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Okay, another book is done. Pippin and Dash have their story. And I am no longer chained to my office and computer. I’ve spent the last few days blinking owlishly at the world and of course, shopping for RWA’s national conference in San Francisco next week. Shoes, a couple of new dresses, makeup, the usual stuff. I asked my editor if she stresses about going to conference and what to wear, then we laughed over it, because she actually has her work clothes, so for her the clothes aren’t the problem, but apparently getting all her shoes in the suitcase can be a bit tricky.

Now for me, clothes are the problem. And the shoes (more of a lack of than too many) and don’t even venture into my poor selection of makeup. And since I can’t wear my standard Target issued Mommy wear to Nationals, hence I have to shop, something I liken to going to the dentist or having a pap smear, or both at the same time. You know what I mean by Mommy wear–the bleach stained jeans and ratty t-shirts, which are my usual daily wear. I’m afraid I’m not one of those carpool moms (CPMs for short) who heads out to school with her car full of children with properly packed lunches, their homework double checked and her face perfectly made up . . . just in case another CPM wants to meet up at 909 or Starbucks for skinny soy lattes. No, I’m the one who’s late, the kids have some semblance of lunch (God, I hope they do) and their homework is somewhere on the greater North American continent. So they aren’t pressed and ironed, but they know their geography, all from me saying, “Where the hell is your homework?”

But I digress, and I still have nothing to wear. Whatever I wore last year became my standard issue for everything else I did over the last twelve months and I’ve worn it into a frazzle. So it is time to reload. I wish I had been born with that shopping gene, but it missed me entirely and instead I drag myself through the stores with my list of events and things I need to attend and consider what I want to wear for each–business casual, business formal, dressy, some mix of whatever I can get away with. I shouldn’t stress over this, but I do, so there it is.

In the end, I go to Nationals, hunker down with friends and get all caught up, drink lattes and chat, go to parties and feel awkward, go to parties and discover a long lost friend. And when I come home full of all sorts of ideas, and inspiration, and memories, I really never remember what I was wearing. Expect perhaps for the new shoes . . . if they’ve left my feet all blistered. But I always remember my friends and how good it is to see them.

How is your closet? Good to go or like mine?

15 comments to “Whew!”

  1. Emily
    July 22nd, 2008 at 4:07 pm · Link

    WHAT?! We can’t wear Target-issued Mommy wear to conference? You mean I can’t take meetings in my yoga pants? Uh-oh.

    Just kidding… kind of. I totally hear you on this: “Whatever I wore last year became my standard issue for everything else I did over the last twelve months and I’ve worn it into a frazzle” Indeed!

    I meet with you first thing in the morning on Thursday, though. I will be dressed up as I have seven meetings following. But I hearby expempt you from anything fancier or requiring more thought than comfy-comfy writer-wear. Extra points if it’s all from Target!

    See you next week!

  2. kris
    July 22nd, 2008 at 4:52 pm · Link

    My goal for national this year is to go carry-on only. Yes, you heard me. And I’m staying a long time – Sunday to Monday. But I have my plan and my mix & match clothes and my travel clothesline, and I want to give it a shot.

    As for needing to shop before the conference, well, as one of my friends put it so well, “National is the only reason romance writers ever buy new underwear.”

  3. Diane
    July 22nd, 2008 at 7:38 pm · Link

    I generally shop once a year, when I’m home in the States. In Pakistan its been rather casual — it’s so hot, 106 degrees today and it’s gotta be 100% humidity. But in Australia I’ll be working in the Ambassador’s office, so I’ve got to up the wardrobe — find some new suits — my old ones are caught between don’t fit anymore and too hot. But I still hate shopping, except for books, I’ll haunt the bookstores and libraries (Renton and King Co.) while I’m home.

  4. Elizabeth
    July 23rd, 2008 at 7:57 am · Link

    No, Emily, Target issued “home office” finery is a dead giveaway. Remember we have to project wealth, sophistication, a sense of awe as we trip, er, walk through the lobby. Me, I’ll just take a good sense of pulled together. Makeup on straight.

    Kris, carry on? My friend Darcy does it every year, she is the queen of carry on. But don’t forget the toiletry limits when going through security. I saw them make an old lady unload all of her brand new full sized Estee Lauder product into the trash can. I nearly wept, she was just infuriated.

    Diane, I’ve got some suggestions for you for some good places to shop while you are home that I’ve found which are real good, not overly expensive and should do the trick. Oh, you fancy girl in the Ambassador’s office! How cool.

  5. Christina Arbini
    July 23rd, 2008 at 8:42 am · Link

    Well, I’ve discovered during my organizing for packing for National, that apparently I’ll be easy to spot throughout the conference. I’ll be the one pretty nearly decked out in all black the entire time. LOL! Where did I get so much black clothing? You’d think I was either in perpetual mourning or a vampire. Oooh, did I just give away my secret? 😉

  6. Melissa Mc
    July 23rd, 2008 at 11:20 am · Link

    I’m so with you Elizabeth on the clothes thing. Unfortunately I can’t exactly wear my climbing clothes (stretchy nylon capris and tanks) which I live in at home to SF. Though I actually bought a dress last night on the clearance rack at Target and a pair of flats there to match it. I plan on wearing them at the conference! Just need to find a sweater to go with it though I might just use my jean jacket. Now to figure out what else I’ll wear for the other days. Of course we’re leaving on Friday and I got the worst highlight job you’ve ever seen. I should have known better. I’m going to try and get it fixed today. Otherwise I’ll see if I can find a salon in the Bay Area. Like I have time for that and shopping plus revisions are due. Did I mention we’re leaving Friday. At 4 am.

  7. Diane
    July 23rd, 2008 at 7:27 pm · Link

    Elizabeth, I’ll call you when I’m home to find out those places to shop. I leave Pakistan in 3 weeks!!!!!

  8. Elizabeth
    July 24th, 2008 at 7:19 am · Link

    Okay, word to all: If you bump into a black hole at conference, just say, “Hi Christina!”

    And Melissa, I feel the hair pain. I’ve had this new guy cutting my hair and he just doesn’t get it. Going in for a fix cut this morning. My husband was like, “How much shorter can you go?” Short enough to fix this, I suppose. At least I don’t have revisions due–those will all come after conference on two books back to back.

    Diane, stay safe! Looking forward to seeing you soon. BTW, has anyone warned Australia?

  9. Shannon McKelden
    July 24th, 2008 at 11:44 am · Link

    You and I must have been separated at birth. I could have written that exact same blog and posted it on mine and no one would know the difference. UGH to picking clothes to wear at conference! Shopping? Double UGH.

    Shannon – who is nevertheless psyched about the conference! See you there!

  10. Haven Rich
    July 26th, 2008 at 4:45 pm · Link

    Elizabeth, I could SO shop for you! I’m a split personality shopper. I have three wardrobes.

    Home: PJs, jammies and nightshirts. Seriously, it’s what I love to wear at home.

    Going anywhere public: Cute capris with fashionable tops and always have awesome shoes.

    Conference/Business/Formal: This ranges in could-go-to-church to where’s-my-RITA. Oh and if you ever need formals, call me! I always tend to get them for like $15-$30 from Dillards! I always catch them during sales.

    And I have one pair of summer sandals and the rest are heels (typically a type of platform-ish heel). This could be why Zappos is my favorite shoe place. BTW, I’m a shoe whore lol.

    Maybe next year I can show off my finery hehe.

  11. Netti
    July 27th, 2008 at 4:42 am · Link

    OK ~ my theory is this. Author’s are creative, a type of Artist… Just let everyone think your the “typical artist” and eccentric … so very hard for anyone to argue with being eccentric ~ most find themselves at a loss for words with regards to that 😀 Then you can wear whatever you like and nothing can be said about it, all they can say is “she’s just eccentric” *G*

  12. Elizabeth
    July 27th, 2008 at 9:37 am · Link

    Netti, unfortunately I’m eccentric enough without having to try. It’s that desire to look all pressed and pulled together that just kills me!

    Haven, you would love the hotel for SF–it is in the middle of shopping heaven.

    Shannon, we just have to believe that we were designed for a higher order than shopping, at least that is what I am telling myself.

  13. Haven Rich
    July 27th, 2008 at 12:31 pm · Link

    Then it’s probably for the best that I’m not going. My husband’s bank account is thankful hehe.

  14. Misty Lipe
    July 27th, 2008 at 3:49 pm · Link

    I hope all of you have a great time. I am not one that is cut out for the whole dress up thing, My kids think that a white shirt is actually a towel, I don’t think I have seen anything white (and stay that way) in 9 years. The one dress that I have that you might say was formal has never been worn, hmmm… and Don’t get me started on shoes. I AM NOT a gifted shopper, if I shop my sisters is with me and does it for me. I am all about the mommy wear and I think that being on time is highly over rated. As for homework, What Homework?

  15. Michelle
    August 1st, 2008 at 4:11 pm · Link

    I feel like such an idiot! I asked Elizabeth who Pippen’s hero was going to be and it was right there on the blog the whole time!! My eyes must have gotten so excited to see Pippen that it totally skipped over Dash! I can’t believe it’s Dash. I thought it was a fake lead-up because how is that ever going to work?? I CAN’T WAIT!

    As for clothes, I can’t do it for myself. I think in actuallity, since I’ve “grown” a bit, I live vicariously through my 3 daughters. They are always cute a button. Good thing I am always the one BEHIND the camera.

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