While the RWA conference traditionally starts with Thursday's keynote luncheon, it actually kicks off for me on Wednesday with Librarian Day. This year was the first time I was going to be presenting and I was nervous. I pretty much go into any public speaking engagement with the fear that I'm going to suck. Pessimistic soul that I am.
Tessa Dare and I talked about romance collection development in public libraries, and it's not a terribly sexy topic, but an important one. We were the last panel before lunch, which had me worried since I figured I'd look out into the audience and see people gnawing their arms off from hunger. But what was really tough? Yeah, the panel before us? Was all on Young Adult romance and it kicked ass. You could literally hear Tessa and I thinking during that whole presentation "oh crap." It was a tough act to follow! But afterward we did have people come up and tell us they liked our presentation. Not everyone is ever going to like everything, but I'm relieved that at least some people liked us. Heh.
After the librarian luncheon, it was Librarian Goody Room time - which is always obscene. Obscene in a massive book-orgy-promo kind of way. The amount of stuff I got? Oh Lordy! Romance authors are too generous for words. I had to make a quick pit-stop in my room to dump my loot and then it was mix and mingle time with Librarian Day attendees and a bunch of authors. I got to chat with so many people, including RWA's Librarian Of The Year, Jennifer Lohmann , kickass historical romance authors Carrie Lofty and Deb Marlowe, and YA romance writer Simone Elkeles - who was very happy to hear that my Lil' Sis could not keep her book, Perfect Chemistry, on the shelf of her classroom lending library. It was being read by her students THAT much!
After the mix and mingle it was Literacy Signing time. I met up with AztecLady, Rosie, KristieJ, Lisabea and AnimeJune to stand in line. I have to say, that this year's space for the signing was really nice. A big room, with lots of space. I didn't feel crushed in a sea of bodies, and I didn't spend the whole time saying "Excuse me, I'm sorry, pardon me" etc. etc. etc. I spent a bit more money than I planned on - but buying three trade paperbacks will do that to a person! But one of those was for a good cause. I had to buy My Man's mother a copy of Maid To Match by Deeanne Gist.
The Lit. Signing led right up to the second Blogger Bar Bash. I thought this was going to be a small affair, since there are several parties that happen after the Signing that I knew would keep some folks away. Holy cow! I can't believe how many people turned out! Several authors, several aspiring authors, our merry contingent of bloggers, several folks from AAR, and even Jill from Romance Rookie! I totally blanked on her being a Florida gal, and she drove in to attend the Lit. Signing. She literally flagged me down at the Signing when we wandered down the same aisle together. See, I told you that room was big and roomy. There was even space to read name tags!
This made for a hugely long day, so now Kristie and I are back in our room. As we happen to do (quite often) we got talking and Kristie said....
"Wendy, I'm so glad you're my roommate."
Me: "Awwwww, that's so sweet of you to say. What with me being blatantly obnoxious and all."
Kristie: ::totally deadpan delivery:: "Well, I'm one of the few people who can handle you."
Me: "OMG! I am so putting that on the blog!"
And I have. And that's what is so great about RWA. Banding together with fellow romance novel lovers and smart-asses. Seriously, what's not to love about KristieJ?
Blogger note: Hopefully this is a semi-coherent post. Did I mention this is a long-ass day for me? It's now officially "tomorrow" (Thursday!) and I'm still awake. Seriously? Wendy? Get your ass in bed.