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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Favorite Conference in A Favorite Place

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.

April 7 – 9, 2016 I attended the Desert Dreams Writer’s Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. hosted by the Desert Rose RWA Chapter. For the third time the Conference was held at the ChaparralSuites (in the process of becoming Embassy Suites). This was my fifth DD Conference which is held every other year so mark your calendars for 2018. I particularly love the Chaparral Suites as a Conference site.

One: the conference center keeps everyone together. All the meeting rooms are in one place. If you move from one room to another, you can’t help but see the same people. I always meet a few people at Desert Dreams with whom I stay in touch.
Grackle

Two: the tropical gardens are lovely to meander through and the grounds are spotless! A crew sweeps them every day. Bird song accompanies me whenever I step outside my room. And the view from my room is always relaxing. Four years ago I had a room on an upper floor which was not as convenient as one on the ground floor although we had grackles come to visit.

Three: the staff — some of the best I’ve ever encountered. Watching the banquet staff do their job was like watching a dance. Efficient, graceful, fluid movements and attention to the diners meant we all had quality service provided with a smile. Under construction, there were challenges for everyone. I saw managers pitching in and working side-by-side with their employees. The Front Desk was crammed into one of the rooms while that part of the property was undergoing massive renovation. Even with crowded conditions, everyone was pleasant and helpful.

Four: the newly renovated rooms were well done and in a palate of colors that soothed. Add to that comfortable beds, lush towels, mini-frig, microwave seating for at least five people and you have a room I could easily have stayed in for much longer.
Judith with J.A. Jance

Five: the Chaparral Suites is well situated in Scottsdale so it isn’t very far if you want to check out some of the amazing restaurants in the area. I will say that the property offers a free made-to-order breakfast as well as a manager’s reception during the week. The food at the banquet was excellent quality and well-prepared, well-presented.

Six: back to the conference! The program featured a variety of workshops for writers at any stage in their career. The Keynote speakers – well, I loved J.A. Jance’s talk on Friday night. The Book Signing Saturday afternoon is always fun. I love my display!!! And I'll tell you all about it in my Monday, May 9th post.

Seven: Surprise!!! Who knew I’d find a fantastic surprise in the bathroom! The amenities: shampoo, shower gel and moisturizer by Giovanni. So? Giovanni is the name of the hero in Gabriella, book six of The Sacred Women’s Circle series. And my first reader and I were working on edits on that book while I was in Arizona! One of those synchronicities that raises goosebumps.

Circle April 2018 on your calendar. I’m not sure what the exact dates for the next Desert Dreams Writer’s Conference are other than it will be held in April 2018. I hope it will be back at the Chaparral Suites which will, by then, be an Embassy Suites property.


You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.


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© 2016 Judith Ashley

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