Saturday, July 25, 2015
My conference starts a day earlier than everybody else because Wednesday means Librarians Day. The photo is the giant pile of books that was at all of our seats before the day started - and that was before they opened up the Librarians Only Goody Room (MORE STUFF!). I presented a panel with author Laura Florand on librarian/author partnerships and how we can work together. Laura designed this presentation with Jennifer Lohmann (author and former Librarian of the Year 2010) but sadly Jennifer couldn't make the trip this year. So Wendy was sent in to pinch-hit. Luckily I had seen them give this presentation before, so I had a good feel for it already, and people seemed to like it, so go Team Laura, Wendy & Jennifer!
The Literacy Signing on Wednesday night was a madhouse - which I was prepared for. Having been at RWA in NYC the last time it was here (2011), I remembered how cramped the ballroom was. I will say it was well organized though. They had us "wait in line" in a separate ballroom, where there WERE CHAIRS (!) where we could SIT DOWN (!) instead of standing in line for eternity. Do that again next year will you RWA? Sometimes you're standing in line forever and you're exhausted before they even open the doors. Not so this year.
Barbara Freethy's keynote speech before I had to hussle out of there for a 9AM appointment. Honestly, I can't remember what else I did now until the evening hours, when I had a couple of invites to cocktail parties. Since I write for Heroes & Heartbreakers (a Macmillan Publishing entity), I made my way to St. Martin's party where I ran into Megan Frampton and KM Jackson. Then, while waiting for my bartender to pour me the biggest glass of chardonnay I've seen in my life (I could have gone swimming in it), I saw Jamie Brenner AKA Logan Belle. I've reviewed a lot of her books (Now or Never is the gold star winner) and she was so happy to see me, and so gracious - well it was a nice ego boost. I discovered her work when I was at RWA in 2011 and got one of her books at a Kensington booksigning, so I feel like we've come full circle together.
After St. Martin's I made my way to the Avon party, where I hung out with the gals from All About Romance, had a nice chat with this year's Librarian of the Year and ran into Sarah from Smart Bitches. I never see Sarah at these conferences - she's always busy doing her thing and I'm busy doing mine - so it was nice to chat with her. I closed down the Avon party, having WAY too much fun, then came back to the hotel to gossip with Rosie and LB Gregg. Kristie was the only sensible one of us - as she was already asleep.
Friday. Oh, Friday. Did I mention I had fun at the Avon party? I didn't get a ton of sleep, so my butt was kind of dragging. I went to breakfast and listened to Julia Quinn's keynote that I'm still processing. I haven't had the chance to read any chatter about it outside of Twitter, but my reaction was mixed. I can't exactly pinpoint why it irritated me at times, but it did. Basically it was about not being able to please all of the people all of the time, crazy-ass reader mail, and then heartbreaking, emotionally soul-lifting reader mail. Someone smarter than me needs to write about it. Jessica, this would be your queue.
I attended a panel that LB Gregg was sitting on - about conflict in LGBTQ romance and hit most of the publisher signings. Then for dinner, Rosie, LB and I went to Bareburger, a crunchy granola sort of burger joint and OMG, was that ever yummy! We got back in time for LB to get herself all fancy for the Harlequin party, and the rest of us ended up hitting the bar. Hilcia came in for the evening - and a huge group of us ended up closing down the bar. So much for Wendy catching up on her sleep.
This morning my alarm went off and I knew it wasn't happening. So I skipped breakfast and the Nalini Singh keynote to get some more rest. I shipped the last of my boxes of books back to the office (I got so many books for work - So. Many.) and Rosie, Kristie and I had a nice lunch. Now it's rest time until a 4PM appointment and getting ready for the RITA ceremony.
I've also gotten some nice, encouraging comments about this blog from several people. Folks who lurk and don't necessarily comment. I want to say that I appreciate those encouraging words more than you know. This hasn't been the easiest year for me, blogging-wise. I do think there is room out here for quirky, goofy little individual blogs like mine, but it's really easy to lose sight of that in the wake of Big Blogs and Promo, Promo, Promo. Blogging is different from what it was when I started doing this a billion years ago (OK, 12), but there's still value in being out here on the fringes. Which means like romance heroines being heroes of their own stories? I guess Wendy is the hero of her own blog.