I'm going to warn you--this will be a longer post. There's just so much to tell. If you don't want to hear ramblings about RWA National or see the weird pictures just scroll down below where I make a very cool announcement regarding the 100 Follower Contest!
First things first, I came upon these ladies in the "Hemisphere" portion of the Dolphin hotel:
The picture is proof how absolutely crazy writers are about books. (I am undoubtedly a part of that "crazy" label.) There were so many autographed books given during the signings that many needed boxes to mail home their things. Checked luggage wouldn't cover it by a long shot. I just couldn't believe their stash! They told me they'd fill all the boxes and then some. Insane. They were from North Carolina (or was it the South--forgive me ladies) and were very nice to let me take their picture to show you all the level of commitment to our favorite books and authors. I think it sums up the dedication well.
While walking through the hotel from one workshop to another, I couldn't help but feel the hand of fate guiding me. I always seemed to find myself at the right place at the right time. I met some amazing people and learned great things from them. BUT I have to say I freaked out just as much when I talked to Allison Brennan as I did when I saw this in the lobby of the neighboring hotel.
There it was--staring me in the face. For those of you new to my blog, I've been an avid collector of anything Titanic since around 1992. It was beyond cool to see that even across the country, so far from things comfortable and familiar, something simple like a Titanic crate can make me feel like I'm home.
Then of course there was this kick-ass waterslide outside The Yacht Club.
I didn't bring my bathing suit otherwise I might've given it a whirl.
I did, however, remember to bring my formal dress for the Golden Heart and Rita award ceremony. People were dressed to the hilt--I even saw a hoop skirt! You wouldn't believe the extravagance of the night or the thrill of seeing the winners take their awards, hearing them make their tearful, joyous speeches unless you were there--and you really should be there next time. I didn't make it to the award ceremony last year and now I really regret it. I didn't realize how inspiring it would be...I want one of those Rita's. Just one. I won't be greedy. And I'll get one if I wear my fingers down to nubs typing away all hours of the night...better get started, shouldn't I?
Here's a picture of our wonderful table who had to put up with my giddy-sleep-deprived-antics during each song. Sorry, gals, but I had too much fun with our finger kick-line, jazz hands, and awful karaoke style singing. (The awful was on my part, of course. You guys were great).
And now, for the announcement! Pararomance has reached 100 followers! Woohoo! We did it! Now I can start giving away some wicked cool stuff. I'm going to use a random number generator to pick the winner of Lisa Sanchez's Eve of Samhain or a $15 Starbucks giftcard on Friday. You have until the end of the week to comment and enter the contest or tweet and blog about the contest to get your entries up. You can read all the rules on the "100 Follower Contest" tab above.