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Monday, July 16, 2007

Glimpses from National

Google "RWA National in Dallas" and you'll probably get a thousand links to scroll through. As well you should. It was an amazing week!

Okay, so my plane was 25th in line for take off and the shuttle driver insisted on circling the DFW airport terminals until he had a full carload. So what if I arrived at the hotel much later than I anticipated? I mean, I made it to the Literacy Signing with barely a minute to spare before the doors opened to the madding crowds, but I was so excited to be there. Especially when a well-known agent stopped by my spot, gave me an enthusiastic hug and kiss hello, and made me promise to save her a copy of The Bonds of Matri-money. If she hadn't dashed off at that precise moment, she might have heard my squee of delight and changed her mind. Several acquaintances stopped by because they remembered me but couldn't recall from where. (Usually it was from the LIRW Luncheon.) In almost every instance, they'd add, "It's your hair and eyes. I never forgot that hair with those eyes--striking!" While the compliments definitely make me warm and fuzzy, I'm waiting for the day that someone says they remember me for my writing.

And yes, the workshop I was supposed to moderate was cancelled at the last minute so I didn't get my time at the podium. I still managed to make the most of my other volunteering spot: the Editor/Agent appointments, where I was in charge of "herding": that is, calling the appointed and lining them up for escorting to their designated tables. After it was all done, every time I saw RWA Conference Coordinater Stephanie Fry, she'd remark, "There's my favorite volunteer." Gee, it's nice to be appreciated. Will I do it again next year? You betcha!

But what makes RWA National so special are the unique incidents we experience individually. There were drinks (and stories of excess inebriation) with agent Lucienne Diver, breakfasts with Smart Bitch Sarah, the Hummer limo ride to dinner with the Romance Divas, stalking Nora, continually running into the guy we nicknamed James Bond because he was never seen without his suit and backpack, the wild red Mustang careening down the highway with the RWU crew, and too many laughs, hugs, and moments of pure joy to catalog here. Deb and I made it to the Dallas World Aquarium--not without incident, of course. Thanks to Shelby Reed, we got hooked on a new reality show and while we were supposed to nap before the Awards Ceremony stayed up to watch back to back episodes of "Confessions of a Matchmaker." I lost several pins (often finding them again only to lose them again...), commented on a certain professional's rumpled, lawn-furniture-resembling wardrobe, and drank more Starbucks than could possibly be good for me.

And the food: Tex-Mex, margaritas, and Leslie Dennis's homemade jambalaya and homegrown watermelon! For dinner tonight I'm making chicken cutlets and wild rice, just what my stomach needs after a week of spice and sauce.

If you were there, tell me some of your unique moments. If not, San Francisco beckons us next year and I guarantee it'll be a blast!
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