|The view from my balcony at the conference hotel|
For me, another highlight of 2012 was attending the RWA National Conference. I haven’t been to an RWA conference for several years, and let me tell you, I missed it SOOO much! There is nothing like sitting in a huge ballroom with 2000 other romance writers and listening to a motivational keynote speech from one of the top people in the business.
There’s also nothing like meeting old friends whom you haven’t seen in years and years! And, gosh, being back in the USA! 🙂
After I had arrived at the hotel, I took a nice, long walk in order to stretch my legs, and fell in love with the wide avenues, lined with palm trees, around the Disney parks. (The hotel was a convenient 20-minute walk away from the entrance to Disneyland – wheee!)
During that walk I was once again struck how quickly a street can change in the US: pretty avenues around Disneyland, but a few hundred metres down the road things started to look somewhat shabbier. And here’s another problem: in the US I find very difficult to tell in what kind of neighbourhood I am and when I should start worrying. I figured that the neighbourhood I was walking through wasn’t that bad and besides, I was looking for a supermarket which was supposed to be on that street and – ooops, the sun is beginning to set already?!?!? 😉 (Note to self: The next time you might want to remember that the sun sets at different times in different parts of the world …) In the end, I managed to find a supermarket, buy some fruit and stuff, and drag it back to the hotel before it was getting dark. (I received some very strange looks when I brightly walked across the parking lot and off the parking lot and down the road. *lol*)
The next day I discovered the delights of The Cheesecake Factory (also conveniently located within walking distance to the hotel.) Oh my! That place is like heaven for anyone seriously addicted to cheesecake!
Of course, I also visited Disneyland: I met up with the lovely Eve Silver and a couple of other romance writers and together we went to “the happiest place in the world”. We had so much fun that I even forgave them that they forced me to take the Space Mountain ride the first thing. I forgave them even though I thought I would die. (Note to self: Never EVER let anybody drag you on any kind of rollercoaster again!!!)
The conference – or I should say, both conferences because I also attended the Beau Monde mini-conference, were lovely. Delilah Marvelle made us all cry with her luncheon keynote at the Beau Monde; Isobel Carr gave another of her fantastic clothing workshops; and this time around nobody torpedoed my Beau Monde workshop by sitting in the first aisle and saying (quite loudly), “WHAT? What did she say? I don’t understand her! She’s SO hard to understand!” The workshops at the “big” conference were a mixed bag as always, but it was nice that there were so many talks on self-publishing, most of which were enormously helpful.