The 2010 RWA conference was a blast. If you hopped over to M & M for a craft tip or for inspiration today, in the words of Rob Thomas…..forget about it! I partied so hard, slept 12 hours last night (still need more) and there is no way intelligent stuff is coming out of this mouth (or fingers) today. So I decided to journal the four days of the conference, starting with my arrival at the Orlando airport on Wednesday.
As we taxied to the terminal, we could see lightening close by and it was pouring down rain. I smiled to myself thinking I was one of the lucky ones who wouldn’t be stuck waiting for the storm to pass.
Wrong, Kimosabe! Apparently, airports now worry a little about their crew people on the ground. Imagine that!! They closed the airport and wouldn’t let anybody go near the runway. I sat in the terminal for over an hour and a half waiting on my luggage, thinking a little lightning through a baggage-handler's body wasn’t that big of a deal when I had places to be and people to see!
I finally got to the hotel and was able to register without a hitch since everyone else was already there with the exception of the poor souls still circling the airport.
Wednesday night was spent meeting people and the Literacy signing. I met some of the Book Cents Babes (Clients of Christine Witthohn) including the one voted “most easily to hate”. I say that because the woman took ONE craft class, wrote one frickin’ book, won her first contest, got an agent, finaled in the Golden Heart and sold a three-book series in a matter of six weeks. (Waving at Rochelle) Unfortunately, after getting to know her, I still hate her …..not. Who could hate anyone who shuns all carbs like they were full of Ebola, then downs a humongous plate of French Fries?
Anyway, everyone was still in "be on your best behavior” mode, so there was no real drama that night.
Thursday, I went to a few workshops (The Grammar Divas were the bomb! I’m going to try to get them to guest blog sometimes soon.) That night, we met Doug McKeon, the Hollywood screen writer and producer who was a part of the workshop with Christine Witthohn and our own Kari Townsend titled, "Selling to NY and Catching Hollywood’s Eye.” I was expecting a man who was all caught up in his successes and was pleasantly surprised to find one who could have been my neighbor at a BBQ with me. He was so genuine and down to earth, my next goal is to write something he might be interested in (like Kari did.)
Have I mentioned he does a mean shooter, too? After the BC dinner, we discovered the Japanese Karaoke bar in the basement of the hotel!!
Yep, you heard me right. Sushi and Karaoke. The Book Cents Babes, complete with a few friends and an amazing group of Canadians we met shimmied up to the bar where we did shooters to celebrate my first sale along with fellow BC Babe, Anita Clenney’s first sale. (Just for the record, Anita, affectionately hereby referred to as the wussy, didn’t do a shooter. However, in her defense, she did send her brave CP up to the bar in her place. Hey, Dana!!) Anyway, the waiter lined up nine DOUBLE tequila shots on the bar with a cup of limes and a salt shaker that would have been best used at a table full of munchkins. Have I mentioned I am a Texan??
I pulled out a big-ass shaker with Margarita salt from my purse, and we all primed the area by our thumbs. Then we slung one back and sucked on the lime. OMG!! Now it's official. I sold three books.
Kari's workshop Friday morning was fabulous, BTW.
Friday, I went to my first Berkley cocktail party and met a whole slew of wonderful Berkley authors and industry people. For the first time, I think it hit me how very lucky I am to have been at the right place with the right manuscript with the right fabulous agent pushing for me.
After the party…you guessed it… we hit the karaoke bar again. After one margarita (it was a sissy one) Kari, Danielle Bronson and I did a rousing rendition of “Proud Mary” complete with me pulling up my pants leg and hopping across the stage in true Tina Turner fashion. (What I wouldn’t give for her gams!!) Kari. Danielle and Barbie Jo Witek continued to sing a few more and really made me proud!! Sending a shout out to all my new Canuck friends who were there again on Friday …Corrine, Lucy and all the others. I discovered writers are a lot of fun when you get them away from their everyday lives. They metamorph into their characters, some even imagining they are Tina Turner!!
We closed down the bar at 2 am.
Saturday was the Awards dinner and we all cleaned up rather nicely. Congrats to all the finalists out there whether you won or not. It was huge that you actually got to sit at those front tables and see your faces on the same big screen as Nora Roberts'. I applaud each and every one of you.
When it was over, we decided we would go to the karaoke bar for an hour or so. Are you seeing a pattern here? There was a group of us and we picked up more on the way. (A shout out to the Utah and/or Alaska girls I met with Tiffanie) After a few more drinks, all of us (yes I said all, even Christine) went up on stage and sang our hearts out to Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together.” We even had a young man who wanted desperately to be part of our group (or any female group for that matter) come up on stage with us to wiggle his hips. There was one grandma in the crowd who thought she needed to show him how dirty dancing was really done – not mentioning any names, but I am still sore!!
And again we closed down the bar.
Anyway, long story short, Nationals was a blast this year, and if I ever consider giving up my membership in RWA again, somebody slap me. Next year, we are getting shirts dedicated to our shooter nights to celebrate YOUR (insert name here)sale. It will say LICK...DRINK...SUCK on the front and PUKE on the back! (There was no actual upchucking in Orlando.)
And that was my 2010 RWA conference. To everyone who couldn’t make it, we missed you. I will post pictures later. I had so much fun meeting all the BC Babes (Tiffanie, Michelle, Kari, Barbie, Rochelle, Anita, Danielle (who jumped into the fountain in true FRIENDS fashion), Gail, Leigh, and Yahrah) my fellow M & M pal, Mary Martinez, my DARA friends, my GIAM friends, new friends, Regina and Dana, my CP Joni who is now a BC Babe ……………..Yippee, and all my friends in RWA including the new ones I met this conference.
Do you notice a definite lack of workshop attendance here????????????