How was it? It was a whirlwind. Meeting people, going to parties and gatherings, having dinners with friends, workshops, banquets and awards ceremonies. Holy cow. This was my first conference, but it won't be my last. I even managed to write, believe it or not. One night, when I'd finished dinner with friends but my roomies were still out, I sat down and started typing an idea on my Alphasmart. I still don't know how many pages I wrote, but I think it's pretty good stuff. We'll see when I download it to my computer whether I'm deluded or not. Probably deluded, since lack of sleep was a serious issue. πŸ˜‰

I finally got to meet several online people! I met Allison Brennan, who was there with her mother. They are absolutely adorable together and so sweet and nice. Allison also gives a fabulous no plotters allowed workshop which was one of the better ones I went to. πŸ™‚

I met Carla Cassidy and Kathy Carmichael finally, after knowing them for many many years. They are wonderful women and I'm honored to have known them for so long.

I met Nalini Singh in the coffee shop! After flying as far and as long as she did, she still recognized me and said hello. We sat together for a little while before she had to get ready for lunch with her agent (or editor, I can't remember which).

I talked with the dynamic and lovely Jane Porter, a fellow Aloha Chapter member who shares my bittersweet love of Hawaii. She still travels there frequently, and I do envy her that.

I met so many other writers that I can't name them all! I spotted Nora Roberts walking through the coffee shop one day, and attended a chat session with her that was fantastic. The best speech I heard was by Sherrilyn Kenyon, who is a doll and so inspiring. Lisa Kleypas gave a great speech as well and I picked up an armadillo keychain before I left Dallas in honor of what she said. πŸ™‚

I also sat in the bar at least twice with the fabulous Heart of Dixie women, including the very talented Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones, and Beverly Barton (that “very talented” designation applies to all three). Kelley St. John and Rhonda Nelson, also immensely talented and sweet, were there the second time we gathered.

One of the most fun things I did was have a reunion with people I first met in Hawaii. Morag McKendrick Pippin, Carol Burnside, and Sally Sorenson are all so wonderful to sit and talk with for hours on end. I'm just sorry I didn't have more time with them!

Oh, and I met Stephanie Tyler and Larissa Ione and got an ARC of Riding the Storm, their Sydney Croft release. In fact, I got tons of books and had to ship home a Fed Ex box of them. And how could I nearly forget that I met Loribelle Hunt!? She was in front of me in the coffee shop line (are you spotting a theme about writers and coffee?).

Whew, and now I have to wind up this post and get to work. Because, as Nora said, I have a job to do. πŸ™‚ I'll post more conference tidbits later, and maybe even think up a contest or two. πŸ™‚ If you went to conference, what was the most important thing you learned? If you didn't go, what did you do while the rest of us were suffering from lack of sleep and, in some cases, serious jet lag?