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This One Time…At Book Camp (part deux)

Did you miss part one of my take on the RWA National conference, complete with compromising video? Here ’tis.

The work of the conference began in earnest on Wednesday.

I was a woman on a mission. Somehow, ENALR’s own Cynthia D’Alba finagled me into running the raffles at the PRO retreat (Children learn from this…don’t drink while tweeting with funny, persuasive people.) We had over 50 fabulous prizes—lunches with PAN members, critiques from agents and editors, web design and more!—and about six-point-three minutes to do the drawing. My job was to get it done swiftly, smoothly, quickly and correctly. Thanks to a crackerjack team of a dozen volunteers, we succeeded–and I didn’t make anyone cry. But it wiped me out, and I decided to call it an early night.

I had the best of intentions. I really did. But you see…there was a bar.

Joy from Joyfully Reviewed and Pearl from Realms On Our Bookshelves.

And in that bar were my tweeple. I make no secret of my twitter addiction (How can I? Twitter posts a tally of my tweets and it’s obvious). Thanks to twitter, I had one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to in any field. Witness:
Keri extends hand to stranger. “Hi, I’m Keri Stevens. This is my first RWA.”
Stranger. “Hi, Keri, my name is Pearl.”
Keri. “And what brings to you RWA, Pearl?”
And on and on and blah and blah.

“Oh, em, gee! You’re PEARL!”
“YES! And you’re KERI!”
….and we’re off. We already know each other’s professions, sub-genres and joint pains, so we can skip right to the toasting and industry gossip.

There are rumors that after my foray into the bar, I walked through the hotel in fuzzy leopard slippers, my nightgown and hot rollers.
People. My momma raised me better than that. And anyone at the Harlequin/Carina PJ party who says otherwise is spoiling for a fight.

On Thursday morning, I dragged my butt to breakfast with one of my idols, Jade Lee (you can read more of how Jade and my husband made a woman writer out of me in this post).

Authors Jade Lee, Tes Hilaire, Gabriella Edwards and Mingmei Yip

But was I finished worshiping idols? Heck no. I moderated Susan Elizabeth Phillips Six Magic Words workshop. I’m glad I had such a grown-up task to do, because it kept me from wrapping myself around her ankles and snotting up her shoes with sobs of love.
Fortunately, my Carina Press sisters (and one brother in the form of V.K. Sykes) were there to help me recover from my fangirl fits.

Vanessa Kelly (who, with her husband, also forms V.K. Sykes) and me

Toni Blake and I were each other’s date to The. Party. Of the. Year. The Harlequin Party at the Waldorf Astoria.
Open bar. Open DESSERT bar. White plush carpet.
Yes, you read that right. White plush carpet. I looked at my whiskey sour. I looked down at the white plush carpet. I looked at my whiskey sour. I looked at Toni. She rolled her eyes at me and said, “We’re dancing again.”

Toni Blake and me after three hours dancing.

A word of warning if you ever decide to go dancing with Toni Blake: She’s got the moves and stamina of a twenty-year-old. And what’s worse? She even knows the music.
Me: What is this (bleep)?
Toni: “California Girls.”
Me: The heck it is. Brian Wilson never sang nothing like this.
Toni: No. Not the Beach Boys. Katy Perry.
Me (really, really trying): Is she any relation to Luke?
Toni (again with the eye-rollery): I’ll make a request.
Fifteen minutes later, the DJ whips out “Boogie Shoes” and I weep tears of gratitude. The song is a good 15-20 beats per minute slower than that hippity-hoppity-derivative stuff from Luke Perry’s baby sister. My joints are starting to creak aloud. But does that stop Toni? No. We danced the whole night and shut the Waldorf-Astoria down. I finally got into bed at 1:30. On Friday.

The last time I saw 1:30a I had a newborn. If I’d known what I’d be in for four years later, I’d have named him Tony.

(Is this conference over yet? Heck, no. Stay tuned for part three.)

7 Responses

  1. Am so enjoying reliving RWA11 through your pictures. I swear…I spent so much time in my room and in the concierge lounge, I barely saw anyone!

    You did a MARVELOUS job with the door prize drawings! No team is good without a strong leader. You were that strong leader for the door prize team. Could not have done it without.

    And thanks for being my date on Friday night!

  2. Hi Keri 🙂

    Thank you for the extremely fun, witty & interesting post.


  3. You had way too much fun…(I’m being green, here) I’m looking forward to the rest of you post. You make me laugh. 🙂

  4. I’m pretty bummed we didn’t get a dance together at the HQ party. In fact, I think I saw you only once. Boo. But wasn’t it fun?

    I’m no good with the twitter. I never know what the heck people are talking about. Don’t know how to post links. Finally figured out how to follow people. I’m already following you because Keri Ford had to come set me up. Like actually come to my house and set me up and then give me folks to follow.

    I try to tweet things. But i’m not interesting.

    Yeah, I suck at Twitter.

    Okay, loved the post. Next time we get together for a ENALR dance!

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