**DISCLAIMER: There is an obnoxious amount of exclamation points in this post—but that is how RWA made me feel, so get over it.**
To see part 1 of my adventures at the Romance Writers of America national conference in Orlando, click here.
- I woke with a shot of adrenaline. “OMG—You’re teaching today!” So, I went over my PowerPoint again, fixed my links (don’t ask), and set out toward my designated room.
- When I got there, I realized I forgot the one thing they specifically told me I needed: a Mac LCD projector hookup thing-a-ma-jiggy. Fear not—I had left it in my room—however, I had to sprint down the escalator (you never realize how slow those things really are until you’re in a hurry), across the ginormous lobby, back to my wing of the Dolphin, up to the fifth floor, and then back again. In my adorable, but not-if-you-have-to-walk-in-them (and especially not-if-you-have-to-run-in-them) 3″ black heels.
- I cursed myself as I threw my computer bag this way and that, in search of the stupid plug (“Great—now, you’re going to be late, sweaty, and out of breath for your session!”).
- But all was well. Just got some blisters, but that’s it.
- And get this: People actually showed. A good amount of them—to see me! Or to see my session! Even though the Harlequin book signing (where NORA ROBERTS was signing), the Avon book signing (where MEG CABOT was AGAIN signing at a time I couldn’t see her—boo!), plus a ton of other fabulous sessions were going on at the same time! (All grammar nerds, no doubt!)
- And people wanted to hire me to edit their manuscripts! (Not that I don’t already do this—I do!—but it was great that folks liked me and what I had to say enough to want to entrust their babies to my care. That’s a huge deal!)
- So, I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening riding my session high—relieved things had gone well and ready to relax and enjoy the rest of the conference.
- We (Cambria, Kaylee, and I) went for sushi, and I had eel—unagi! Kaylee and I referenced the episode of Friends where Ross has “unagi,” and I fell in love just a little more with her. 😀 I ate California rolls (mmm!) with roe (<—ew, but whatever). I ate dragon rolls—with spicy tuna in them. Translation: I really lived on the edge that night!
- We took a hundred of pretty much the same three pictures (see above), in attempt to get the perfect one, and we ended up hanging out with Wendy Toliver again (yay!) and awesomesauce women’s fiction/nonfiction author Jenny Gardiner. During said hang-out, I revealed my not so secret fangirl crush on Meg Cabot and how I was super excited for the next morning, when I could finally meet her at her “chat” session.
- More pictures. More fun!
- I danced out of bed (yeah, not really), so thrilled about my first chosen session of the day—the moment I’d been waiting for (well, other than my session) was about to commence: “Chat with Meg Cabot”!
- I got to the room, and she was late . . . and I seriously thought to myself, God does not want me to see this woman for some reason. Woe is me! But then, we found out she was just doing her make up outside the room, and she arrived shortly before a panic attack ensued.
- She was fabulous. I don’t know how she does what she does—I really don’t! She basically talked and answered questions for an hour, and after that . . .
- . . . I got her to sign my Princess Diaries! And I took a picture with her!*
- I was dying. And all my friends made fun of me (in a loving way, of course) the rest of the day.
- Kaylee and I had a mound of fries for lunch and went to some fantastic sessions—I can’t wait to blog about them!—and publishers’ book signings (including one, where two agents, an editor, and an author simulated what happens in an acquisitions editorial meeting. Very eye-opening!).
- Exhausted, I thought I’d have a few hours before the 2011 RITA & Golden Hearts Awards Ceremony to pack up all my newly-acquired books, relax, and get ready. This was not exactly to be*, but I did eventually get my books packed and shipped.
- The RITA & Golden Hearts Awards Ceremony was inspirational. I teared up a lot of times, listening to the acceptance speeches, and it really made me feel like I was a part of something big. And important. And, most of all? It made me feel like this is really . . . possible.
- Afterward, I hung out in the lobby, took a million more pictures, and said my goodbyes to all the amazing folks I’d met throughout that week.
- And Cambria, Kaylee, and I made plans to room together next year. 🙂
*And then, some thing really sad happened, but that is for the next post.