Friday, 20 July 2007

My Week In Dallas - Day 4: Thursday part 2

The next event was the Welcome Reception. Basically, a chance to eat (again!) and chat. I'd lost track of where Trish and Jenna were earlier that afternoon and didn't spot them amidst the couple of thousand people (!!!) who arrived for the reception. I ended up talking to Beth, a lovely lady I had met on the eHarlequin. She couldn't believe that I've never heard of, let alone tasted, queso (a runny cheese flavoured, in this case, with chillis). I very much enjoyed sampling it on top of my tostada with pulled beef, guacamole and salsa. I looooove Mexican food!

Eventaully, Trish and Jenna found me. Apparantly darling Trish had been worried that I was on my own, but found me gassing away. I saw Jenna first and did a big wave and shouted “Jenna!” At which point she took a photograh. I chased her (I mean really chased her) but she wouldn’t let me have a look, and the next day I found myself guest-starring on the PHS blog as a caption competition. Thanks for that! My personal favourite from the suggestions was, “Waiter, ten more G&Ts over here, please!” Has someone been spying on me? How did they know?

Trish and Jenna were off to the Romance Divas dinner. I can't exactly remember what I did while they were out, but I think I took a shower and got on with the current book before getting in my jammies and heading off for the eHarlequin pyjama party – a load of grown women standing around in various states of undress and scoffing popcorn, herchey’s kisses and soda. There was a bar in the corner and the poor barman was looking a little bored so Trish, Jenna and I ordered a cocktail each – you guessed it – margaritas! (Still only the one, mind, I made it last all evening!). Is it just me, or is Trish's Sean the leprachaun looking a little too pleased with himself in this picture?

At first we all felt a bit daft standing there in our PJs, but pretty soon we were saying “hi” to people we’d cyber-bumped into on eHarlequin. It was a fun night. A lady turned up in leopard-print carrying her own personal, inflatable Tarzan! Seeing as there aren’t too many Y chromosomes at an RWA conference, the poor guy almost got popped. Talking of men at the conference, I did see one quite good-looking one at breakfast that morning being trailed around by his other half. She had him firmly by the hand and a look on her face saying, “Back off, sugar! This one’s mine!” It made me smile.

The huge advantage of attending a pyjama party is that, when midnight rolls around, all you have to do is…no, I do not mean “turn into a pumpkin”…I mean, you can flop into bed without having to get changed. Cool!

One of the lovely things about the RWA conference is that it's fun! Good clean fun. I didn't once see someone falling-down drunk or being rude and obnoxious. There was a real sense of camaraderie. let's face it, us writers spend most of our time on our lonesome talking to the cat when the plot gets problematic or when the characters are as flat as cardboard, so it's great to get together with other people who love to do what we love to do. And since all our writerly socialising each year is condensed into such a short space of time it does seem to be rather intense.
Oh yes, and don't be fooled by that innocent look on Ms Wylie's face, okay?


Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

I keep expecting that video to show up somewhere. Ward has a great sense of watch us win something somber and career afirming in a decade and for that bit to pop up magically...

Fiona Harper said...

What video? Jenna, you're scaring me!

Trish said...

NOT innocent??? Moi???

*bats eyelashes*

Anonymous said...

Trish is innocent, I tell ya. Sean told me and he would never lie. :) Thanks for tagging me in the picture with Michelle and Trish. It was lovely meeting all of you!

Keep smiling!
Gail Fuller :)