Tuesday, July 28, 2015

RWA Day 2, 3, 4, 5 and afterthoughts

Another post with no pictures.  I can't keep doing this!!!  I can't!

(had to do it - couldn't not do it)
I meant to blog a bit each day about what I did, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.  I find the conferences to be either Very High Energy during which times there is no time for blogging or, in my case, sprawled full out in a chair barely able to move, thus physically unable to blog.  My roomie Wendy could manage a couple but then she is years  younger than I am.  So the first few days will be from memory and that’s pretty faulty these days.

Day 2 – so it was a calm day for the most part.  Wendy was in Librarians Day all day – being the SuperLibrarian that she is.  I kind of wandered for the most part.  Wandered across the street for brunch, wandered around the hotel, wandered, wandered, wandered.  It would have been a good time to do a blog post except I didn’t really have anything to say.

Then it was time for the literacy signing.  I always find these very difficult.  First off, as I find authors above me in the pecking order of the romance world, it’s very strange to be looking down as they are sitting in their chairs and I’m standing.  It just doesn’t seem natural to me.  I very rarely know what to say.  I’m not an autograph collector AT ALL so their autograph, while appreciated, doesn’t mean as much to me as to many others.  I doubt I would even ask Richard Armitage for an autograph.  A wet, slow, French kiss maybe – but not an autograph.  I’m semi-claustrophobic, meaning I’m OK for a certain length of time, then I MUST get out – as soon as I can.  If I have books to pay for and there’s a long line to pay it can be a tough one.  And the noise!!!  You get a crowed ballroom size room with so much talking, I’m lucky I can hear a single thing.

I was in the room for 10 minutes before the claustrophobia hit this time, not long enough to pick up any books.  I had to leave for a while.  I did go back and picked up a few books.  But every year I think I will skip it this year – but so far haven’t followed through.

But if the Literacy signing was tough, what came after was the opposite.  A bunch of us met in the bar.  Now if I forget someone – it’s not intentional, it’s my faulty memory.  But there was Blythe and Lynn from AAR, of course my roomie Wendy.  There were the other two of the main quartet of us, LB Gregg and Rosie.  Then we had Nath, Ames, Kim (from Hawaii though now she’s back on the mainland) a few other people who I hadn’t met before and Jessica sat at a table close by.  I cant remember if Limecello was there that night or not but I did have some chat time with her too.  We are both fans of So You Think You Can Dance and tweet during the playing of.  It was ever so nice to see her in person.  I just adore her and was so glad to run into her a number of times.  Talk of books and all things romance related was wonderful.  Being surrounded by like-minded people is almost like something out of a dream.  I got to bed late that night with a wee bit of an alcohol induced glow.

Hilcia!!  How could I forget Hilcia.  Old age is my only excuse.  To see what I'm talking about you must keep reading.  I'm doing this edit on my IPad and it won't let me go to the bottom of the page.  Neither can I figure out how to do links.  But I will fix this when I get to work tomorrow.

And Christine.  I'm going to be doing this all night, I just know it.

Day 3 started off early!  Instead of lunches now, RWA has breakfasts with speakers, the speaker of this one was Barbara Freethy.  So we had to be up and out of the room early as it started around 7:30.  Amazingly we found Nath and sat with her.  Breakfast was buffet style and pretty good and I quite enjoyed the speech Ms. Freethy gave.  I’ve read some of her books but none for a while.  An author back on my radar – always love that.  She self-publishes now which makes the books somewhat less expensive.  One thing they always have at the RWA speaker meals is free books from whichever particular speaker there is so I got a free book to try.

Then it was off to a workshop.  They have a plethora of workshops – something for everyone.  The one I chose was how to get a blogger to help an author.  Now that won’t work in my case.  I don’t take or do requested reviews, never have, never will, but that is my own personal choice and I do think that reader blogs can be great for authors.  But I did enjoy the workshop and agree with much of what was said.

Then after that the publisher signings got under way.  I’ve since lost track of what publisher when but this year was going to be different!  I wasn’t planning on getting any books except for a few for close friends as I read mostly ebooks now.  And while I did cut down CONSIDERABLY, I couldn’t resist a few more than I planned for myself.  I’ll have to get out my reading glasses as I need them for print books now.

And at this time I simply must give Avon a huge shout out.  Any who follows this blog at all knows by now that they are my favourite whipping publisher from their covers, to their limited genres to the prices they charge for ebooks.  I am very hard on them and deservedly so I reckon.  But here’s where I give them high fives and wish all publishers would catch up with them.  For every print book they had there for attendees, they also had a card to download a free e-book.  I stopped at a few authors tables and they almost apologetically said they had no books left, only ebook cards at which point I told them, no, that is exactly what I want!!  I didn’t want their print books so I was fine that they had run out.  I ended up picking up a large number of ebook cards and they barely weigh a thing.  Of course the next challenge with be to see if I can actually download them and make sure I do it before they expire.

So huge KUDO’S to Avon, I’m very grateful.

They had two signings in the mornings and two in the afternoon so much time was spent in line ups.

Now my memory begins to mist as I think I didn’t do anything in the evening, just a later dinner and then stayed in the room.

Day 4 was pretty much a repeat of Day 3.  The speaker on Day 4 was Julia Quinn.  She also did a fine job.  I did go to one workshop that was the best one I’ve been to in all the workshops I’ve attended.  And it wasn’t so much about the art or craft of writing, but more writing through depression.  That workshop wasn’t taped like any of the others so I’m not going to say anything about it other than I found it very moving and helpful.

I think we are at Friday now and if so, a group of us went out for dinner.  We had planned on going to Hard Rock Café but it was up to an hour and a half waiting time so we went to Guy Fierro’s instead.  Since I’m a big food channel fan, I liked going there better anyway.

Then again many of us met up at the bar.  There are so many good talks that go on at RWA it’s hard to pick favourites but this night was one of mine.  We were chatting about how the blogging world has changed over the years, that many individual voices have left blogging and how we as a community are missing them.  I’ve seen a number of new blogs spring up, but many are more dedicated to promoting authors with either book giveaways or author ‘tours’ and I’m not saying there is anything wrong with them.  But I am saying that the individual voices of bloggers who are in just for the sheer love of blogging and romance as a whole has declined and those who remain miss them.  I can’t say much as I was one who disappeared myself for a while but it wasn’t until I saw how many others were also gone that I realized how vital they are.  We debated on the reasons why.  Could it be Facebook or Twitter that have replaced them?  Has the drama that comes and goes discouraged some from continuing on?  Has RL got in the way?  I don’t know what it is exactly, but I know I miss them dreadfully and hope they come back to the rest of us.  Knowing how I feel without their voices makes me more determined to keep going myself.  If I got nothing else out of the week, I got the renewed vow to keep on blogging.

It was another late night and planned early breakfast

Day 5 was Saturday, the final day.  The morning speaker was Nalini Singh.  Earlier in the week I walked past her and she waved at me.  I was thrilled she remembered me from previous RWA’s.  And as with the others, I really enjoyed her talk. 

By Day 5 I was almost dying of exhaustion – I’m not as young as I was when I first started going and I confess, not in the best of shape.  I’m starting to train tomorrow night for next year.  I was telling people my feet broke on Thursday and by Saturday it felt like my back was breaking too!  But at least I made breakfast.  Roomie Wendy didn’t.  Her Super powers deserted her.

I was too tired to make it to the morning signing.  Right after breakfast was over I’d headed back to bed for a morning nap.  But I did eventually get up and started moving even if it wasn’t as quickly as I was moving at the beginning of the day.

All along I had planned on attending the RITA’s.  I had a never been worn fancy black dress, I’d just purchased an adorable wrist bracelet and I had even brought good shoes to wear.  But between being tired to the max and having to be up early on Sunday morning for a very long day, I decided to skip them this year.  Very reluctantly did I skip them.  The good thing was the live streamed then this year so I did watch as I packed.  But then the live stream gave up part way through Jill Shalvis’s speech.  I thought it was me that broke things but found out later that it went down for everyone.  I debated heading down to the bar for a final goodbye – and fell asleep while debating.  Since I didn’t have a cell phone (see previous post) and the wifi was down, I missed Wendy tweeting me that they were meeting up.  But as I was asleep then anyway, I still would have missed it.

Sunday I was up at 7:00 am, on my way to the train station for a few hours train trip and then the real killer of the day – the six hour drive home.  I walked in my back door around 9:00 PM.

And now I’m finished.  Part 2, my afterthoughts coming up when my brain is all rested too.
'til later


Limecello said...

Xoxoxo it was so good to see you too, Kristie! <3 I only wish we'd had more opportunities to chat and hang out!

azteclady said...

Oh Kristie, I'm with you on missing so many of the bloggers who were active just a few years ago. Some of them have moved on to another genre, some have moved to different platforms (twitter, for example), but too many have simply gone silent, and I miss them. I miss those passionate and thoughtful discussions, the long comment threads that would sometimes be active for weeks.

Ah well. Life is change, right?

Nonetheless, I'm thrilled that you are back, and that you intend to stay. THANK YOU!

Nicole McLaughlin said...

I want to agree with the change of bloggers. I love all book bloggers, they all have their place and being an author I appreciate what they do. However, it was those early blogs that fed me and my love of romance starting 6 years ago or so. It was so wonderful to connect with other readers and just share our joy of the genre without politics, promotion, etc. I know some personally and know that life just changed for them and blogging took a back seat.

And I'll say it again, it just drive me bonkers that you were there and I didn't know it!! lol I'm pretty sure it was your RWA post years ago that I first ever heard about it at all. :)

nath said...

Hi Kristie! I was so glad to see you again :) Glad that you had fun!! Sorry we couldn't say proper goodbyes. However, there'll be another time right? :P

Kristie (J) said...

Limecello - oh me too!! The days go by so fast don't they? At first it seems 'it's only Tuesday and I have all the rest of this time to wrap myself in the romance people blanket'. Then before I know it it's 'Holy Cow! It's Saturday and I only have a few hours left to wrap myself in the romance people blanket and I didn't get time to do any of what I wanted to to!!!"

AL: Alas it is *sad face* but there are times I'm tempted to email them all and get down on my knees and plead with them to come back!!. I noticed it even more keenly since I came back from my own unplanned absence. And yep - I'll be staying. Even if I get tired some time all I have to think of is how much I miss the blogging world as it was.

Nicole: I REALLY wish we'd met, but I'm not done going to romance conferences/conventions. Oh no I am not. See post I'm about to - well - post - heh, heh, heh.

Nath, it was honestly like I just saw you and Ames only a few months ago. Time seems to be relative when we are linked in our souls. That sounds so hokey - but it's true :-) And you get yourself back blogging there!! And try and convince Ames to come back - if not for herself but for the rest of us!! She's one of the ones we really miss.
Do you hear that Ames???? WE MISS YOU - COME BACK.

Wendy said...

You did a pretty good job recapping from memory! And yes, my super powers fled on Saturday morning and I had to skip Nalini Singh's keynote. I just....couldn't make it downstairs. Remember when I'd stay up really late and blog at 2AM? Who was that girl and what has happened to her? Oh yeah, she got old :)

I whined enough about blogging at RWA, I probably shouldn't hijack your comments - but yeah. I think so many voices dropping out is actually a combination of all the factors you mentioned, and it is sad. I miss those days.