Wednesday, August 02, 2006

RWA Nationals--Strike II

Okay, mes petites, I slept about twenty-four hours when I came home so I'm more coherent now. Note: more coherent. Ready to make my RWA Nationals report.

We'll start, as Maria von Trapp put it, at a very good place to start (it was Maria, right? Not someone else? I can't be expected to remember all that). The beginning. Well, not the very beginning, because that involves a nine hour flight with a baby who just wouldn't bloody shut up (this is the real reason they do not allow sharp items on planes, I fear) and an airport the size of Canada. Honestly, how they fit that into the state of Georgia is amazing. Timelord technology, I expect. I landed at 3.30pm, and got into a taxi at 5.20. Yep.

Anyway. While I'm milling endlessly around the Seventh Circle of Hell, otherwise known as Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International (even the name is too big), Amy texts me to say SK wants to take us out to dinner, and will I be ready by 6.30? You bet your Southern ass I will.

Me, Amy and Sheri. Like how I'm just callin' her Sheri there? Yeah. We're bestest friends now, 4eva and all that.

(something I kind of love about the South: how everyone's best friends with everyone by the time they've sold you a coffee. Over here we say 'hi' and 'thanks' and that's about it. Over there, you start with, 'Hi, how are you?' and end up being godmother to someone's child. Crazy.)

Anyway. My roommate Kim, better known as Kendra Clark, is a mate of Sherrilyn Kenyon's. They're in a local chapter together, roomed together at Moonight & Magnolias, and drove to Atlanta together. Sheri and Dianna Love Snell, and a bunch of assorted miscreants--I mean, writing professionals--took us out to dinner at an Italian place around the corner. Conversation flows freely, and then Kim mentions that she showed the Purple Prose Parody Amy and I wrote to Sheri.

Kim and I, before I smacked her upside the head for telling SK about the parody. Do I not look awesome in this pic? I look like someone else, that's why.

Just for those of you who don't know, our parody was entitled Widget Bones's Diary and was a crossover between Sheri's Dark Hunters and Bridget Jones. Poor Widget, the most incapable DH there ever was, is trapped in an eternity of powder-blue sweats and high heels. Don't ask.

So we were mildly mortified that Sheri was aware of it. Let alone read it. But then she said, "Did you tell them I wanted to put it in the Companion?"

The what, says we? I'm thinking it's a section of the labrynthine Hunter website. How cool is that?

"It's like the Dark Hunter bible," she says. "With bios and everything. Can I put Widget in there?"

After they'd picked me up off the floor, I of course said yes. Widget's gonna be in the bible!

Okay, enough of that. Other, conferencey stuff also occurred. I popped off to one of Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayers' workshops. By God, they're funny. The best double act I've seen in a long time. I was really miffed I had to leave the workshop early, but I had a luncheon to go to. My chapter, Passionate Ink, was celebrating its first anniversary with a luncheon (too posh to be called a lunch) at the Georgia Aquarium. The ballroom had a viewing window with these gorgeous beluga whales dancing and posing for us. They were adorable.

Beluga whale--and also some fishy things in a tank.

The lunch was fantastic--well, the veggie option consisted of a slice or two of vegetables and a piece of tofu, but then Americans seem to take a dim view of those freaks who don't eat red meat--the speeches were hilarious. Unintentionally so, I think, because when the speaker from Joyfully Reviewed said, "We love male/male erotica because we get two pairs of gorgeous pecs, two sets of gorgeous abs, and two delicious cocks," the waiter nearly poured coffee all over the table.

The Golden Heart awards ceremony was a blast. Last year's received heavy criticism, and rightly so, I think, because it went on too long, the venue was too small to hold all the attendees, and the video footage shown before each award was rather tactless. This year, there were only a few segments of video footage, all from films and TV, all depicting writers and publishing (does anyone know what that Australian film with Hugh Jackman is? Because, hoo mama). Nora Roberts emcee'd, Sheri and Jenny Crusie presented awards (okay, a lot of people did, but I love SK and JC) and the nice lady I sat next to at lunch on Thursday won her third Rita, which opens the doors of the RWA Hall of Fame to her.

Sheri, me and Kim at the GH ceremony--in the VIP section, if you please.

Dianna Love Snell also won a Rita, for her first book no less. I swear she was floating six inches off the ground all evening. I think her husband was floating, too. You never saw anyone so proud. It was quite adorable.

Dianna Love Snell and Sheri. Note the shiny Rita? I'm gonna get me one of those.

At the dessert reception afterwards, we found out what it's like to be a famous author. Crossing the lobby from the awards ceremony to the reception should have taken less than a minute. Actually, it took nearly twenty, because every five paces someone stopped Sheri to tell her how much they idolised her. Kim and I decided she's better at handling it than either of us would be. Note to all fans: when I'm a multi-million-dollar bestseller, just email me, 'k? All this gushing in person is just embarrassing.

Well, okay. Maybe a little gushing.


  1. Anonymous6:37 pm

    You look MAWVELOUS! And YAY on the BIBLE! How awesome is that? It's just beyond awesome, isn't it?

    VIPs yeah, it was funny how everytime Sherri left, someone tried to make us move! LOL

    Did they not know who they were dealing with?? *snort*

    Evidentally they did ROTF!

    It was LOTS of fun and I hope to go next year.

  2. I enjoyed meeting you Cat!

    Hope to see you again at another one...maybe when you're holding a RITA!!