Friday, August 06, 2004

RWA National Diary

So last week I went to the RWA National conference. Here's what I remember:

Day 1 (Wednesday): Rolled into town and checked into the overflow hotel. I procrastinated on signing up for the conference, and so got shunted to the overflow. Lucky me! I checked in quickly and easily, went up to my lovely one-bedroom suite with soft bed, laid down, didn't want to get up.

Got up, went to the conference at the Adam's Mark. Saw the hotel check-in line which was a THREE-HOUR wait! I walked down the line, chatted with people I saw, tried not to gloat because my check in had taken three minutes. A lot of bonding was going on, friendships forged in that line that may last years.

I grabbed my conference registration, got myself to the ballroom with the huge booksigning. It started raining outside, so I didn't expect much. And then, the room exploded with activity. 450 authors signing and about 3000 buyers. I sold out my stacks pretty quickly, which gave me time to go SHOPPING!

I love booksignings. Buying a book from the person who wrote it is just a kick. I restrained myself to about $85 worth of books--I bought favorite authors and new-to-me authors. I had to mail all the books back to myself and just got the boxes. Can't wait to dig in.

OK, who was there? I sat between Adele Ashworth and Judith Arnold. Adele writes historicals (yay!) and Judith had a stack of comedies set in a New York deli. I admired both (and purchased, of course). Then the authors who inspired me: Jo Beverly, Lisa Kleypas, Barbara Samuel, Mary Jo Putney, Christina Dodd. And Sherilyn Kenyon, of course Nora Roberts, Christine Feehan, and many many more. Several debut authors were making their "come-outs." I was excited for them.

And then, there was the star of the show, my sweet, wonderful husband who, to help the Beau Monde Regency chapter, dressed in Regency gentleman's clothing and wandered about handing out cards about the Beau Monde authors. He was handsome and charming, and does he look good in a cutaway tailcoat? Oh my yes. Several people asked if he was a cover model (lol!). He was admired and flirted with, and loved every minute of it.

After the signing, we went up to the Beau Monde soiree, where other Regency authors and aspiring authors had dressed in costume. Regina Scott was Reggie, her alter-ego, in breeches and coat and dandy-like manner. She was adorable. Other ladies wore lovely Regency garb. They gathered in the middle of the floor and learned country dances from the dance master (I sat on the sidelines and ate fondue--hey I was happy!).

The crowning point of the night was at 11 pm when my dh and I returned to our hotel (we were pooped). Outside, a huge deluge had begun (well, it had started about 6). We were in downtown Dallas with a bad map. We were trying to find the interstate. We couldn't see anything. We got turned around--completely lost. Lightning everywhere. Rain coming down in gobs. Roads that go one way, then suddenly end or turn you the way you don't want to go. Terror (although, I figured we'd get somewhere, sometime).

At last we pulled into a parking lot, huddled over the map, and figured it out. We found the interstate. It was a river. Fortunately, we were only a few stops down the line and got back ok.

That storm lasted until five in the morning, and later we found out that 12-13 inches of rain had been dumped on Dallas (and us) that night.

That was Day 1. Day 2 to follow.


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