Live from RWA San Francisco

It's been a busy few days here in San Francisco! I've barely had a chance to breathe, much less find Internet access and check email or write a quick post for this blog. I've met lots of old friends, made new friends, had breakfast with my editor and discussed my book, and met my fellow Golden Heart Finalists, the Pixie Chicks. We have had so much fun together!

Tonight is the Harlequin Party! Later today I have a champagne reception for GH and RITA finalists. Tomorrow night is the big event, the GH and RITA awards. Honestly, it really truly is an honor just to be nominated. Winning would be icing on the cake, but the cake is still pretty damn tasty without the icing. If I don't win, I won't be disappointed. I've loved being a finalist and meeting the other finalists.

I've also met several Mills & Boon authors. Very awesome. Kate Walker is lovely, and Trish Wylie is so fun. The M&B editors have all been fabulous. Yes, I know this is short, but I have an event in a few minutes. Hope those of you who stayed home are getting lots of writing done. And lots of sleep. Both are very lacking for conference attendees, I assure you. πŸ™‚

Hope to blog again soon….

Conference Week

This is it, the big week when 2k romance writers descend on a hotel and plot world domination. Well, maybe not world domination, but there will be plotting and there will be fun. There will probably be drama. There will be laughter, tears, and cheers. I wouldn't want to miss it for anything. πŸ™‚

I'm taking my laptop, and I'll try to blog periodically. Can't promise daily updates. Can't even promise *any* updates. But I'll try. πŸ™‚ If you're going to conference, say hi if you see me! I'd love to meet you.

I've got last minute packing to do, and I hope like heck I don't forget anything critical. I have a list. Shoe count at the moment: seven. I might add another pair…. πŸ™‚

Cat Woes

I've not been a good blogger this week, but I have an excuse. My sweet little cat was spayed last week. And then she decided it'd be a good idea to try and get the stitches out a few days later. So, between vet visits and outfitting her in an E-collar and onesies, I've been busy. The little Houdini got out of the E-collar last night, but she didn't lick the incision thankfully. And the onesie is just hilarious, but she can get out of that too.

So I sit here watching a cat much closer than I'd like and obsessing about my wardrobe for conference. I did manage to do some shopping yesterday, since I had to go out and get the onesies, and today will probably be dedicated to trying things on. And slipping the onesie back on the cat.

For conference tips, check out my friend Marilyn's blog today over at the Writing Playground. Got any conference tips to share? Leave them in a comment! I can always use a good tip. πŸ™‚

And so it begins

We're at T minus 15 for my conference departure, so the shopping/packing/planning begins in earnest starting NOW. In good news, I realized yesterday that my original GH/RITA dress does indeed FIT! Woo hoo! See, I'd thought that even though I lost the pounds necessary, there was a cup issue in the bust. Noooo, there was a correct brassiere issue. Got the right one, all is good, I shall be wafting around in a teal dress with, I hope, silver sparkly shoes (they are on order, see pic — if they don't work, I'll be shopping for something different).

Though it will no doubt horrify some people I know (PC), I've just today printed out all the confirmations of events I'm supposed to be at so I can put them in my planner. (Other people did this at least two months ago. Alas, that's not me.)

I also need to confirm my luggage restrictions. I'm on American, the cheap b*stards, but I bought my ticket before they starting charging for the first bag. Somehow, I have to get at least 6 pairs of shoes, plus a week's worth of clothes, into one suitcase. Really, romance writers heading to a conference should be given special baggage considerations. πŸ™‚

If you're going to conference, have you planned every minute out yet? Or do you intend to wing it? Are you finished shopping? Have all your outfits planned? (Not me, but close.) If you aren't going to San Francisco this year, what sort of non-conference plans do you have? Will you be following the conference blogs, or doing one of the online mini-conferences?

Socializing for introverts

I am an introvert, as many writers tend to be (not all, it's true), though I'm pretty good at putting on the public face and socializing. I'm not shy, I don't get tongue-tied (much), and I can meet and greet like a professional. Not sure where I acquired these abilities, though I think it comes from being married to an extrovert and watching him in action. It's also a function of age — realizing that it doesn't matter what someone thinks, I'm me and that's that. πŸ™‚

But, I always DREAD the start of these socializing events. Today is the start of a busy two days for me. The Heart of Dixie Readers' Luncheon is tomorrow. Today, there are preparations to make — bags to be stuffed, dinners to attend, and a party for a friend who sold to Mills & Boon a couple of weeks ago.

And yet, I always always dread it, even when I want to see everyone and have fun. (I feel this way about conference too, even when this year I have a lot to look forward to.) I hate the preparation — the thinking, planning, packing (it's one overnight in a hotel 15 miles from home and yet I stress), the schlepping, getting situated, etc. I know I'll have fun when it starts, but it's the getting to the start I hate.

Some people are naturals at this kind of thing. I am not. At conference last year in Dallas, I got so overwhelmed at one point I went back to the room and was grateful my wonderful roomies were still out. I sat, drinking wine by myself (uh-oh, look out Hemingway), and tapped out the beginning of a new story on my AlphaSmart. I seriously needed that decompression time. If I could afford it, I'd spend the entire conference in a room to myself. But at $225 a night, that ain't happening. πŸ™‚

OTOH, like I say, once I get there this afternoon and start chatting and celebrating and talking writing with people who GET IT because they are writers too, I'll be as happy as a pig in mud. If I could just figure out how to stop the stressing stuff beforehand, I'd be all set.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Have trouble with socializing? Any tricks you use to prepare yourself? I don't have any, but like I say, once I get started, I'm fine. It's the getting there and getting into that frame of mind — and for longer events, like Nationals, some alone time.

Multi-tasking for Blondes*

Wow, has it really been a week since I posted? The days flew by. I had several things going on in Chez Harris, plus I have to write about that sexy Spanish magnate. Which I have been doing!

The story is coming along quite nicely thus far. It's fun to write about a strong emotional conflict without a gun or dead body in sight. πŸ™‚ But I still need to finish the revisions on HOT PURSUIT. *sigh* There aren't enough hours in the day sometimes!

Is it really only 3 months until National? My SF diet is not going so well. Must get busy on that. I've been using my treadmill, but it'd help if I could cut out the Chinese takeout. And the pizza and wings. I blame the hubby for those. πŸ™‚

But I have no choice. The dress is bought, the matching purse is found, and I MUST appear with them on RITA/GH night. So, in between writing about sexy Spaniards and sizzling Spec Ops guys, I need to lose fifteen pounds. Piece of cake, right?

How's your week going? Accomplishing any of the goals you set for yourself? Lost any pounds? Done any conference clothes shopping yet? Wrote anything new?

*Not really, but I'm blonde and I'm multi-tasking this week.