Wednesday, 1 August 2012

RWA 2012–part 1

I hadn’t planned on attending the RWA conference this year, much as I love the craziness of the whole event, but then my best writing buddy Donna Alward was shortlisted for a RITA I counted up my pennies and decided to go. How could I not be there to cheer her on? (Lest anyone think I am completely saintly, I did really want to go anyway.)

It’s a long old flight to LAX from London. Thankfully, fellow Harlequin/M&B author Heidi Rice and I had organised to sit together and gossiping between watching films definitely made the 11 hours go more quickly. The flight itself was amazing. We had pretty clear weather and I saw the coast of Greenland, icebergs in Hudson Bay and then the casinos of Las Vegas and a vast desert all in the short space of a few hours.



I don’t remember much of my first night in California, apart from being very, very happy to see Donna again and sitting down and eating dinner at what would have been 4 a.m. UK time.


I had a choice of what to do on Tuesday. Either I could attend a mini women’s fiction conference – the sensible and professional option – or I could go to Disneyland. Yep. No prizes for guessing what I did! But seeing as I’ve never been to a Disney resort before in my life, how could I go within minutes of the gates and not visit?

Thankfully, Michelle Willingham, Historical Romance Author and trip-organiser extraordinaire had volunteered to wrangle a group of assorted authors and editors round the park with maximum efficiency. I had one plan for the day: don’t fall asleep and go where Michelle tells me. It worked out rather well! Here’s our party:


From left to right: Jennie Lucas, Maisey Yates, Lucy Gilmour, Michelle Willingham, Katy Madison, Julia Justiss, Cara Elliott, Bryony Green, Blythe Gifford, me & Tessa Shapcott. (Pic taken with Michelle’s iPhone)
 

We started with the Matterhorn, which unfortunately triggered my motion sickness, but next was Buzz Lightyear and I discovered I’m quite a whiz with a laser gun! Pic, courtesy of Jennie Lucas (including me with alien eyes) to prove it.

We also rode the jungle river ride, the Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World (a slightly psychedelic experience when you’re spaced out on jet lag!), the Haunted Mansion and a few other things my tired brain has probably eaten.
 

Probably most fun was Splash Mountain. I thought I was clever sitting in the back of the boat until Jennie told me you get just as wet there. She wasn’t wrong. The water splashed those in the front then swooshed up over the sides at the back to get me. As you can see, I didn’t really care much. (That's me, smiling but hanging on at the back.)

While some of our party had to leave, five of us stayed to have lunch at the Blue Bayou – a restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride that resembles a Mississippi swamp at night. I tried to take photos, but it was too dark too see much but the paper lanterns that hung from the ceiling. I did eat the nicest Jambalaya I’ve ever had there, though! Seriously good.

Then we did the Indiana Jones ride, which took over as my favourite, before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the more writerly events of the afternoon. Here are a few more of my favourite Disney pics:




10 comments:

Scarlet Wilson said...

So jealous Fiona - looks fab!

Fiona Harper said...

I'm going to have to twist your arm into going one year, Scarlett. (Not without me, though!) You would have a blast.

Blythe Gifford said...

So enjoyed spending time with you! What a fun conference.

Fiona Harper said...

Great to see you again, too, Blythe. And I'm still coveting your aqua Ray Bans...

Karen Osborne said...

I do so envy you, I used fly out to craft conventions in the convention centre just down the road from Disney I miss the madness and the buzz. Hope you have lots of fun
Karen Osborne

michellewillingham said...

It was so great to see you! I had a blast, and hope I didn't drag you around too much. :)

Fiona Harper said...

Michelle, without you I would have just stood still, blinking, wondering where the heck to go first. Long live the Disney plan!

Fiona Harper said...

We visited the convention centre for a Book Signing, Karen! Small world.

Donna Alward said...

I am happy to be your excuse to attend, Fi! It was sooo awesome to see you again! I love how with you I can escape to the room and just be MYSELF for a while. :-)

Dinner on Tuesday was kind of a weird experience, wasn't it? LOL

Fiona Harper said...

I remember that your chicken was good!