none knowing whether I was a writer (or reporter for a seamy tabloid), or whether I wanted to join their organization.

Just not feeling the love...I doubt I'll bother to go back...

(On the upside, I did get some work done on story outlines, and blogged with some cool people while the others were trying to get their software to load ;o)

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Comments {39}

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incandragon

(no subject)

from: incandragon
date: Jun. 20th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Oh dear. I've been to a few gatherings like that. Unpleasant and disappointing.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 20th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Just so...

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Marshall Payne

(no subject)

from: marshallpayne1
date: Jun. 20th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Sorry it wasn't what you hoped for. Still, I enjoyed your "day at the races" from my vicarious browser-side view. Thanks for taking us along. ;o)

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 20th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
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It was more entertaining than sitting around and being ignored ;o)

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(Deleted comment)

J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 20th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
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Very true ;o)

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time_shark

(no subject)

from: time_shark
date: Jun. 20th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
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Yipes...

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 12:02 pm (UTC)
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I suppose what strikes me as most odd is that they showed no curiosity about this person with a rather large computer bag that could have held a handgun, a pipe bomb, or a camera. (What do Romance Writers do in their secret meetings? Enquirer tells all!)

That total lack of curiosity in a closed room is...just strange.

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Sophy Z.S. Adani

(no subject)

from: alaneer
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
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That's just, well . . . so disappointing. I should've thought romance writers were friendly and inclusive. Maybe they've spent all the love on their novels already.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 11:58 am (UTC)
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What an interesting concept ;o)

This is, I should point out, an isolated group, so I'm not going to think this applies to all RWA. This just means I won't be joining the local chapter. I'll investigate some of the regional ones.

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threeoutside

(no subject)

from: threeoutside
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
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I've never gone to an RWA meeting but I've heard via layers of friends & their friends that this is typical.

I bet you use the experience in something you write someday. Have fun with it. ;^>

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
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I have heard that some RWA groups are wonderful, though, so I'm thinking this one must have been an exception. I suspect it also would help if I had someone to 'usher me in' to the group. Which I didn't.

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chris_s_owens

(no subject)

from: chris_s_owens
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
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Alas, 3+ hours of your life(that you couldn't been writing) that you'll never get back...

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 11:55 am (UTC)
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Well, it wasn't all bad. It serves as a refresher on FrontPage, I got some outlining done, and blogged some. ;o) SO not a total loss...

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(no subject)

from: satimaflavell
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
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Some groups are simply a closed shop and don't welcome new members. Definitely their loss.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
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That's more or less what I've decided. They just aren't that into me ;o)

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(no subject)

from: eljaydaly
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
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Ow! What a crappy situation. Sounds like you handled it with grace, though, so go, you.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
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It might have been an exceptional situation, or something like that...but it was really just sort of surreal...

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J. T. Glover

(no subject)

from: jtglover
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
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Sorry to hear abut the unpleasant visit. Their loss!

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
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Wasn't neccesarily unpleasant, so much as mystifying ;o)

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(Deleted comment)

J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
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Odd is the right word. I can't imagine being in a small group, and not showing any curiosity about a stranger in our midst....It's harder for me to imagine that there would be 16/16 people like that.

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Kenneth Mark Hoover

ugh

from: kmarkhoover
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like a horrible experience. You're better of without them. Frankly, from what you've written, they don't deserve you...or anyone else who might like to join their goddamn little writing cloister.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

Re: ugh

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 21st, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
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I've seriously heard good things about some of the other RWA chapters, and am still interested in investigating them. I just think that there's little chance this chapter would ever be a fit....

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A.

(no subject)

from: kaiweilau
date: Jun. 22nd, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
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That's ridiculous. I didn't have anyone to shephard me into RWA and my first meeting was much different. Seems like your local chapter is a definite skip. Though currently, I'm a national member, w/o a local (after moving to Japan, I left my local). I haven't decided if I'm going to join up with another local.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 22nd, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I definitely think this was an aspect of the local rather than the national, since I've rreally heard good things about thee organization nationally.

I've been told I can come down to meet with a North Texas group, but that's 3 hours each way, so it's not an optimal choice. I was hoping the local would work out, but Texas is looking pretty good right now...

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Erica

(no subject)

from: hildebabble
date: Jun. 22nd, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)
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"I sat down (in the chair next to them (it was a long table)), they continued to talk among themselves."

Awwwwwkward.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 22nd, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
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So true ;o)

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Brian Dolton

(no subject)

from: tchernabyelo
date: Jun. 25th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
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Are you sure you weren't wearing your cloak of invisibility?

It's very odd. I could entirely believe this if you were in England, but in the US it seems astonishing.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

(no subject)

from: j_cheney
date: Jun. 25th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
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And Oklahomans aren't known for being shy or standoffish. ;o)

I think the part that was oddest was that in the group there wasn't a single person who was curious enough to take the initiative to talk to me.

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