Yesterday, I volunteered to help out at a small freelance conference that was being held on campus yesterday. I was the only fiction volunteer, which wasn't surprising - when one thinks freelance, one usually thinks non-fiction. I volunteered because the two afternoon panels looked like they might have something to offer to a fiction student, so I volunteered to oversee the registration/info table while the other volunteers sat in on the morning panels.
Boy, am I ever glad that I did! I think I just may have found myself an agent! One of the panelists is a arts, entertainment and intellectual property attorney - and he is also a literary agent. Because I was at the right place at the right time, I fell into a conversation with him, one of the other panelists and one of the organizers of the conference. He is specifically interested in acquiring a few more literary fiction clients - which is what he is really interested in - and I was really impressed with his biz acumen. He has a really good grasp on the current state of publishing - which most publishers seem oblivious to - and I think that he has a clear idea of what the future of publishing is going to be. He's also clearly aggressive and has gotten some pretty great deals for some of his clients so far.
And he asked me to e-mail him when I finish my novel! Obviously, I don't have him locked in as an agent, but I feel like this is a foot in the door! As long as he likes it when he reads it and thinks he can get me a deal, then I'm in.
As for the rest of the conference? It was almost entirely directed at non-fiction; what fiction-specific stuff was mentioned I already knew. Oh, well ... meeting the lawyer/agent was definitely worth volunteering my time and energy.
I know I haven't posted my Italy stuff yet - I will soon, I promise! (Maybe I shouldn't say that ... my husband says that whenever I say "I promise!" that pretty much a guarantee that whatever it is will never happen.) But I do want to get it up, so I do plan on getting that started before NaNoWriMo starts.