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Conference Diary

Monday, July 16, 2007
Dear Diary,

Don't Cry For Me, Dallas

I packed up and dh dropped me off at the airport where I found two fellow MORWA members at the terminal -- Kim Price and AnnMarie McKenna. We had a fun time getting ready for our flight and although Kim is a BAD flyer, we made it through and got to the hotel in Dallas with no mishaps. I even poached a spot on their shuttle.

Once there, I did all the fun registration stuff and found myself grateful that I found my old Reno conference badge holder -- much nicer than the Avon ribbon thing they had this year. Also, it had my Diva pin on it still. Whew! I set out to find Divas.

Found several at the bar (where else) and settled in with Loribelle for a little chat and a Mojito. Shortly after, the stress caught up with me and I broke out in hives so I took a Benadryl. In retrospect, this may not have been my smartest move. I was sllleeeeeeepy!

Then someone said, "Hey, we're going to a bar!" Naturally, I dragged myself up and said, "OK!" Somehow I missed the "gay" part. Or was it the "tranny" part? Anyway, I was still game.

Oh. My. God. Those poor people didn't know what hit them. The gay guys sang really well. RG sang beautifully -- she's got this amazing, smoky, bluesy voice. People kept hauling me up on stage and I wasn't nearly drunk enough. In fact, I drank amazingly little the entire conference.

I finally found enough courage to pick a song and apparently I picked a doozy. Who knew "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" was a tranny anthem? They were all up on their feet and one even pulled out his wig!

What else? I got hit on by creepy guys, but that's become the norm for me. If there's a creep within a thousand yards, he's going to pick me to hit on. RG's hubby was wonderful and protected me from him. (((Hugs)))

There's Not Enough Coffee In the World

Thursday was all about meeting people and hanging out. That was the morning of the Samhain Breakfast and it was so nice to sit and chat with people I'd only ever met online. What was funny is that most of the table was military wives! Sat next to Larissa Ione, who is a real hoot.

Went to the luncheon (rubber chicken), accidentally spilled my coffee into Gemma's vegetarian lunch. Mmmmm coffee and cauliflower! Not! I bailed before the speaker because I have a really hard time sitting through those things.

Then I went to the AGM. It. Was. Horrible. I left half an hour early just fuming. I found Maggie and vented to her. She was able to put a better face on some of the reasoning behind their decisions and, put that way, I'm not so angry. But the sheer indifference and arrogance of the board in general still pisses me off. My bit of conference gossip? The Western Region may soon be represented by e-published authors. Maybe then they'll see that #1, I actually did write a book and #2, erotic romance is easily defined.

In addition, the decision to force editors to choose between editing and writing may have a serious impact on most smaller publishers. Not pretty.

The Diva Dinner was a blast. I won Smart-Assed Diva -- by a landslide! And was informed that some of you added a caveat, "Don't tell her I nominated her." CHICKENS!!!! I'll get you...and your little dogs, too! I won a copy of Deidre Knight's Parallel Heat and I'm looking forward to reading it. Also, I wore some seriously kick-ass shoes.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't accompany the more adventurous Divas to Coyote Ugly that night, but it was my first full night's sleep in a week, so I don't regret it too much.

Don't Wear Heels To Be The Timekeeper

From 8 to Noon, I was a timekeeper at the editor/agent appointments. Awesome, awesome job. By the end of it, my feet were killing me, but I looked fantastic and came away with 3 informal "send it to me when you're done" requests from Heather Osborne at Tor, Chris Keeslar at Dorchester and John Scognamilio at Kensington. Very cool. Notice how I highlighted the part where I looked fantastic. ;)

Had lunch with Kristen, Grace and hubby, Maggie and Gina (and of course, precious baby Niley, who is the best natured infant I've ever encountered.) It was so nice to kick back with friends for a few minutes.

Afterwards, I really, really, really needed to take my shoes off. They're pretty comfortable for heels, but there's not a high-heel on earth that can withstand four hours of non-stop walking. The balls of my feet were badly bruised. I changed and considered just resting in my room for a while, but decided to go down and get a cup of tea and write. Nope. Didn't happen. Got my tea, but fell in with a group of older ladies from LARA. There was an awkward moment or two when they discovered I was a Diva, but it all worked out.

Then I went to moderate the Sex is a Baby Boomer Business workshop. I was really too young to hear all that. My innocent ears will never be the same. Then off to a workshop on Worldbuilding by Linnea Sinclair and Robin Owens. Great information and I got tips on useful links. I met a few Divas on my way out and we ended up heading to Hoffbrau's for a truly awesome steak.

Dh drove in later that night, too. :)

Pain is Beauty and Beauty, Pain

That morning, I attended a workshop on Subplotting for Success by Alesia Holliday. But the real bonus? Getting to talk to Angela Knight afterwards. I was so glad she was there! When I met her I was really polite and calm, but on the inside I was squeeing like a 12 year old girl at a Hannah Montana concert. :D Anyway, I've followed her career and I know she made the leap from novellas to novels, so I wanted to talk to her about it. She had some really good advice and she's just a genuinely sweet person. Also, she looks fantastic!

Then, another luncheon where I ate, then skipped out on the speaker. Schmoozing, yakking, smiling, talking until the Spotlight on Samhain. So much fun. Did an impromptu bit as moderator since the real one never showed. Nodded furiously when Angela talked about the in-depth editing process. :)

After that, I went to the publisher signings for Bantam and St Martins so I could pick up Lisa's book, which I hadn't had an opportunity to do earlier. Also got a few more, including PC Cast's new YA with her daughter. We talked about Robin McKinley and agreed on her crusty awesomeness.

Then Jax took some headshots for Angela James and I. I trust there will be one that isn't too hideous. All of Angela's should turn out beautifully. She's so pretty!!

Then off to get dressed. Did I mention that, like an eejit, I wore heels again that day? Yep. Linen ankle strap stilettos. Gorgeous, yes. But after the last few days, incredibly painful. I took those off only to step into another pair of great shoes to go with my Rita dress. It was a fun evening -- I was early through no fault of my own, trust me -- and got to hang with Dana, Shawn, Crystal and loads of other Divas while we waited. Dh, by the way, was sooooo handsome! We hooted, clapped and cheered for our gals, then dh went back to the room and I went straight to the bar. It was a great wind-down. Mel talked Michael Hague into coming to our table, so that was interesting. I think he had fun, too. ;) One lowly Lemon Drop made my lips go numb, so I was more than ready to fall into bed by midnight.

Dallas Goes On Forever

We took our time leaving, but finally got on the road. Dallas has now stretched to towns that I know used to be in the middle of nowhere. Suburban sprawl. Whaddayagonnado? We were home by 8:30 and I jumped right back into Mom mode. The kids are in various camps this week and I had to head out to WalMart at 10:00 pm to pick up shin guards and a new soccer ball since the dog ate the last soccer ball.

But now, as I wait to go out on another errand, I'm glad I've taken the time to write down some of the events of the last few days. I didn't take too many pictures, but I'll see what I can pull off the camera later on.



7/16/2007 02:14:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments


Sela! I can't believe we missed each other. We probably passed in the lobby or bar a dozen times. Dang it. Maybe next year?

By Blogger Jaye Wells, at 10:18 PM  

Sela, thanks for the conference round-up--great for those of us who couldn't be there this year. But sit tight--I have a feeling the erotica battle will be won in the not-too-distant future :-)

By Anonymous Gabrielle, at 12:47 AM  

That sounds like you had a great time! Maybe you could share some of those world building links. *hint hint nudge nudge* ;D

And, congrats on the attention you got from NY. That is really cool!

By Anonymous Arin Rhys, at 1:10 AM  

Sounds like a fabbo time lovely!! I wish I could have been there... maybe next year.

By Blogger Biddy, at 4:02 AM  

Glad to see ya back! Missed ya!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 AM  

Jaye, definitely next year! I feel like I need to fill out a dance card at these things.

Gabrielle, I'm watching the erotic RITA battle at the moment and there's a lot of tension around the boards. I'm sure it'll get hammered out eventually, but the question is whether the RWA board pays attention.

Arin, I'll put those up later today, I hope. I get the feeling that I might start reading and just get lost! Linnea and Robin were so wonderful, warm and funny. I'm really glad I went.

And yeah, coming away with those requests certainly perked up my day! Not enough to make my feet stop hurting, but it sure took the edge off. :)

Biddy, we'll be in San Francisco next year -- Please come!!

Shriek!!! Missed you, too! Must call. Must write down that must call. Must not lose paper where I have written that must call. You know how it goes. LOL

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 1:37 PM  

Sounds like a lot of schmoozing.

I have in fact passed onto you and Jaye the new Schmoozing award.

It's going around and I think both you ladies deserve it.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts?
Well, I am a tiny part Greek. :)


By Anonymous http://www.creativewriting.ca, at 1:54 PM  

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