I’m laying here in bed at a friend’s house in Dublin, CA, enjoying a final few moments before the week of craziness begins. In a couple of hours, I’ll hop on BART and—with a stop to meet my buddy Sheila Roberts at the Oakland BART station—head for downtown San Francisco and the RWA National Conference. I’m taking advantage of these last restful moments because I know what a madhouse conference will be.
Not only is the conference itself packed with wonderful workshops and speakers (for some of whom I intend to turn total FanGrrl), but every moment in between is full of teas, dinners, cocktail parties, drinks, editor and agent appointment, and various casual sit-downs, not to mention all the friends you bump into in the lobby.
The official start of conference action is the Library and Bookseller event, which for the L&Bs begins Wednesday morning with workshops and presentations, but which for us author types begins mid-afternoon when we get to meet and schmooze with all those lovely folks. They’re both our heroes and our biggest supporters, and we love them to death–literally, you’d think by the amount of stuff we force into their hands with the hope of endearing ourselves to them, and thus to their patrons. The whole thing gets so overwhelming (500+ published authors and maybe 100 of the L&Bs) that some wise soul at RWA decided to split up the authors into three batches this years. We’ll take shifts, and the theory is that it will be less traumatic for all. And we may even be able to talk to each other.
The unofficial start for me, however, is the squeal as I see Sheila at BART this afternoon, followed shortly thereafter by the squeal as I see Debbie Macomber, whom we’re meeting for tea at ___ (you don’t really think I’m going to tell you where, do you?). I’ve actually known Debbie longer than Sheila*, and consider her a mentor as well as a dear friend. We used to be in the same chapter of RWA, but because I’ve moved and she now winters somewhere warm (not telling you that either), we haven’t seen each other in several years. It’s going to be great to sit down with her, and I’m sure I’ll be laughing within minutes. And knowing Debbie, it may just be the most informative hour I spend at conference. It’s certainly one of the things I’m looking forward to the most.
The other thing I’m looking forward to is the annual Readers for Life Literacy Autographing, which I talk about here (and a bunch of other places, too, but I won’t bug you with them, since you can learn everything you really need to know HERE).
Whether you’re a reader or a writer, I hope to see you at one or the other of these events. If you spot me, say hi and introduce yourself.
* I can keep track because shortly after I met Debbie, she asked me to help her with a computer problem. As I worked, she bounced my 5 mo-old baby boy on her hip. He’s now 17, 6’2″, and totally unbounceable. I met Sheila the following year.