Not the Ray Charles song, or the theme from Designing Women either! I'm talking about the 26th annual RWA National Conference (July 26-29) in Atlanta this year. After some scary moments when I panicked because my new computer wasn't yet hooked up and a friend emailed me that the hotel rooms were almost sold out, I managed to hook up my old computer on the living room floor and get registered for the big event. And yes, I'm extremely excited about it.
I went to my first National Conference a few years ago when it was in NYC. Unfortunately, my son got sick and I had to leave early, having only attended one workshop. Last year in Reno was my first full experience and I admit to being hooked. Now, unless someone's bleeding out their eyeballs, I intend to be there every year-- from the President's Retreat on Wednesday afternoon to the cleanup on Sunday morning.
What do I love most about National? Is it the ability to share elevators with some of my favorite authors? Is it the chance to break away from Gina The Wife and Mother, to be Gina The Writer for a few days? Is it the opportunity to spend time with online friends I wouldn't otherwise see in person? Yes, yes, and yes! And this year, there are a coupla more perks: (1) I get to display my very own "First Sale" ribbon while there! Hoo-ha! and (2) I'll be attending a dinner party at the home of a very dear writer friend who lives in the area. (Keep the wine chilled, Chris!)
Want to be in Atlanta with me? Go to the RWA site and sign up! You won't be able to miss me in the crowd. I'll be the redhead with a First Sale ribbon and an infectious excitement brewing around me.