But ... people expect better things from me. So I said to Laura Hayden, the magnificent director, that maybe I could just come out in different outfits like Whoopie Goldberg at the Oscars. And Laura, who also wrote the script, ran with the idea.
But truly, it was a lovely conference. I had a scooter because right now I can't walk long distances, and I drove way too fast, wearing devil horns and a white Isadora Duncan type scarf and pink tiger-striped sunglasses, and enjoyed myself tremendously. And things were so nice and warm and friendly and low key. I think I scooted too fast to pick up any stray bad vibes that might have been around.
RWA treated me to everything, God bless them. Kathy Seidel went above and beyond the call of duty and drove me all the way across town (which is more of a challenge than I would have thought) to the costume shop, where we came away with a royal cape, Henry the VIII (which I ended up not using) and the Statue of Liberty (magnificent!), and Barbara Keiler (Judith Arnold), Beth Patillo, Mary Strand and Katy Cooper served as handmaidens, with Jenny Crusie leading the charge.
There was so many wonderful people to see that I can't possibly list them all. A real treat was having dinner with my middle-aged editor, Adam, who's tall and cute and made me feel like the veriest cougar. I spent two minutes at the Harlequin party (I couldn't bring my scooter and by that time I was in a fair amount of pain) and then went back to room service and a movie with la Crusie.
I felt happy and loved the whole time, and though I wished I could have seen more people and spent more time with people, my mental health emerged intact so it was probably wise.
Favorite moments: Candy from Smart Bitches saying I introduced her to oral sex.
Zooming across the stage on my scooter wearing the nun's habit (for some reason most of the time I sang the Wicked Witch of the West travelling music as I motor-vated).
Hugging everybody. Sunshine. Writing new and fabulous stuff by hand on my Clairefontaine pad. Seeing the White House (even from a distance). Knowing someone Fabulous is in the White House (priceless).
I could mention the bummers, like not getting to hear any of the workshops, not getting to the PAN stuff, but I'm not going to think about bummers. I made the conscious decision to wear bright colors instead of black to the conference, and it was all about colors and friends and love and affection.
I had the most marvelous time!
Oh, and I did a workshop on writing dark romantic suspense. Next week I'll put up my outline (all the elements you need) and talk a bit about that for those of you who are interested.
A thousand smooches to all!!!
And if any of you went to this year's conference, or have been to one in the past, share some of your favorite memories.