Conference - Day 3

This morning began with a fabulous omelet from the hotel.  I need to mention this because whatever spices they used made it scrumptious.  Armed with enough protein to last me for several hours, I began my day.  The hum in the hotel was palpable and it began early. I was downstairs and ready to start before seven and already meetings were being held and networking was going on. Heads were close together as fellow writers discussed their books with editors or agents at quiet (somewhat quiet because of the hum) tables.  A section of the lounge was even reserved for networking – a clever idea if you ask me, but one problem – the wireless at the hotel had ceased to operate.  I was unable to post my blog for yesterday and I wonder if I will be able to post today.

Went to the opening ceremony with Tess Gerritsen, Steve Barry, and Diana Gabaldon. Questions had been sent in ahead of time for the panel discussion which was lively and thoroughly entertaining.  The room echoed with laughter and applause several times as their comments hit a cohesive mark and touched us at the same time.  Fellow writers appreciate the tales of how each other started and most of all, we love to hear the bumps along the way and funny tales of bizarre fans, etc. By the time we finished there, I was ready for a bit of networking so I headed to the lounge.  Part of me hoped I could connect to the internet but alas, the internet was once again asleep in its bed and unable to be awoken.  I think having several thousand women writers who truly enjoy their craft made it far too tired to get up because no one was able to connect all day long.  I’m sorry, I failed to mention it works if you want to pay $17.95 per day for your hotel room.  I already pay for my phone and my home internet, I did not think I should pay for it here, especially when the hotel claimed to have it free in the lounge area.  Okay, I have complained enough for today on that subject.

Margot and I decided to work on her pitch and proceeded to do so when a lovely lady asked if she could share our area.  I love meeting new people so I agreed.  We realized we had a love for the same jewelry – Lia Sophia.  She loved my bracelet and necklace and once I mentioned it was Lia Sophia, she showed me hers.  We hit it off immediately and after we introduced ourselves I was thrilled to be meeting Jessica Faust.  I have been reading their blog for months now, so it was a pleasure to meet the woman in person.  To say she is funny and personable is an understatement.  She is so down-to-Earth, she helped melt away all my fears about my upcoming pitch on Friday, and Margot’s as well.

Luncheon was nothing to write home about since the food was unrecognizable, but the keynote speaker was one of my favorite historical writers – Madeline Hunter.  When I was feeling a bit disconnected several years ago from the craft, I picked up one of her books and before long, not only was I hooked on her books, but my love for writing my historicals was revived.  Thank you, Madeline.

After spending the afternoon seeing Spiderman, (which was fun for all the special effects), I headed back to the hotel to prepare for the Stroke of Midnight reception which proved to be entertaining in big, bold letters!  How could it not with burlesque performers as the main show? What a delight to learn about this art form which has had a revival long before the movie with Cher.  They sang and danced and made us all laugh at ourselves which in a room full of writers is quite a feat. I received an Honorable Mention for my novel, Harvest Moon, which pleased me.  I would have LOVED to have gotten 1st place, but there is time for that. From this reception I hurried to my own chapter’s reception – a Champagne and Chocolate reception, where I became the unofficial photographer of the night.

Meeting new people and exchanging business cards is so much fun.  I met some delightful young authors who are on the verge of their careers and ready to explode. I also got to meet Abby Gaines! This lovely woman is from New Zealand and was nice enough to take my daughter in for a few days when my daughter was traveling. I did not meet her until last night and found her to be just generous and funny in person as she was when we were emailing each other. This society of writers has made me realize how lucky I am to be part of such a great circle of women who not only open their doors, but their hearts to kindred spirits.  Thank you Abby!

So, what now? Abby and Blythe Gifford mentioned the Harlequin Pajama party, so off I went.  This was a fabulous time.  They had hats and masks for us to wear and I quickly donned a bunny mask and my alter ego kicked in.  The party came alive after that.  I met two young ladies who work for Harlequin’s Social Media in Canada. Here is my shout out to Amy Wilkins and Larissa Walker!  I promised them I would mention them in my blog and I have to tweet about them as well. The party was a smashing success and I carried the party with me to the lounge where I chatted with two authors – another one from Canada (by the way, I have met several ladies from Canada lately and they are all wonderful).  One of the ladies is a Golden Heart finalist.  Good luck, Tirisza (I hope I spelled it correctly because I don’t have my program with me at the moment).

Back at my room, I chatted for a couple hours with my roommates about my day, their day, and what our plans are for tomorrow.  See you then, because I am tired.

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