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:~: Monday, July 31, 2006 :~:

In Recovery Mode

I'm sure most everyone who went to the RWA National Convention in Atlanta last week is doing the same thing I am today - recovering. It was fun, exciting, overwhelming and exhausting all at the same time. Anytime you get 2000+ romance writers together in one place, it's bound to be an adventure to remember.

Log on to just about any romance writer's blog and you'll find a plethora of recounts of the week. Allison Brennan's chatting about the highlights, the zany girls at Writeminded are sharing pictures and stories, those scary women at Murder She Writes are recapping the nitty-gritty insider info, and The Wet Noodle Posse (who, by the way, had a great run at the Rita's) has a recount of who won what and when. So instead of rehashing all of what's already been said, I'm going to share my personal never-forget-moments from the week:

(And I apologize...blogger doesn't seem to want to upload all my photos, so I'll keep trying on that.)

1. The Literacy signing. I missed it last year in Reno because I flew in too late. I didn't miss it this year. It was definitely one of the highlights. Chatting with and meeting face-to-face some of my favorite authors like Cindy Gerard, Roxanne St. Claire and Allison Brennan (who I've already met but had fun talking to again anyway).

Me with Allison Brennan

2. Meeting Karin Tabke. Karin is just like she is on her blogs - funny and honest and the nicest person you've ever met. She's also really tall and really pretty. And she's so totally genuine, she'll talk to you about anything you want to know. Karin is now on my auto-buy list just because she's such a great person.

3. Pitching to Tracy Farrell at HQN. I hate pitching, and I'm usually a nervous wreck at these things, but Tracy was so easy to talk to, it didn't feel like a pitch session at all. I'm sure there are some really fabulous editors out there to work with. Tracy Farrell's got to be one of them.

4. Going to a gay karaoke bar with The Wet Noodle Posse. So much fun I almost peed my pants!

5. Learning that my dear friend and roommate, Alice Sharpe, hit the Waldenbooks top 10 list with her June Intrigue release, My Sister, Myself, while we were at the conference!

6. Sitting up-front at the Rita's. Since I was Joan's stand in for the RS category of the GH, I got to sit right up front and hob-knob with the almost-rich and very-often famous. Even got to sit next to Suzanne Enoch who was up for a Rita in the historical category. It was cool, but nerve-wracking too. I was sweating bullets and it wasn't even my manuscript up for review!

7. But the best, very best thing about the conference was coming home charged about writing. So charged I can't wait to sit at the computer and pound out the chapters. After, of course, I get some sleep. :)

There were moments where I was completely overwhelmed, so tired I couldn't even think straight, ready to get it over with and get home. But above everything, there was this feeling of camaraderie, an excitement in the air about what we're all doing. Most romance writers are just everyday women who want to talk about what they love. And the best ones are willing to share their knowledge and experiences with the rest of us. Over and over, I was struck by the fact those great big names, the writers we all aspire to be, didn't have to be at that conference. But they were there anyway. The spirit of "giving back" to an organization that has helped so many make it, is an electrifying thing.

So to those of you who didn't go to Atlanta this year, who came up with excuses about why you couldn't attend, I have only four words for you:


You have to go to Dallas. You just have to.


Blogger Jill Monroe said...

I was going to hit that bar with my wet noodle posse sisters. I could just kick myself for missing it after your description!

8:46 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Nice to have you back, E. I missed you! And lots of hugs and kisses for handling that important duty of sitting in the finalist hot seat for me!! I owe you big time!! XOXO

9:22 PM  
Blogger Colleen Gleason said...

Hey Elisabeth! We're so glad you joined the Posse at Gilbert's! Thanks for rounding out our group.

Can't wait to party with you in Dallas next year!

2:11 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Jill - so sorry you missed it. It was definitely a fun night.

Joan - I had a ball. Seriously. Sitting up front was a real treat, and I was nervous as heck for you. I can't imagine how nervous I'd be if were MY manuscript.

Colleen - it was great to meet you, too! I had a ball watching all of you sing. However, there isn't enough alcohol on the planet to get me up on that stage. :)

5:24 PM  
Blogger Suzanne Enoch said...

Elisabeth! I meant to thank you for not laughing at my pre-Rita category ritual (with my roomie Karen Hawkins) of "okay, don't faint, don't faint."

I'm usually much more personable than that. Really. I swear. *g*

Suzanne Enoch

9:06 AM  
Blogger Allison Brennan said...

I had a blast! It was great to see you again Elisabeth. And you're so right about Karin. She's very honest and down to earth which is why I love her :)

12:16 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Suzanne - thanks so much for stopping by! And don't worry, I thought your little ritual at the Rita's was sweet. I was just as nervous for you. Heck, I was nervous for everyone around me! It was great to meet you at the literacy signing, and I'm looking forward to Sam & Rick's third book this fall. :)

Allison - loved your "time killer" at the KOD chocolate party. You were great. :)

1:50 PM  
Blogger Karin Tabke said...

my ears were buring and now I know why!
Elisabeth, it was wonderful meeting you. Your picks don't do you justice. I want your smile!

2:15 PM  

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