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Where’s My T-shirt

All my romance writer friends went to the RWA National Conference in Anaheim and I didn’t even get a T-shirt.

Romance writing brains are bulging from the workshops. Bellies are busting from the convention food. And jetlag among attendees is epidemic, the recovery slow. I didn’t go. Do I sound bitter? I’m not. Really, I’m not.

I’m a reclusive writer. Crowds give me the heebie jeebies. Flying makes me sort of insane. I don’t need the extra pounds and I’ve been to Disneyland. Twice. I also don’t drink much—I mean I shouldn’t drink much, so networking at the hotel bar is a badder than bad idea (yes, I know badder isn’t a word—for our purposes, it is now). And sometimes I’m a little afraid if I learn something new, I’ll forget something old. Something important in exchange for something not as important. Like my name or more importantly, a plot I’m working on. Someone will remind me what my name is.

What did I do while my Ruby Sisters were soaking up knowledge and sun and martinis? I finally updated my website and blog. Instead of a book signings, I put words on a blank screen. While my peers visited with each other at Anaheim bars and restaurants, I Tweeted and Facebooked and went to my day job. I met with my writer group instead of getting my picture taken with Mickey and Goofy and the gang. I celebrated my birthday during the Rita and Golden Heart ceremony. All in all it was not a bad convention. For me.

What did I miss by staying home? The excitement. The anticipation. Old friends. New friends. New shoes. Lanyards full of bling. Getting dolled up for the awards.

What did you do? Did you go to Anaheim? Did you stay home? And what were the highlights of either?

31 responses to “Where’s My T-shirt”

  1. Gwyn says:

    I didn’t go either, Kelly. And my CP, who did go and even got to sleep with RITA? Did she bring me a T-shirt from Disneyland? No. She griped because I wasn’t there to provide her with an evening bag! Now that’s gratitude for ya.

    All joking aside, Happy belated Birthday, Ruby Sis. Wishing you a breakout year and a trip to Atlanta in ’13!

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    • Kelly Fitzpatrick says:

      If I’d been there, I coulda hooked her up with an awsome handbag. In exchange for a few minutes alone with Rita.

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  2. Happy birthday, Kelly!

    I went to the conference. This year it was more of a social trip than anything. The best part of the week for me was the time I spent with the Rubies and cheering for them on awards night.

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  3. June Love says:

    Happy belated birthday, Kelly!
    I didn’t go, either, but I kept up with the action through updates from other Rubies and friends who attended. What I missed the most was seeing friends I don’t see but once a year at conference time. The highlight of being home was date night with the hubby on Friday and reading about Ruby Domination on Saturday night.

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    • Kelly Fitzpatrick says:

      I did keep up with the news on loops and twitter and facebook from my bed while wearing my PJs.

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  4. Heidi Luchterhand says:

    I wanted to go. I planned to go. I even scoped out the hotel and area for my writing friends last December on one of my many trips to Disneyland. But, alas, personal and professional issues joined forces to keep me away.

    So what did I do instead? (Not anything fun, like writing, I can assure you.) My transmission went out on my van and I spent three days buying a new vehicle rather than replace the transmission on a van with over 160,000 miles on it. Ugh.

    But…better my van broke down close to home instead of on my way to Anaheim. (Trust me, vehicle problems in the California mountains are ZERO fun. Been there, done that.) So, really, when I look at things THAT way, missing out on the conference was actually a blessing…in a weird way.

    Right now I have my fingers — and toes — crossed for Atlanta. I’ll have many more friends attending that conference than the one in Anaheim, anyway, and I’m close enough to Disneyland to get my picture taken with Mickey and Goofy and the gang anytime I want!

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    • Kelly Fitzpatrick says:

      Sounds like an example of “everything happens for a reason”. And Atlanta will be here before we know it. My husband has family there, so…maybe.

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  5. I stayed at home and finished my revisions, pouted here and there, and scanned Twitter for other people having fun at conference. Here’s hoping I’ll make Atlanta in ’13…we’ll see. I’m very socially awkward, LOL, but I’d brave my awkwardness for a chance to finally hang out with the Rubies. 🙂

    Happy Belated Birthday, Kelly!

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    • kelly fitzpatrick says:

      Thanks! I admit (but only to you), I may have pouted a little about being at home instead of in Anaheim. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

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  6. Shoshana says:

    I didn’t go to conference this year, I just went up for the YARWA workshop the day before and the ruby dinner. This seemed totally logical four months ago when I made the decision–I would save money and thus be able to vacation somewhere tropical. Of course, then people starting posting pictures from nationals that included fancy cocktail beverages, and pouting ensued.

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  7. Kelly,

    Now that I am back home, and have slept almost enough to recover, and have gotten back to my writing (which is what I always prefer to be doing), I’m stable enough to say it was fun. I gabbed and smiled and networked my behind off.

    But I think I have used up my entire store of sociability for the entire year. It will take me another year of reclusive writing to store up enough confidence to do the conference again next year. But if there Rubies are going to Hotlanta, I’ll be there. 🙂

    I’m going to start taking vitamins now.

    And many happy returns of your birthday!

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  8. No, I didn’t go. I stayed home, did a major clean out of my office, worked on a new wip and released a new novel to the world. SEIZED BY DARKNESS is now available on Amazon & B&N and will soon be available in paperback (another projected, I completed last week). Oh, and I lost two pounds. :>)

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  9. Kelly Fitzpatrick says:

    You win.

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  10. Nikki McIntosh says:

    I went for the first time and it was a whirlwind. Loved it though and can’t wait to go again … but I did crave coming back to work today – just to get back into a routine again (and a routine that doesn’t involve wine on a daily basis!)

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    • Kelly Fitzpatrick says:

      I love routine. And beer – not wine. And actually, I think conference is a lot like Disneyland in that it wasn’t what I’d expected. But I think everyone should do it at least once.

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  11. Hope Ramsay says:

    I went. And now I’m home having picked up plague, either on the plane or at Disneyland. 🙁

    I had a great time with friends in the evenings. But I have to say that the conference was mostly work for me. I learned a lot about social networking and marketing and a bunch of things I need to do more of.

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  12. I was lucky enough to go. Now that I’ve been to one National conference, I can’t imagine missing out. Not being a GH finalist this year, it was a little more low-key but no less fun. I got to catch up with the Rubies and my own Starcatchers, and snagged plenty of requests that I now must fulfill.

    I also managed to gain 5 pounds. Too many sweets, combined with that “conference only comes once a year” attitude. Blergh.

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  13. Kelly Fitzpatrick says:

    See, I stayed home and didn’t gain an ounce and Autumn lost 2 pounds.

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  14. Liz Talley says:

    I went and I missed you, Kelly. Should have brought you a t-shirt…

    I had a great time and only managed one workshop beside my own. Went to the Goodreads one and had to sit on the floor.

    I socialized a lot and spent some touristy time away – LA tour (Hollywood and the beach) and Disneyland/California Adventure. I really enjoyed seeing old and new friends. Loved being able to give a workshop with Darynda (and seeing lots of Rubies giving their support) and I enjoyed cheering on the nominees for GH/Rita. Harlequin party and meeting with other authors, editor/agent and booksignings were all gravy.

    I love attending Nationals because it helps me not only feel connected with other writers but with the business of writing. I’ll always try and make Nationals if I can. I save my money for it all year and chalk it up to a mental health week.

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  15. Sounds like you had a fun and productive time, Kelly. I went, and every bit of it was fabulous. Not every year is that way, but this year was. I think it helped that I didn’t have the pressure of Golden Hearts or presenting workshops hanging over me this time. And I could drive because it was close to me…which meant I could spend a morning at the beach. VERY therapeutic. 😉

    But I understand you about the crowds and such. That’s why I don’t room with anyone. I need my quiet/alone time. Still, I didn’t sleep well because my brain was whirling with new ideas and new faces each night. But it was worth it.

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    • And oh my gosh, seeing Darynda AND Fiona (the first Carina Press RITA winner) accept awards – priceless!

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    • Tamara Hogan says:

      –> That’s why I don’t room with anyone. I need my quiet/alone time.

      Me too, Anne Marie. I’ve come to learn the hard way that this is an essential for me.

      I had a great time, and managed to get some writing done, too! It was so great to see everyone – and to rub Rita’s belly. 😉

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