I didn't meant to let so much time go by between recaps, but I've been busy working on revisions! So now I'm up to Friday. Janette and I stayed up until 2 AM talking, and then had to get up bright and early Friday morning for the Harlequin booksigning. I think I had 3 hours sleep total, because I woke up around 5 and couldn't go back to sleep. *sigh* The booksigning was a blast! I met so many people whose names I recognized from online, but that I'd never met in person before. I won't remember them all, but I met Lynn Spencer from All About Romance, AztecLady – who really wanted her books signed to AztecLady – and Kris from LoveLetter Magazine, who came all the way from Germany. I also met Jami Gold, who has commented on this site, but I can't remember whether I met her here or at the Lit Signing! She is lovely and has a gorgeous blue streak in her hair. 🙂
So many people came up to say hi and get my book, and I really wish I could remember them all! If you met me at either of the signings, tell me, because I'll remember if you give me a few little details. In the end, I signed all my books and had none left (yay!). And I got to sit beside my friend Carla Cassidy, which was awesome. I've known Carla for many years now (I won't say how many, because it makes us both seem older than we'd like, ha) and it was just wonderful to get to sit beside her for an hour and a half and chat when we could.
After the signing, it was nearly time for lunch. I'd arranged to meet some old friends (Carla included) and we had a fabulous time catching up during the banquet. After lunch, I finally got to the ONE workshop I would attend the entire time I was there (other than the one I gave). It was a fabulous PAN workshop and I learned a lot. Then it was time to dash off to the Harlequin Series Spotlight, where I got all misty eyed when they put my cover up while talking about Harlequin Presents. The editors were talking about new writers they'd bought for the line and why they'd bought them. I was the writer chosen for Presents, and it was quite humbling and lovely to sit there and listen to the nice things they said.
Seriously, no matter how successful a writer may seem to you, at heart she's still that trembling and insecure writer she was at the very beginning in some ways. Hearing that your publisher loves you is a good thing, no matter where you are in your career. When the RWA conference CDs come out, I'll be playing back that part to listen to whenever I feel down about my writing. 🙂 (I could use them right now, truthfully! I'm starting a book over today because it didn't quite work as I had it. It's only 2 chapters I have to throw away, but still. It's hard.)
After the spotlight, I had coffee with some of the Presents authors, and then I went up to my room for a short nap before getting ready for the Harlequin party. The party was, as always, amazing. And this year, Harlequin tightened down on the guest list. No more crashing as in years past — and it was smaller and better because of it. No massive lines at the bars. The dance floor was still crowded, but you could find a place to get your groove on. 😉
Janette and I made it back to our room around 1, I think. We talked briefly, but fell asleep pretty quick. We both slept in on Saturday morning, then got ready for the Presents lunch with the editors at the Grand Floridian. That was a marvelous time! We had wonderful food, and I got to talk to Linda Fildew and Jenny Hutton quite a bit. Jane Porter and Janette Kenny rounded out our end of the table, and we had a lovely conversation.
Too soon, I had to get back to the Dolphin for the workshop I was giving with Blaze author Kira Sinclair. Imagine my surprise to walk into that room for the last workshop of the day, and find it was standing room only. We hadn't expected quite so many people, but we had a good crowd and only a minor hitch with equipment that was quickly straightened out. At the end, we gave away the books we had brought and chatted with attendees. It's so wonderful to know that you've helped people have an aha moment with their writing. I've been the recipient of many aha moments, so I like to give them back if at all possible. 🙂
Almost as soon as the workshop was over, it was time to get dressed for the RITAs. Janette and I met up with several of the Presents authors so we could get a table together and support our Presents nominees – Jennie Lucas, Jane Porter, Anne McAllister, and Kelly Hunter (for Modern Heat). We had a lovely dinner and a fun time together, and then adjourned to the Blue Zoo for drinks. I think the party broke up around midnight. Jan and I went back to our room, stayed up to pack, and then said goodnight. Sunday, we went our separate ways, and after 4 hours delay at the Orlando airport, I was finally on the way home. Hubby took me for barbecue, not that it was our first choice but it was still open when I got home late, and then I came home and crashed.
Recovery always takes several days, and this time was no exception. The lack of sleep, the constant go-go-go, and the incessant talking catch up with you at the end. But I love it so much and can't wait until next year! I finally got my camera cord, so here are a few pictures.
Sandra Marton and me
Michelle Styles, Carole Mortimer, and Jennie Lucas
Tea at the Grand Floridian
Carla Cassidy and me
Susan Stephens, Maisey Yates, and Sandra Marton
Maisey Yates, Kate Hewitt, me, Jennie Lucas, Kimberly Lang
The DJ and me
Jennie Lucas and me
That's the RWA10 conference recap! I'm sure I have forgotten much of the details, but you don't want to read a blow by blow detailed recap anyway. I had so much fun, as always, and I got to see so many people I adore, meet new people I've known online only, and talk to the most interesting women imaginable. The national conference is jam-packed busy, but it's always a great time. If you've never been, I suggest you make plans to go. You'll come away inspired, I assure you.
And now I have a new book to get busy writing! Leave a comment for a chance to win some conference goodies — books and swag, my dears!
UPDATE: The winner is Kirby! Kirby, send my your details at lynn AT lynnrayeharris DOT com, and I'll make a trip to the post office….. 😉