Monday, August 04, 2008

I'm Back!

Well, I'm back from San Francisco and RWA's National Conference and not only am I suffering from conference fatigue and estrogen overload but blogger is giving me fits! It won't let me post any photos, so I'll have to wait and link to other bloggers who have groovy pics from the conference.

Instead, I'll just do a quick run down of the good and bad things about this year's conference.

1) San Francisco. What a cool city! I love the hills and the Victorian houses, even loved Haight-Ashbury.

2) Fisherman's Wharf. As cheesy and touristy as it was, I still had a great time, including touring the Boudin Bakery.

3) The Hotel Milano. I didn't stay at the conference hotel because I didn't have a roommate and couldn't afford $225 a night, so I stayed 3 blocks away at the Hotel Milano (which looked a lot closer in the Access Guide to San Francisco). Not only was my hotel surrounded by the Westfield Shopping Mall (yeah Nordstroms!) but I had a great room. Yes, the hotel was no frills (only one stairmaster in the gym) but the front desk clerks were great.

4) Meeting so many of my on-line friends including Kelly Parra (2-time RITA finalist), Keira Soleore, and Gabrielle Luthy (Diary of an Adult Runaway). And reconnecting with past friends from conferences like Cathy Yardley, Eileen Rendahl and Eileen Cook.

5) Books! Not only did we receive a big bag of books when we registered, but there was the Literary Signing, and the free publisher book signings!

6) The food. I don't think I had a bad meal while I was in San Francisco (the Friday lunch was an aberration I'm convinced).

7) Hanging out with my chapter mates Megan, Kwana, Hope Tarr and Barbara Daly. As well as friends from the New England (Pam) and New Jersey Chapter (Charity Scordato/Pineiro).

8) Having breakfast with the Risky Regencies.

9) Getting to see Marley Gibson sign her first two books at the Literacy Signing. Can't wait until next year for Ghost Huntress!

10) Watching Nora Roberts get down on the dance floor at the Harlequin party.

11) Heading over to the Smart Bitches get together at the Thirsty Bear (although I think that Sarah from Smart Bitches thinks I'm stalking her. Seriously, I'm not, its just that we kept running into each other including in the airport on the way back to New York!).

12) Getting a tattoo at Mom's Body Shop in Haight-Ashbury with Megan, Keira and Carolyn Jewel.

13) Had a great meeting with lovely agent that gave me many ideas that I'm in the process of implementing.

14) Going to the NAL and Harlequin parties.

15) Seeing the Frida Kahlo and Lee Miller exhibits at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art which is a seriously cool museum.

16) San Francisco airport which is amazingly well run (Continental check-in took about a half-hour less than it did in New York).

17) The RITA awards which just seemed to fly by this year. I swear to God I thought they were done in an hour, that's how fast it went by.

18) The dessert buffet after the RITAs.

Bad Things

1) The hotel was freezing, I mean seriously freezing. My table at the Friday lunch was so cold that we had to leave during Connie Brockaway's speech because we couldn't take it any more.

2) Too small rooms for the workshops. Not only did I miss the Lisa Gardner workshop and the Creating Characters workshop because they were so full they had to close the doors, but most of the workshops that I did go to, I couldn't see the speakers at the front of the room. Just disembodied voices. Seriously, I could have just skipped the conference and bought the CD-ROMS.

3) Having the workshops on too many floors. The conference workshops were spread out among 4 different floors. Yes, I said 4 floors, which meant going up and down in the elevator all day long and trying to find your way through the maze of hallways to find the rooms.

4) Too many books! I managed to keep a level head (plus I missed 4 book signings because I was getting a tattoo) and get all the books into my suitcase, but I know people who sent back 2 and 3 boxes of books.

5) I have no idea what the dessert was at Friday's lunch. Was it chocolate pudding that hadn't had enough time to set, pot au feu, chocolate creme brulee, it's a mystery to me.

6) I cut in front of Megan Crane at the bar at the Chick-lit party and now she hates me (or at least thinks I'm an idiot). I so apologize Megan! (who looked lovely by the way at the conference).

7) Dancing for 3 hours in 3 1/2 inch heels at the Harlequin Party. My dogs were killing me afterwards.

8) Not having more time to see San Francisco.

9) Trying to stalk Suzanne Brockmann to see if she can still pick up her award for the Golden Apples and missing her each time.

So that's my conference experience in a nutshell. Now on to next year in Washington, DC!


Kwana said...

Great recap!

Megan Crane said...

You cut in front of me?? When??

I don't remember this at all. And thus, obviously, don't hate you!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Thanks Megan! It was at the chick-lit party on line for the booze. I was thirsty for wine (because God forbid I should spend ten minutes without a drink in my hand)and cut in line.

Megan Crane said...

Cut away, I say. Far be it from me to get in the way of a thirsty woman!