Notes from a Drama Queen

Fun and Games

Monday, July 20, 2009

I've been searching the web but I can't find pictures. I had a fabulous time at RWA, but I'm afraid my fabulous-ness was visual. When asked to host the awards ceremony I had to promise to behave. I have absolutely not idea why people think I'll be inappropriate but I promised I'd stick to the script.
But ... people expect better things from me. So I said to Laura Hayden, the magnificent director, that maybe I could just come out in different outfits like Whoopie Goldberg at the Oscars. And Laura, who also wrote the script, ran with the idea.
But truly, it was a lovely conference. I had a scooter because right now I can't walk long distances, and I drove way too fast, wearing devil horns and a white Isadora Duncan type scarf and pink tiger-striped sunglasses, and enjoyed myself tremendously. And things were so nice and warm and friendly and low key. I think I scooted too fast to pick up any stray bad vibes that might have been around.
RWA treated me to everything, God bless them. Kathy Seidel went above and beyond the call of duty and drove me all the way across town (which is more of a challenge than I would have thought) to the costume shop, where we came away with a royal cape, Henry the VIII (which I ended up not using) and the Statue of Liberty (magnificent!), and Barbara Keiler (Judith Arnold), Beth Patillo, Mary Strand and Katy Cooper served as handmaidens, with Jenny Crusie leading the charge.
There was so many wonderful people to see that I can't possibly list them all. A real treat was having dinner with my middle-aged editor, Adam, who's tall and cute and made me feel like the veriest cougar. I spent two minutes at the Harlequin party (I couldn't bring my scooter and by that time I was in a fair amount of pain) and then went back to room service and a movie with la Crusie.
I felt happy and loved the whole time, and though I wished I could have seen more people and spent more time with people, my mental health emerged intact so it was probably wise.

Favorite moments: Candy from Smart Bitches saying I introduced her to oral sex.

Zooming across the stage on my scooter wearing the nun's habit (for some reason most of the time I sang the Wicked Witch of the West travelling music as I motor-vated).

Hugging everybody. Sunshine. Writing new and fabulous stuff by hand on my Clairefontaine pad. Seeing the White House (even from a distance). Knowing someone Fabulous is in the White House (priceless).

I could mention the bummers, like not getting to hear any of the workshops, not getting to the PAN stuff, but I'm not going to think about bummers. I made the conscious decision to wear bright colors instead of black to the conference, and it was all about colors and friends and love and affection.

I had the most marvelous time!

Oh, and I did a workshop on writing dark romantic suspense. Next week I'll put up my outline (all the elements you need) and talk a bit about that for those of you who are interested.

A thousand smooches to all!!!

And if any of you went to this year's conference, or have been to one in the past, share some of your favorite memories.

Come on Barbie, Let's go Party

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's RWA time again. This week a thousand romance writers, from someone who just thinks maybe she might want to write a book some day, all the way up to the Goddess of us all, Nora Roberts, will converge on Washington, DC to party down, give speeches, see old friends, make other old friends feel inadequate, eat too much, dance our asses off at the Harlequin party, and basically spend the week not writing.

It's a hell of a party. I seldom miss it. And when we come home we can either feel totally demoralized and depressed or wildly encouraged. I tend to prefer the latter.

So here's what I plan to get from my week of constant gaiety and wild frivolity.

1. I'm going to see old friends, as many as I can. There are too many to name, women I only get to see once a year, if that. Women I've been through everything with -- triumph, disaster, births, deaths, years of writing and living. No one really understands what it's like to be a writer unless they're a writer themselves. That's the most important reason to go: Sisterhood.

2. I don't have to cook. Someone else is going to do it for me, and sometimes I won't even have to pay for it.

3. I get to dress up in entertaining clothes, not the usual t-shirts and sweats that I live in. I can play with makeup, wear pretty shoes, polish my jewelry and pretend to be grownup. The problem with that is that every year I have more lines and wrinkles to cover, but WTF. I'm cool.

4. I will actually write, because that's what I'm all about. Even though it's party time I'll sneak away and work on my historical because I love it.

5. We'll stay up late at night, talking about writing, talking about story and craft.

6. I get to participate in book signing so huge it boggles the mind.

7. I get to snore so loud that Jenny Crusie will never be able to sleep.

8. And I'm not going to let anyone make me feel inadequate. As a matter of fact, I'm going to spend the next week doing my best to make everyone else feel as glorious as I do.

And then I get to run away with Jenny, where no one can find me and ask me to do anything, and it's going to be glorious. I'll be pumped full of creative energy, ready to tear into my work, and nothing and no one is going to stop me.

At the end of the month I have to return to real life. To taking care of my 95 year old mother, to helping my niece get rid of my sister's house and all the accumulated crap she bought over the years while she was bed-ridden. I have to write a book in a month (aiyee) and somehow manage to keep my sanity.

But the last two weeks of July are going to keep me going. A week of fun and parties, followed by a week of peace by the big river with Jenny and Lani and Lani's daughters. I'd call it Estrogen Central except I think I'm out of estrogen. But we'll all be princesses anyway.

So that's how I spend my summer vacation. Channeling my inner Barbie, partying up a storm, and then peace, blessed peace, watching the river run.

How are you going to spend your summer vacation? Anyone coming to the Big Autographing? Everyone under the sun will be there.


The 2009 "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing takes place on Wednesday, July 15, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Exhibit Hall. This event is open to the public; there is no admittance charge. Since the proceeds from this event are donated to charity, we ask that you purchase books at the event instead of bringing your own books. (RWA accepts cash, check, or credit/debit cards for book purchases at the event.) If you do bring books, please limit yourself to one or two books and consider making a cash donation to the cause.

Questions may be directed to Erin at or 832-717-5200, Ext. 122.