It's Friday, and the conference is in full swing. I haven't enjoyed myself so much in years. People watching, wandering back and forth, talking up structure.
The workshops were wonderful. I got to listen to some really good lectures, and some--not so good lectures. To be fair, the really good lectures outnumbered the bad by a ratio of nine to one.
Lunch was good and I won't go into a discussion of chicken, but I really think RWA needs to get with something other than chicken. Two lunches, two chicken dinners? Pasta the first day, rice the next? Ice tea (included in the per person price) and some piddly plated dessert? You're talking two thousand hungry romance writers. Ninety nine percent on a budget, looking for free food and cheap eats. The last two tables I ate at cleaned the table down to the linen.
We even ate the crappy rolls, all of which looked like the plaster bread basket from Michael's.
There were a lot of things in the goodie room (many of which I took for a good cause), free books everywhere--I guess you can only give away so many copies of the Oil Tycoon-Sheik's Runaway Pregnant Mistress before the remainder gets dumped on the free table (to be scooped up by yours truly(for a good cause, and those of you who are a good cause have reason to rejoice! I got one for everyone))
I got to meet some of my favorite speakers--Sharon Sala--the woman whose inspirational lecture I force on everyone. Laurie Schnebly Campbell, an excellent speaker and craft teacher, who out of the goodness of her heart agreed to guest blog, the brilliantly intellectual Kathleen O'Reilly, and Robin Wells, whose lecture simply blew me away.
I met Alice and her Fanlit friends. Nice women, all of them. We went out to dinner and had a wonderful time.
My favorite part of the evening is people watching. I got to watch the Harlequin party gather, wannabes hit on editors and agents (for some unfathomed reason, they have the most hunted look--it's weird) people wander back and forth, drunk as all hell, telling everyone they meet about their books and plans for series, more books they have tucked up in their heads, and how much they suck/brilliant they are and wish someone would lift them out of the abjectness of their ordinary lives and make them Nora Roberts.
I try not to stand in one place too long because they're everywhere, coming out of the woodwork like bugs. You figure if they were sober they'd stop themselves, but they're not sober and they don't remember it in the morning. Cheap drunks, sloshed on a glass of overpriced wine.
I mean--really? Is something wrong with Coke? They don't drink at home, why drink here? You'd think professionals at a professional (tax-deductible) conference would think twice before getting so wasted they hit on random strangers.
None of the agents like to wear their tags--do any of these women even know what these people look like? Why don't they take their tags off? Do they want everyone to know who they are, and that they just pitched a series about a soccer playing succubus stepmother from Hell who lives in a double wide and eats Pringles and likes other women to the agent they mistook for a chapter-mate?
How many times can "women of a certain age" get shit-faced staring drunk, have bulging eyes and puke in trashcans before someone (like me) takes a picture? Not that I would--(in my wildest dreams) think of using it for blackmail in case they do miraculously turn into Nora Roberts.