RWA Nationals: The Preparation

Okay, so this year I’m lucky enough to have RWA in my backyard, so to speak. I merely have to hop on the subway and I will arrive at the conference every morning after a short 30-minute commute. Not too shabby when thinking about past years.

Two years ago, for my first RWA conference, I was 5-months pregnant with our daughter. I spent weeks plotting out my favorite maternity outfits, getting my business cards made up, as well as “Coming Soon” postcards with my first release’s cover on them. The hotel and airfare were booked nearly 6 months in advance, the car service was set to pick us up at 6am, and the bags were packed with great (adequate) precision. By the time we left for the airport, I was ready to conquer DC.

Last year was a bit different. We had a 7-month-old baby, which meant lots of extra planning. Not only that, but it meant detours – to Atlanta (family) and south Georgia (best friend). It also meant prepping the husband to take care of the baby alone on conference days, and it meant booking trips to parks, and lining up childcare so we could go to said parks. The packing was the worst. There’s video of me lying on the floor days before we had to leave, my feet in the air, giggling about how I was supposed to be packing but that I wasn’t and we were all going to have to be naked on our trip. (No, that video will not ever see the light of day, so don’t ask.) But when I finally got my butt in gear, it was a remarkable amount of stuff. Did I mention we had a 7-month-old? Going to a Disney compound with a human that can only eat formula and purees is quite the challenge. Her food took up about 70% of our luggage space. Tack on the stroller, car seat, snap ‘n go, and pack ‘n play to several pieces of luggage, and you have a challenging situation. If it hadn’t been for the kindness of strangers, it would have been necessary for one of us to become an octopus. Thank god she requires a lot less stuff now that she’s getting older!

But fast forward to now – this week – the week before Nationals is to start – and I’ve done nothing. No preparation whatsoever, other than deciding on where my critique group’s dinner will take place. Oh, and I’ve made sure the baby has adequate nanny/daddy coverage, too. But I couldn’t begin to tell you where my business cards are. I have no promotional materials for my books. And since I mainly wear workout gear every day, I’m pretty sure my wardrobe is not up to snuff. I made a list a while back of the workshops I plan to attend, but hell if I know where it is. Oh, and the best part is that the morning after the conference ends, we have to hop in a rental car to go to CT for 4 days with the in-laws. Ack! I am SO not ready for next week to begin.

What about you? Are you packed and ready to go already? Or are you just as scattered as I am? Share your getting ready tips with me, please! Maybe it’ll help me figure out what the heck I need to do before next week! 🙂