Almost Like Being There

Time for me to add the “Not at RT” tag to my entries, because it’s that time of year again, Romantic Times Book Reviews’ annual conference.  When I first started this post, I began to blog about not being at RWA Nationals, but then remembered that’s in July, so I was missing out on something else entirely.  I am going to take this as a sign that my head is in the books, and thus other things are going to slip out through the cracks.

The conference hangover is still strong from NECRWA, and my tea is from my lovely gift basket, its gorgeous peacock themed box now in its place of honor in my office. I’m working on two historicals at the moment, and some only-for-fun writing that serves no purpose but to make me happy on the side. Today, I have the apartment to myself, and am taking advantage of some excellent advice from the very talented K.A. Mitchell. In her presentation to CRRWA a few months back, she gave two gems: open the file, and change your seat. Maybe not in that particular order, but they work. I’m not stuck today, but got the urge to change my seat anyway, so am now seated at the kitchen counter. I don’t write at the counter much, but it’s a beautifully overcast day, the window that gives me a view of our neighbor’s window is open enough to catch a breeze and I’ll have a front row seat to the rain if we get any. There’s a thirty percent chance.

I’d love to be at RT, but this wasn’t my year. Some other year will be, and it will be the right one. I’m not feeling deprived this year, or that I’m missing out, which is new, but again, still have conference hangover, drinking conference tea, talking to conference friends, and my real life hero and I spent the weekend at the local Tulip Festival, so my people-meter is pleasantly full. Being around big groups of people, especially those who love what I love, energizes me and gives me a boost. That’s two boosts in two weekends, so time to spend some of that energy by writing.

I won’t be at RWA’s national conference, either. This year, Bertrice Small is getting a lifetime achievement award there, and, since she’s the reason I became a romance writer in the first place, if i could only attend one National conference in my life, that would be the one I’d pick. I knew, under my parents’ guest room brass bed, with my flashlight and my stolen-from-Mom’s-nightstand copy of The Kadin, that I’d found what I wanted to read and write for the rest of my life, so of course I’d love to be there to cheer with all the other fans, and witness a retrospective of a stellar career. I would love to see her son, Tom, accept the award on her behalf, charming, articulate and full of pride and love for his mother. I’d love to hang out with other Small fans and jabber about their favorite books of hers, un-favorite books of hers, and her influence on individual careers and the industry as a whole.

Thanks to the internet, I can peep along and read others’ experiences, see what they see, and if I want to talk favorite books or authors, there’s no end to the opportunities for that, either singly or in groups. For lovers of all forms of historical romance, I’ll slip in a plug for my own Facebook group, The Lion and Thistle. Thanks to all the people who live in my head, there are stories yet to write, to keep me plenty busy while the conference and the rest of life are going on, so that, no, I do not feel deprived at all this year. That’s new, and I think I like it.


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