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I Wasn't the Only One

I’ve found myself having a hard time coming down from the conference this week. I just didn’t want the fun and energy to stop. To prolong the love, I’ve been reading everyone else’s posts about the SF RWA conference and thought I’d share them, along with extending my own posts about the conference:

My First Time – Oh, get your mind out the gutter, it wasn’t that first time. But it seemed to be a lot of folks first time at conference, including Abi at Waxcreative, Ciara Stewart (who, BTW, for someone who went for the first time and claims to be shy, well, folks that girl rocked the conference with her networking and smarts) as well as Rachael, who I found through RavelryPreview Β» and her very cool sweater and I swear I met her at conference, or maybe it was at the yarn shop. I remember my first conference (Chicago in the early 90s) and wish I’d had half these women’s savvy and coolness. I was such a nerd back then.

Also in this category is author Joanne Bourne, (The Spymaster’s Lady, My Lord and Spymaster) who was having her very first booksigning at the Literacy signing. She confided in me before the mayhem started that she was nervous that no one would come by to see her. I just laughed because we’ve all heard the buzz about her wonderful books, and people, I’ve done this for a, ahem, few years, and I knew she’d be just fine. Notice the line of people that NEVER went away the entire signing. Watch this lady–her books are great and readers know it.

But beside the blogs out there, I’ve been cleaning up the suitcase, which always comes home a jumbled mess, and sifting through photos and emails and notes from folks and smiling as everyone shares their thanks and hellos and well, the love that comes with being with so many smart, wonderful ladies.

My New Glasses – I’ve gone for years wearing contacts and hating them. They are a pain in the patootie, IMHO. So last year, I ditched them in favor of glasses and finally got around to getting new glasses. I have to say that a lot of people didn’t recognize me. It was sort of hilarious to walk past someone you’ve known for years and say “Hi!” and have them do the double take as if to say “Who the heck was that?!” Also hindering my incognito status was the short do, instead of the big mane of unruly hair. So thanks to Christina Arbini for snapping this photo at the signing.

Hand Knits – You might also notice the sweater I am wearing which I knit in 5 days before conference. It was fun to wear, but more fun was that whenever I was wearing the handknits (this one and a black one I managed as well to get done before conference) I ended up meeting tons and tons of fellow romance writers/knitters. Sort of like big wooly flair, if you know what I mean. I discovered my agent knits as well. Always knew she was good people.

Friends – What is the point of all this if coming to conference isn’t about seeing the friends? I had to laugh when I ran into Melissa McClone in line for the Avon signing. I grabbed her up and made her cut the line, telling her if anyone asks, “You’re my assistant.” She laughed, was a good sport and then promptly ditched me for Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I was feeling the love and didn’t blame her in the least. (Check out Melissa’s conference diary reports–she had as much or more fun than I did!)

I had lunch with Laura Lee Guhrke, caught up with Nicole Burnham, yakked with Abi Bowling from Waxcreative, and then totally muffed my category when I presented the RITA for Best Paranormal. Jinxed myself by earlier in the day saying with all my usual humility, “Oh, presenting is so easy.” Until you have to say Kara Cesera. Three times. And screw it up each time. Sigh. At least I didn’t trip.

But the best part was sitting next to Julia Quinn as she won the RITA for the second year in the row. I will humbly say I am her good luck charm. And like last year, I got the picture of her new RITA riding home in style.

PS – I also came home with a bunch of books and goodies that I have no room for. My overstuffed closet is your gain because between now and August 25th, I’m having a blog contest and someone will win a box of conference goodies. Just leave a comment. More on the loot and contest on Monday.

19 comments to “I Wasn't the Only One”

  1. cheryl c.
    August 7th, 2008 at 6:17 pm · Link

    The conference sounds like it was a lot of fun! I have visited various author blogs this week, and I have enjoyed all the pictures posted. It was fun seeing authors dressed up and having a good time reconnecting with friends and making new ones. Do you try to go every year?

  2. therese
    August 7th, 2008 at 10:30 pm · Link

    I love the new glasses and haircut and would have been happy to be your “assistant” if it meant getting to San Fran.

    Be careful not to jinx yourself the next time you present or tripping may happen….

    Rita looks pleased with the quality of her leather carrying case….

  3. Lois
    August 8th, 2008 at 5:33 am · Link

    Seeing all the pics and stories on all the blogs. . . I definitely wish I was there!!! πŸ™‚ And I sure wish I can grab some of those bookmarks and pens that are on your table there through cyberspace. πŸ˜‰


  4. Elizabeth
    August 8th, 2008 at 8:02 am · Link

    Cheryl, Most years. I wasn’t planning on going the next two years, but think I might go to Washington DC, because there is so much to see and do there. However the next year is Nashville, and the conference hotel is out from town, so that doesn’t sound all that appealing at all. I love being able to stay in the middle of a big city with lots and lots of things to see and do, it really fuels the creativity and is exciting–compared to being in my office at home most days. So it isn’t something a writer must do every day, IMHO, but if it is someplace you love to go, then it is a great excuse to travel.

  5. Elizabeth
    August 8th, 2008 at 8:03 am · Link

    Therese, I deliberately wore my most “trippy” shoes to the RITA practice and then wore my old dependables for the actual presenting.

  6. Ciara
    August 8th, 2008 at 8:25 am · Link

    Ha. What can I do but channel Carol Burnett and sing “I’ve always been SHY! I confess that I’m SHY! Can’t you guess that this confident air is a mask that I wear ’cause I’m shy?” πŸ˜‰

    I can’t believe Joanna Bourne thought no one would stop by her table. She had sold out of MY LORD AND SPYMASTER before I even arrived! (fortunately she had more at the Berkley signing a few days later. *phew*) She’s brilliant.

    I’m going to knit something for next years conference. Perhaps a RITA dress? lol. maybe not.

    It was great to see you! I’m sad you won’t be at Emerald City. See you next year in DC.

  7. Diane O'Neal
    August 8th, 2008 at 10:04 am · Link

    New books to try, I haven’t heard of Joanna Bourne, but I’m gonna buy them when i get home. I’m going to get your new book after I get to Seattle so I can get it signed before sending to Oz.

    Sounds like you had a great time at the Conference. I always enjoyed them when I went.

    See you in a month or so. 4 days and a wake up!

  8. Julia Quinn
    August 8th, 2008 at 2:51 pm · Link

    ABSOLUTELY you are my good luck charm! Didn’t you notice how I dragged you out of your preassigned seat to sit with me???


    P.S. Rita’s quill got way bent on the way home, but last year’s is still nice and perky.

  9. Elizabeth
    August 8th, 2008 at 4:22 pm · Link

    My RITA quill snapped off years ago, even though I was warned about how fragile they were.

    And I loved how politely you asked me to come sit with you, JQ. (it was sort of, “Hey Boyle, get over here.” No, really, she was very polite about dragging me from my assigned, do-not-move-except-upon-pain-of-death presenter’s seat. I risked death so Julia Quinn could win, I’ll have you know.

  10. Kaitlin
    August 8th, 2008 at 8:46 pm · Link

    Came over to your blog from Ciara’s. πŸ™‚ I’ve never been to any type of conference before and admit that even though I’m shy, I’d be talking everyone’s ear off. I think that’s how I compensate. πŸ™‚

    I’m glad you had a great time though. That’s always the most important thing. πŸ˜€

  11. Melissa Mc
    August 9th, 2008 at 12:44 am · Link

    I will be your assistant any day, Elizabeth!

    And don’t forget I did get your book before I dashed over to SEP!

    Not sure if I told you, but I had to sign an Avon release form after they filmed me getting a book from Kinley MacGregor, too.

  12. Karen H in NC
    August 9th, 2008 at 5:58 am · Link

    I’ve been a stranger here lately. Making a list of my favorite bloggers that I MUST start visiting again on a daily basis. You, of course, are on that list. Don’t it warm your heart to be on someone’s list?

    Anyway, sounds like you had a terrific time at RWA in SF this year. Did I hear right that the ’09 RWA will be held in Washington DC? If so, that would be great because DC is only about 4 hours away from me. I would love the opportunity to finally attend and meet my favorite authors.

    Can’t wait for Borders to send out my pre-ordered copy of your next book…that cover is so hot…love it.

    BTW, love the new glasses too! And a big congrats to Julia Quinn (another of my favorites) on her RITA win!! Have her newest on pre-order too…October is a long way off.

  13. LynneW
    August 9th, 2008 at 7:44 am · Link

    Five Days? You knit that beautiful sweater in Five Days? I am in total awe!

    Sorry I missed the signing this year; it sounds like it was fabulous!

  14. KristinW
    August 9th, 2008 at 6:07 pm · Link

    Nationals is always such a trip. Energizing and exhausting at the same time. I walked by your table at the booksigning, but you had a loooooong line. lol.

  15. Elizabeth
    August 11th, 2008 at 10:38 am · Link

    Kristin, that wasn’t a line for me, but for Joanne Bourne. Really. I just looked really busy. πŸ™‚

  16. catslady
    August 11th, 2008 at 11:17 am · Link

    I’ve really enjoyed all the blogs talking about the conference. Almost like we’re there.

  17. aliquis
    August 11th, 2008 at 9:35 pm · Link

    I’ve been hearing such wonderful things about the conference – and you *must* be Julia Quinn’s good luck charm ;).
    I am beyond impressed with your knitting skills! All I can make are scarves.

  18. Nathalie
    August 12th, 2008 at 2:15 pm · Link

    I have to say… the statue is stunning!

    It must be great to win on such a big event!

  19. Kimmy L
    August 24th, 2008 at 1:43 pm · Link

    Love the new glasses. They look great on you. I wished I could go to some of these conferences and bring home some great books. I would be in heaven.


  1. I’m shy! « Ciaralira
  2. Waxcreative Design Blog » The RWA Conference - My first time (Part Two)

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