I will tell you about the rest of my trip to San Francisco…if I can remember it. I was really tired while I was there, and it’s been a whole nother week since then. I have been working very hard at the paper, too.
So, I think we’re up to
Friday a.m. was breakfast with the agent. We met at the hotel restaurant. (I had an omelet.) And we talked about stuff for at least an hour and a half. Told her about the new book. Reminded her about Thunder, the historical which is languishing just now, but I WILL get back to…sometime. I think I’m close to halfway on it. I gave her a little issue to check up on. And we just talked about stuff. My agent and I get along real well, even if she does look younger every time I see her. (She’s not one of these “child agents.” Probably around my own age, given she’s dealing with a lot of the same issues, parental and otherwise.) Anyway, that was a good visit.
I think I made it to a workshop–I did find my notebook (I took a different totebag to Conference than the one I take to work every day), but I think I’m going to do one big workshop blog…whenever I find time to do another blog. I went to the luncheon, and would have enjoyed it more if the hotel had Turned Off the Freaking Dinner Music so I could have talked to more people than just the two or three on either side of me. The music wasn’t loud enough to hurt, like it got at the Pazzia restaurant when the owner turned Frank Sinatra up to vibrating-bones volume, but it was too loud for much talking. And that’s one reason I go to the luncheons, because I enjoy meeting people from other places and learning what they write, etc. The speaker was good. She had a super-hero Powerpoint show about how writers are superheros. (No, I cannot remember which one she was, and I don’t want to go look it up. I take this as a sign that I should never get all up into wishing to be an RWA keynote speaker. ‘Cause nobody would remember my name.)
I went to workshops in the afternoon. My roommates went to the Night Tour of Alcatraz. I went to the Harlequin party (I had an Asian chicken salad with lo mein noodles for supper, if anyone cares). I had arranged to meet Robin Owens to walk over together, but she had a blister to tend and had to be late, so I found some sparkly people (I had on my black skirt with the sparkly beaded design along the tulip hem, and a white and silver lace tank with a sheer white shirt-thing over it–and my black leather jacket, because it was cold out at night.) and followed them. Slowly. Because I had on my sparkly silver strappy sandals with not much heel that I can’t walk fast in. The shoes came off Very early in the party.
I hung out with Robin and Kristi Gold (who was one of my first critique partners, way back when) and Leigh Riker. I danced in the vicinity of Cathy Garbera and Susan Gable and Bron Jameson and Lillian Darcy and waved at Fiona. I talked to Jodi Thomas for a bit, and Cindy Dees and Karen Whiddon/Kara Lennox and other people, I’m sure, but I can’t remember who at the moment. I danced a lot. I had one of the “signature” drinks that they do every year. Don’t know what it was, but it was pretty good. Had some dim sum and a little chocolate fountain (did NOT spill it on myself). I actually got out of there without wearing any of the food. I didn’t stay very long, because I danced so much I was tired. But it was fun. And now we come to
I got up at 7 a.m., as usual because, hey–California time is 2 hours earlier than Texas time, and you go with what works. I like to go to all the stuff. I made it down to breakfast, met up with somebody from the Romance Readers Anonymous Loop (firstname.lastname@example.org) — a really good place to talk about romance books and get suggestions for new, good stuff. It took me the length of time to type that to remember who she was–Karen Harbaugh. I could remember it was someone whose books I liked. We had a really good chat about the loop and about writing and about her books and even about kids and such. It was nice to talk to her.
Then I went to workshops. I went to the Nora Roberts, Jane-from-Dear-Author, Sarah-from-Smart-Bitches plagiarism workshop which was good, and surprisingly sparse. I was inspired again to double-check my stuff to be sure I used my research info properly. I don’t think I took notes, tho, so I’m mentioning it here.
I wanted to hang back and introduce myself to Sarah, but had to run grab something to eat, because there wasn’t much time between the end of that workshop and the beginning of the Spotlight on Tor, where I wanted to see the cover for New Blood. So I ran across the street (Amy Atwell (Golden Heart finalist and friend of a friend) told me about the food court at the Metreon mall) and grabbed a burrito (it was a California-style burrito, okay? I had been told by my daughter, who spent the summer in San Francisco as her honeymoon, that the burrito is the national food of California.), and ran back to the Tor workshop. And I heard about some major awesomeness of the books they’re bringing out, and I saw the draft cover for New Blood.
Heather was right. It was more of a horror cover than a romance one–it looked really cool, but the woman on the cover (more of a close up than I expected) looked a little as if she’d been wading in a blood river. There is Never that much blood in the book… I’m not sure how they’ll tweak it, but she’s promised they will. And when she segued to the Q&A part, all the authors there, who were signing books in the next hour, left to help set up the room.
It took a while to get all the books down there, so we wandered around an empty room for a while, being paranoid that the books were wandering lost around the hotel. Heather had been rooming with them since Wednesday, so we knew they were there. The three of us that had bound manuscripts, rather than ARC’s with the actual covers on them–Sylvia Day’s EVE OF DESTRUCTION had a plain pale-blue wrapper, the one coming out just before or after mine (I have it at home, but I can’t remember her name or the title)– a fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty adaptation–was in a plain lavender wrapper, and mine was–of course–in a plain red wrapper.
We all ran around getting copies of everybody else’s books, and then it was time. The doors opened, and the crowds did rush in. I think some of the folks who came in looking for free books didn’t realize that Tor published fantasy/paranormal romance. But the books flowed away fast. I had a lot of fun signing books. Signed one for Frances H. and one for Nalini, and one for Anita L. from Dallas, and some for other people I know but who I can’t remember right now. It was just fun talking to people and giving books away.
I think I tried to go to another workshop, which was supposed to be one thing, but the presenter got sick, and the substitute didn’t really know what she was supposed to be doing and wandered all over the place, and a lot of people walked out. I felt bad for her, but last thing Saturday afternoon needs to be a really gripping workshop. It was supposed to be–but… So I went to dinner with my roomies at the hotel (had chicken), and got all gussied up in my seafoam green cocktail dress and my sandals that hurt my feet for the RITA/Golden Heart awards. But I was sitting, so they didn’t hurt quite so much. It was a good, smooth program, moved fast. I teared up a couple of times at the lovely thank-yous so many gave. Cheered for my friends (don’t think any of them won, alas). Then I had chocolate at the after-party (and dropped it on my dress, which is now at the cleaners to get the chocolate off), hugged Rosemary and all my other friends, and crashed.
Sunday was sightseeing day, since I’d booked my flight for 4 p.m., due to the San Francisco marathon being run on Sunday, closing down a number of downtown streets. I didn’t want to worry about it. But one of the streets it closed down was the one the streetcar went down on the way to Fisherman’s Wharf. I could have taken a taxi, or the cable car, but I didn’t think about the taxi in time, and didn’t want to wait for 45 minutes to get on the cable car, because I didn’t have that much time. So I decided to walk to Chinatown (which is why most of my pictures are of Chinatown). I looked fairly close. Which it was, except I forgot to factor in the hills. I stopped to rest at a lot of little parks and plazas. Union Square was only the first. I bought some cool stuff–jewelry (but not earrings, oddly enough), T-shirts, tablecloth–took some pictures, and hiked back to the hotel.
On the way, I got the phone call that my boss at the paper had quit and wouldn’t be there when I got back. At all. (She has done some stuff from home online.) And it seems they’re wanting the two of us left to take up all the slack. It seems to be working so far, but it’s tiring.
I got to the airport in plenty of time, and got home around 1 a.m. I’ve been recovering ever since.
I e-mailed Old Spirits to the editor yesterday–the 1st 5 chapters and a synopsis. Now I need to get back to the writing. But not today, because I’m going along to take the boy to the airport to fly to England with the girlfriend. Her parents live there now. They’ll get back just in time to start classes.
Trivia item: I saw a car with a license plate from British Columbia yesterday, of all places. I can’t imagine driving that far. It’s kind of an idle hobby, looking for out-of-state obvious-tourist license plates. Besides the BC car, I saw two from Missouri, one from North Carolina, one from Tennessee and one from Oklahoma. More than I’ve seen in one day in a long time. Except for the Canadians, all this was on one drive along Seawall Blvd. at about 8 p.m. just before sundown.
Next time, the workshops blog.