RWA Nationals: Wednesday

As I sit here and write this blog, it is 7:11am on Thursday morning, and I am beat! And honestly, yesterday wasn’t that big of a day for me!

I moseyed into the city around 10am and spent the morning catching up with my critique partners (read: laughing like hyenas). Then it was off to the Keynote Luncheon, where Madeline Hunter spoke brilliantly on the current market.

Of course, the highlight of her speech (for me) was when she brought up that controversial term: self-publishing. She talked about when she first joined RWA and she was on the PAN loop, there was a great deal of fear. Fear about the rules. Am I following them properly? Do I have to take this bit out or change this part because it’s not in compliance with one of the many, oftentimes made-up rules that have been set forth? She’s noticed that the fear has diminished almost completely with the dawn of self-publishing. And my favorite line: I don’t think there’s an author in this room who isn’t happy to have the option of self-publishing in their back pocket. Amen, sister!

I know you’re all wondering how the food was, and I personally think it was leaps and bounds better than last year’s. That weird bone-in chicken they served last year was inedible. This year, we had a lovely chicken breast on a bed of polenta with a side of spinach.

Lunch

The biggest downside this year is, of course, the lack of dessert. Argh! Ah well…that’s all we get at the awards ceremony Friday night, so I’ll just make up for it then.

 

 

 

 
After lunch, I took Amy de Trempe to find a charger for her phone at one of the electronics stores on 8th Avenue, where I was, for the second time in 24 hours, told that I look exactly like Molly Ringwold. Story of my life.

Back at the hotel it was time for Keeping it Real: Regency Research Georgette Heyer Could Believe In. This was a great workshop put on by Jennifer Kloester, author of Georgette Heyer’s Regency World (which is a fabulous reference book for us Regency authors!), and the incomparable Sabrina Jefferies (who later spent a lot of time with my daughter and even put one of her bracelets on her wrist. It was a moment for me.) They both talked a lot about research and the current Regency market, and that dreaded word came up again: self-publishing. How funny that a year ago, that word didn’t really even exist at a conference like RWA! Now it’s on the tip of everyone’s tongues!

After that it was mingle time for me with my critique partners. We held court in the bar, where we could talk about our days while pointing out the authors, agents and editors we knew – it’s a fun game!

Eric brought the baby in, which was a good time, too. She flirted with friends and strangers alike, and was just her usual cute self 🙂 But by 6pm, I was wiped out, so our little family hopped back on the train and came home for a quiet evening and early bedtime.

And now, it’s time to hit the ground running again! I better pack some Emergen-Cs in my bag today! I’m definitely going to need them!

RWA Nationals: Tuesday Night

Admittedly, I didn’t do any truly conference-related activities yesterday. Eric and I headed into the city around 6 and met my critique partners in the bar at the hotel. We gabbed until it was time to board one of the glass elevators to take us to the Goddess Blog party.

Let me tell you, I’m so glad I’m not in the hotel. I think my commute from Jersey City takes less time. They have the elevators on some kind of odd system. You can’t press a button once you’re inside. You have to “call” for the elevator by indicating on a giant keypad which floor you’re going to. It tells you which elevator to take, and that elevator is programmed to take you to your floor…and to also drop off/pick up about 30 other people that are crammed into that elevator with you. I don’t mind the heights so much, but I do mind the heat and crowding. I was sweating like a whore in church!

The Goddess Blog party was fun. They handed out tiaras, and there was a great spread of fruit and sandwiches. I got to meet Julia London, and Suzanne Enoch was running around welcoming everyone. I briefly got to say hi to Sabrina Jefferies, too. But we had to duck out after our brief appearance because this was our big Critique Group Dinner night.

(First, a couple party pictures…)

Amy de Trempe and me 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Boyd, Samantha Grace and Jodie Pearson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric and I led our group of 14 several blocks down to Dallas BBQ. This place is huge and cheap. They had no problem seating all 14 of us immediately. And when I say immediately, I mean, we never really even stopped walking. This place is a well-oiled machine. The guy at the entrance gets your headcount and sends your party up the escalator, where another guy is waiting for you. That guy sends you to the girl on the other side of the restaurant and she leads you to your table that has been expertly set up in the 30 seconds it’s taken your party to get up the escalator.

Our fabulous waiter, George, was so sweet and super patient. The only real snafu came when they tried to put 4 racks of ribs (with fries) in front of Eric.

George: Didn’t you order 4 racks?
Eric: Ah, no, man. Just the one.
George: Oh, man. I could have sworn you said 4 racks.
Eric: (realization dawns) Oh, no! I said full rack. Not four.

Lol. Hopefully some of the incredibly hard-working staff got to enjoy the other 3 racks of ribs.

Everyone really seemed to love the food, which was a big relief. It’s no easy task planning a dinner for 14 people. But I was hopeful that the Texas-sized margaritas would make up for any food-related drawbacks 🙂

But alas, all good things must come to an end, and Eric and I were on a time crunch to get the nanny home by a fairly decent hour. Unfortunately, we didn’t leave quite enough time to make our train, despite the fact we were in a full sprint (with me in brand new sandals) for about 5 blocks. Thank god for our 5K training last fall or I never would have made it. But even at that, we missed our train. We stared longingly and out of breath as we watched it pull out of the station, while we were still on the other side of the turnstiles.

Ah, well…we caught the next one and sent nanny home in a cab. We’ll know to leave an extra 30 seconds next time.