RT Convention Day Two

The conference has started and in full bloom. As one person stated, “The lobby is like a swarm of bees… a lot of bees.” I’ve connected with friends, readers, reviewers, and bloggers.

This year Tina and I are giving away a tote filled with our books and Wisconsin goods. We had some issues with trying to wrap the tote but we managed. Our tote will be raffled on Friday afternoon.

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After the day events of learning craft and social media, we went by busloads to Mardi Gras World. Our first event was the Grand Oaks Mansion for the Pirates, Scalawags and More party.

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Next, we followed a New Orleans second-line band to the warehouse where they store the Mardi Gras floats. One word…. amazing!! We lined up in front of the floats and watched a mini parade with, of course, beads tossed to all of us by the sponsors of the event. We finished at the hall where we sampled different New Orleans foods and listened/danced to a live band before heading back to the hotels.

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Second day was great. I heard a lot of people wonder how they (RT) were going to top this event. Thanks to all the sponsors – what a wonderful night!

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Romantic Times Convention Pre-Trip

Today was spent packing and getting ready for the 2014 RT Convention in New Orleans. I’m looking forward to the week’s events, meeting new authors and readers, seeing friends that I haven’t seen in a while, and learning a few new things to keep my writing fresh.

This week, my Monday night blog will be delayed. My goal is to post throughout the week on my experience at RT.

Until later….

RT Convention – Our Final Day

The RT Convention is now a memory for 2013. Like last year, I really enjoyed the event. Saturday was bittersweet as we packed our boxes of books and goodies into the van (less to lug around in the morning) and then headed to our last day of events.

The Book Expo was the first event that we attended. Holy Moly!!! The people!!! What a great place for readers and fans to get their books signed by their favorite author and to meet them in person! I talked to Yvonne, a reader whom I met earlier in the week. She had a bagful of books ready for purchase. Her daughter had two bags. I went to the corner of the room to snap this shot:
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In the afternoon, I attended one of my favorite and best events of the trip. Jade Lee celebrated her 50th birthday. She had attended our WisRWA conference last year in Wausau, and we had talked about RT and her turning 50. She told us of her plans of having a roast with plenty of cover models to back her up.
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The friends who roasted Jade were hilarious. Her best friend had the birthday girl demonstrate how to eat dark chocolate-coated candies and show us all the pure pleasure of doing so. One of the models helped her. Once the roast ended, Jade gave away prizes. One prize was a large box. She asked if there was anyone in the room named “Beth.” I raised my hand and won. I received a box full of Kathy Lyons and Jade Lee books that she signed personally to Beth. After cupcakes and champagne, I went to thank her and learned the story behind the prize. She had donated the books, decals, and jewelry to Brenda Novak’s auction to fight diabetes. A person named Beth won her gift but never paid. Since Jade had already signed the books she decided that there will be one special Beth at her 50th party.
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And, by the way, I am going to donate to Brenda Novak’s fight for diabetes. If Jade’s gift was meant to be given for a cause, I will be happy to donate for the one Beth who didn’t.

At night was our last cocktail party hosted by Carina Press and dance party hosted by Harlequin. Tina and I didn’t stay out until the wee hours of the morning, but we left with smiles as we walked back to our hotel. We wish we could’ve stayed through Sunday, since RT still had another day of social events, but other duties called. Maybe next year. We’re already plotting.

Lesson Learned: Having something to look forward to makes it better.

I thought I made it through the winter without getting sick. Wrong! Saturday I woke up with a sore throat. Sunday I had a scratchy throat with the start of congestion. Damn. My first cold. Today, I feel drained and it didn’t help that the medicine I took this morning made me feel spacey all day. I don’t want to be sick. And this isn’t a good week for me to be sick. I am scheduled for a colonoscopy (yes, the joy of turning 50) on Thursday.

Rumor has it, the colonoscopy isn’t so bad. It’s the prep beforehand that’s no fun. I guess if I’m sick with a cold and already feeling crappy (pun intended), why not just get both of them done at once. I’m not sure though if I can take cold medicine to relief the congestion. I’ll need to find out because I don’t want to be running in two places. Ha! Ha! Couldn’t resist.

On the bright side, once this week is over with, I will have something to look forward to. The RT Convention is the first week in May, and I am heading there with my friend Tina who is also in my writers group. She is releasing her book “Riding with Love” while we are at the convention. How exciting is that?! Both of us are going to promote our eBooks, learn more about marketing, and meet a ton of readers and other authors. I went with Tina last year as well, and we loved the experience. I need to be up to speed, energetic, and ready to go.

So let the week begin. Let my cold be light. Let the colonoscopy be over.

RT Convention

Day Two and Three
I love this conference. I am meeting so many interesting and great people at the RT Conference that it’s overwhelming. I have meet readers, librarians, authors, editors, agents, volunteers, male models, copy editors, and Hyatt security.

I decided to attend this conference on the spur of the moment. I checked out the RT website and saw that they scheduled e-publishing sessions for those wanting to self-publish. When Tina, my writer friend, decided to attend that confirmed I was going. I had a roomie. Then I read about the American Idol Writing Competition. On a whim, I decided to sign up for it.

At the conference, I attended the sessions on e-publishing and those were well worth the trip. I took lots of notes. I participated in the American Idol Writing Competition yesterday and today. I didn’t win the competition (a year contract with Nicole at Seymour Agency), but that’s okay. I received two requests to see my full manuscript and one partial. I am sooooo glad I decided to attend. And I thank Tina for her support throughout the competition. Lesson learned: Listen to your instincts and go with your whims.