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Monday, July 31, 2006

Thursday - RWA National

Another day, another appearance in time for lunch. Yes, I know, but I don't wake up early at conference, not since 2000 when I was a first timer and was determined to go to a workshop every hour. The luncheon speaker today was Meg Cabot. She was funny and gave us breath spray which I actually carted home. I also packed her books to mail home because she was so entertaining. I loved her story about meeting Julie Andrews and getting totally flustered!

Jodi Thomas was at our table and was very kind and gracious. I felt like an idiot later when I found out she was a RITA nominee. Blush. I would have congratulated her if I'd known. BTW, Ms Thomas won her third RITA in the same category on Saturday night and became a member of RWA's Hall of Fame. Congratulations!

After lunch, I made a run through the goody room to see if my bookmarks needed replenishing--I know, but last year all the Crimson Veil bookmarks disappeared. There were plenty of bookmarks left--probably because some very rude person put a big basket of her giveaways in front of mine. Um, excuse me? I would never do that to someone else and I found it very inconsiderate that this person did it to me. Karma, baby. What goes around, comes around. Never forget that the universe keeps track.

So I dig my watch out of my purse, look at the time and it's only a few minutes until 1pm. Wow, I think, that lunch really was short. I don't remember a speaker ever getting us out that quick. With plenty of time before I was supposed to meet one of my friends at 2pm, I strolled up to the room. It's as I'm trying to decide what to do with the next hour that I see the alarm clock in the room. It's 2pm! Yikes! Yes, I forgot to move my watch onto Eastern Time. Luckily, I was only a few minutes late.

Of course, my friend and I talked for way too long and then I ran into another Dorchester author and talked to her. I was supposed to be at the Editor of the Year reception from PASIC at 5pm and I'd heard they were going to do the awarding of the title early in the reception because people had to go elsewhere. Once again, I spent another frantic 15 or 20 minutes racing around the room to get ready.

I made it on time, ran into one of my editors, Leah, and my agent. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say they spotted me because I was standing inside the door, looking the other direction. Of course, one of the first things I told them was about Crimson Veil's win in the Booksellers' Best Awards. Ask anyone I ran into last week and they'll tell you that was something I mentioned early and often. What can I say? I was excited. I just pray I didn't have anyone thinking I was a hopeless braggert.

Anyway, it was really funny. I ended up with my agent and two of my editors vying to buy me a drink. :-) Chris won. (Or lost as the case may be since he had to give up a drink ticket.) Isn't it cool that they all wanted to celebrate with me that much? I thought it was really nice and it's great to work with such wonderful people!

After the reception, my roommate and I went to dinner and then it was on to the Daphne Awards. I think my editor and I are not going to be allowed to sit next to each other at one of these things ever again--even if we did have fun. Until I realized not only did I have to go up on stage to accept my certificate, but that if you come in first or second, you're expected to give a speech. I figured I wouldn't finish first, that my run of luck had ended the night before, and sure enough, I was right. I got an honorable mention. At least I didn't have to talk. Unfortunately, I did have to get a picture taken. Sigh. I loathe pictures and I don't understand why people insist on taking shots of me.

My roommate ducked out on me and I felt bad about that. She didn't know anyone there and I think I spent too much time talking to everyone. I ended up going to the bar with a group from Dorchester, but it was like 150 degrees up there and when sweat started running down my back and my arms (I was wearing a blazer), I called it a night. Did I mention it was HOT in Atlanta?

I didn't make it to my room, though. I ran into one of the RBLs and went into the other bar with her. That's where I met Dianna Love Snell, although in the noise of the bar, I didn't catch her name and discovered who she was when she won a RITA Saturday night. She was so nice and gracious, telling me about a book tour she went on with Sherri Kenyon. Unfortunately, I didn't run into Sherri during the conference and I'm sorry about that. She's one of the nicest women of all time and I absolutely adore her.

I didn't last too long in this bar either. It was only about 130 degrees here, but it was still bad enough to make sweat run down my body. I was fanning myself with my Daphne Honorable Mention certificate and trying not to let sweat run into my eyes.

That was the end of my night. I headed back up to the room, drank about a gallon of ice water because I was so hot, and wiped all the makeup off my face. What was left of it anyway since most of it must have melted off by then. And then I struggled with another night of insomnia. I didn't sleep more than a couple of hours any night at the conference and that was so not fun.

Again, no spell check. Sigh.