Monday, July 31, 2006

RWA: Wednesday

On to my report of Wednesday. This was the one day I slept in, since there were no classes being offered this day and I didn't need to check out of the hotel until 11:00 AM. So I had a relaxing morning and checked out right around 11:00. Then, I headed over to the Marriott Marquis hotel, which was (thankfully) right across the street from the Hilton. I was a little concerned that they wouldn't let me check in until 3:00 PM, but I checked in early with no problem.

The hotel was amazing--very large and elegant. I wish I had pictures to show you, but I kept putting it off, thinking I would take photos later. Sorry. :( In any case, I shared a room with Ember Case, who is just fabulous, the best roommate I could have had.

After settling into the room, I went down to the conference registration desk and got my name tag. A good reminder that I needed to learn to answer to Lia. LOL! Then I wandered over to get my conference bag, which was offered by William Morrow. It was filled with books: 18, to be exact. And this was only the beginning of the book pile I managed to accumulate.

In the afternoon, I wandered over to the Goody Room, where authors leave goodies such as bookmarks, pins, pens, cover flats, postcards, etc., for conference registrants to take. There was no limit to the number of times you could go into the room, so I made sure to visit it Thursday and Friday as well, since more authors would come and set out new items. I came home with a bag of goodies, including a few books. The most practical item I picked up was a fan, which came in handy later (more about that later).

I also dropped off my goodies, which were magnets for my two books to date: Office Relations and Between Floors. I spread them out over several tables so that someone who might miss them on one table would notice them on another. I also stopped by the Bookfair and bought two books about writing.

That afternoon, I took a nap before getting ready for the RWA literacy signing. I didn't have books to sell, but I've been limiting my book purchases for months and was ready to spend. That's exactly what I did. After waiting outside the ballroom for half an hour, the doors opened and I walked up and down the aisles collecting books I wanted to buy. I had a cart with me, so I wasn't limited to what I could carry.

The result? I left with 34 books, many of them trade paperbacks. It turned out that quite a few of them were books that weren't available at the publisher signings (where attendees could get books free as long as they were willing to wait in line for them). Can you tell I'm trying to justify the amount I spent? OK, I'll tell you, but remember, I saved up several months for this. (Yep, still rationalizing the fact that I spent almost $400.)

Here's the full cart, though you can't see all the books I bought.

The signing was a lot of fun. I ran into several Romance Divas, including my roommate. It was so great to finally put faces to some of the names I've seen so often.

After the signing, I took the books back to my room and went with several Divas to a restaurant named Ruth's Chris. Their specialty is steak, and it was pretty good.

Clockwise starting from front left: Shelli Stevens, me, Ember, Emma Peterson, Jax, Kristen, Sherice

We returned to the hotel after dinner and went to Champion's, a bar and grill. A certain Diva (not me!) showed off her corset, which earned free drinks for her table and ours! LOL! I stayed and socialized for a while, then went back to the hotel room to get some sleep before the next day.

Number of Books Acquired on Wednesday: 56

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I'm back from Atlanta! What a thrilling and amazing time it was! Now I'm ready for a vacation. LOL! Unfortunately, I head back to work tomorrow. I took today off, knowing that I would need at least a day before jumping back into the fray.

I thought it would be fun to do a day by day account of the conference. It's all starting to blur together, but I'll do my best. I flew into Atlanta on Tuesday. I'm not the most comfortable traveler, and I wanted to be in the hotel and settled, especially before the literacy signing on Wednesday. I arrived at the Hilton about 6:00 PM, ordered a room service dinner, and enjoyed a quiet evening.

Here's the view from the hotel window.

This day was pretty uneventful, which was nice since there was much to come in the next several days.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Packing to Commence

It's a bit mind-boggling to realize that I'm leaving for the RWA conference in two days. Eeek! I must start packing today. Within the hour, actually. Tomorrow I'll go buy anything I've forgotten. Right now that list consists of nylons. LOL! I don't like dresses, and when I do wear skirts, I usually wear knee-highs or sandals, neither of which would be appropriate with the black dress I bought for awards night.

Dress is listed as business casual, but I'm still going to wear jeans a couple of days. Business casual is what I wear to work, and this won't feel like a vacation if I wear work outfits every day. So I'm going casual on Wednesday and maybe Friday too.

Anyway, this is likely to be my last post before leaving. I'll see many of you at the conference (safe travels, if you're coming), and the rest of you I'll "see" again in August.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Taking July Off

I've decided it's better for me to just accept that I'm taking July off writing. I did a little writing the first week, did none last week, as I attended a work convention. This week, I'm doing a few more things for convention and getting ready for next week's Romance Writers of America conference. I'm hoping to write a little the end of this week, but I'm going to stop pressuring myself. I think I'm trying to juggle a little too much just now.

Anyway, I've found a dress and am going shopping at lunch today for shoes to go with it. Then I will be quite happy if I never see a shopping center again for a while. LOL! Internet shopping is my friend, definitely my preferred mode of shopping.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006


This week I am confronting one of the biggest challenges I've had in months. I'm trying to find a dress.

I'm going to the Romance Writers of America conference later this month, and I want a nice dress for the award ceremony. Doesn't sound too difficult, right? But I spent several hours shopping without success. Why do so many dresses have an empire waist (or something similar)? Looks great on some women. On me, it just looks like I have miles of legs and nothing on top. Not an attractive look.

And here's another thing. I'm overweight, not inches away from the grave. Surely there are dresses out there that are somewhere between teeny-bopper and matronly dignified.

I found a couple on the internet (via a catalog that arrived in today's mail, yay!), and I'm now debating whether I should give one of them a try. You never can tell how it will look until you have it on, though, so I'm a tiny bit reluctant. Ah, well. I can always send it back if it doesn't work.

I'm not even up for any awards. I don't know why I'm so concerned about my outfit. Sigh.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Rising from the Dead

The title of this blog entry sounds like a good book title, doesn't it? But actually, it's a pretty good description of me. I've had a stomach bug for about a week now, and after spending a few days wishing I were dead, and consuming an insane amount of Sprite, I'm finally starting to feel almost normal. I'm hoping it lasts, since I've written less than 1,000 words all week.

Speaking of writing, I've decided it's time to buckle down. I have two stories close to completed and one halfway finished, and I need to finish and submit them all. My goal is to submit at least two of them this month, which would be easier to do if I wasn't going to be working insane hours at the day job during week 2 of July. I'll also be out of town during week 4. But I still think two is achievable, so I'm going to get on task and do it.

How is everyone else doing?

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