Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hair pulling and mayhem rumored at RWA conference — film at 11

Ah...just enjoying the breath of whimsy from yesterday's guest Sally J. Smith. Those were some mighty neat pictures, eh? If you didn't stop by yesterday, page down and check it out.

Now for my post. I'm feeling kinda...left out. You see, right now the Romance Writers of America Conference is taking place in Washington, DC. It's basically a slumber party for 2000+ women who love to read and write romance. And I'm not there! I feel like I'm missing the party. I want to be there! Sitting in front of the computer all day, typing to make a living is stupid. I want to party!

Ok, that's my rant. But not a very forceful one, even. You see, I've been thinking about all the things I really will miss during the four days of romantic splendor called a 'business' conference.

I'll probably miss out on getting a room mate that snores. Or jabbers all night long. (I like peace and quiet; don't room with me if you're a chatter-box.) 

I'll certainly miss the long line for luncheon, followed by a mad rush to get a seat (but only the one with the most interesting free books piled on that seat) and then I'll miss that rubber chicken with the indeterminable veggies, too. And who ever thought carrot cake was an acceptable substitute for chocolate? Dude, 90% of the attendees want chocolate. Now!

I'll also miss the dreaded 'editor appointment'. In which a writer has five minutes or less to explain why their story is the best thing since sliced bread, including all major plot points, hero and heroine's GMC, theme, setting, reason why the hero must be a vampire when the market is saturated—and why Gerard Butler would be perfect to play him when the movie is made—and to do it all without sweating a drop. (I've never done an editor appt. actually, and feel for anyone who has one. Editor you've never met sitting across the table from you? Scary.)

I'll miss the Literacy Signing where five hundred authors sit in alphabetical order, pitifully waiting for at least one person to show a bit of interest in their stack of fifty books that'll never go down far enough to even reveal the author's face. And I certainly won't miss being seated next to Big Name Author, whose line goes past me and out the door and around half the hotel, and not one of those people in line ever makes eye contact with me as they await the BNA's signature. It's like they think if they don't look at me I won't notice they are not interested in me.  (This happened at RT. I was a few people down the table from Kim Harrison. Hey, at least I had a captive audience. They could hardly refuse my promo when I handed it to them as they passed me by.)

I won't miss the catty glances or whispers followed by more catty looks. I won't even miss the blowups. It seems there's always some sort of drama happening. Well heck, like I said 2000 women in one hotel. You do the math. A blowup is inevitable.

I won't miss the headache I always get from being 'on' all day. I'm a solitary person. I'm an introvert. I don't do crowds. I can smile and fake it for a couple hours, but the punishment is one heck of a headache. Case in point: Last RWA conf. I attended I went to bed early one night with a headache. My roommates snuck in with my agent (whom I hadn't met yet), turned on the bathroom light, and I could hear agent say 'Ah, she's so cute', as she thought I was sleeping. One cannot sleep when they are mortified.  But I didn't pop up and say hello, just prayed they'd leave as sneakily and quickly as they had arrived.

And I won't miss the goodie rooms or free book bonanzas that usually involve shoving, pushing, body parts getting stepped on, and a major lack of politeness.

What I will miss is seeing friends, connecting face-to-face with my editor (who I don't have to impress with a logline in a nervous meeting), and just drawing in the vibes of 'those of my ilk'. It is a great way to refill the well.

Ahh, now I totally feel better. Maybe. A little.

I want to be at the party!

So if you're here at the blog today, you're probably home like me. What won't you miss? What do you miss?


(are the search engines so going to get me for the title of this post?)


Emmanuelle said...

Loved your post. Definiltly a unique POV !! LOL
I live in France so DC seems a bit far. I wish I could have gone and meet authors... one day maybe !

Keri Ford said...

Oh, Michele, I'm stuck home too. *pouts*

I'm missing everything, even the sore feet. I've only been to nationals once, my only time I've ever been to a conference of that size. I haven't been enough to tire of the long lines or stepped on toes.

Can hardly wait for next year. Nashville, here I come baby!

Helen Brenna said...

I'm introverted like you, Michele, so I always come home from conference feeling very stressed. Won't miss that. Or the heels! My feet come home stressed too.

I will miss connecting with the out of state friends I've made through the years. It's the only time I see them.

Terry's Crafty Fingers said...

I love your blog and your books Michele.

I'm an avid reader so I'll miss the chance to meet some of the greatest authors I've ever read and any freebies they may want to give me....LOL.

I won't miss any lines, long or short. I'm not a patient person...LOL.

Jill Sorenson said...

I guess I'm more of an extrovert, because I love to meet new people and be a part of a crowd. But I also get ridiculously nervous, can't sleep or eat, etc. So I'm both energized and drained at the end of a conference.

Really, really, REALLY wish I was there.

lois greiman said...

Michele, I wouldn't have missed yesterday's blog for anything. I'm in awe of Sally J.

And oddly, I really DON'T miss the con this year. It's summer. I want to be here right now. I'm going to go to a mystery con in the fall and rev up there.

Heather said...

I'm feeling left behind this week, too, though it can be extremely stressful for us introverts. Sounds like we have a lot in common - I can't sleep with any noise or light in the room, and even when vacationing with friends need some alone time. Love your post!

Debra Dixon said...

LOL! Love the post title. Had me going for a second. Because I feel like all the really interesting things like hair-pulling occur when I'm not around to witness them. I read the blog title and thought, "Not again!"

I'm actually okay with being here when everyone I know is *there.* Why? Because last year SF was such a long trip. I was so far behind when I got back, I'm not at all sure I'm caught up yet.

And if we all recall...I packed and showed up at the airport a week early. So, I'm waaaay over conference this year. (g) I'm actually happy to be here getting things "off my plate." Instead of being at conference and standing in yet another buffet or party line trying to get something on my plate.

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, Deb, I had forgot about your 'advance packing' last year. That was...well, pretty darn funny.

I've been following Tweets and checking pictures posted on FB pages. It's fun to follow even if I can't be there.

Nina Bruhns said...

LOL!!! Well, I'm at conference and I'm an introvert at heart... but who can be shy with 2000 of one's closest friends? :D My roommate doesn't snore (tho I've been known to in dry hotel rooms, much to my mortification =:o), my editor and agent are angels (no stress required), I've met with the Silhouette Romantic Suspense authors (yikes! I'm blogging tomorrow at the eHarlequin SRS blog--gotta remember to write it when I get in at midnight tonite!) and with the Silhouette Nocturne authors, and there was no hair-pulling involved :D (thank goodness! Mine looks crazy enough after giving myself a perm at ThrillerFest last week (yes on purpose... double-yikes :D .) And you won't believe it. They had chocolate mousse cake for dessert at lunch! Yippee!!! (along with the incomparable Linda Howard as keynote speaker. Need I say more?) Okay, I'll give you the book signing. My smile muscles still hurt. :/

But did I mention the amazingly hunky FBI agents we got to shoot real guns with on Monday's Kiss of Death (RWA Mystery Suspense Chapter) tour? Oh. My. God.

We miss you Michele! But if I know you, you've written a whole dang book in the time we've been here playing. :D

Next time, dude! (and girl, get yourself some new roommates! that "she's so cute" thing was just wrong!!!)

love from DC!

Michele Hauf said...

Hey, N, thanks for checking in! Sounds like you're having some fun there. And chocolate. Yes!

Debra Dixon said...

Nina!! Hey! Wish I could have seen you with the freaky hair. LOL!

Betina Krahn said...

Michele, I don't miss wedging my often summer-bare feet into NEW shoes and traipsing around a hotel. And I won't miss the sitting at the signing, waiting, smiling interminably. Though I do like seeing everyone gathered in one place. And I won't miss getting trapped by people who think they're world-class fascinating (especially after a drink or two) into listening to their whole life story.

Oh, and I hate having to hold my stomach in constantly. Yeah. Pat, pat, pat. And I won't miss the frigid air conditioning and super-dry hotel rooms that always do a number on my sinuses.

But I DO miss the people. Waaa. I wanna see Thea! And Laurie! And Wendy McCurdy. And Brenda Chin and Micki Nudding and Mary Jo Putney and Kat&Larry Martin. . . not to mention our own Cindy and Christie and Kathy and Helen and Michele and Kim and Susie and Deb!

I could use a face-to-face confab in the convertible!

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, the holding in of the stomach, Betina! Forgot about that one. ANd there are so many who thing their lives are so very fascinating, aren't there?