Thursday, July 23, 2009

Photos From DC - the 2009 RWA Convention

Part of the fun of going to a big, giant writers conference is getting to hang out with your friends, your editor and your agent. You get to do some things you wouldn't normally do, see some things you wouldn't normally see, and hear some things you wouldn't normally hear.

I wanted to share some of those things with you, like being in a room where 500 authors are signing books, all at one time, while over a thousand readers chat, browse, and squeal over the books they love to read, and the people who write them:

I love this picture of the elusive and stylish Avon Executive Editor Erika Tsang (in the orange), and her lovely Editorial Assistant, Amanda Bergeron.

How about this photo of the irrepressible Jenny Gardiner, signing copies of her book, Sleeping With Ward Cleaver in true 60's American housewife/sitcom style, complete with an apron and pink Playtex gloves (and a pink "pebbled nub" button. Don't ask.) :-)

Here's one of my favorites - several hundred well-dressed women boogeying down to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (not as easy as one might think, particularly after a few drinks, but huge fun!)

Hanging out with dear friends, like Golden Heart double nominee, Lindsay Brookes, (a/k/a Kimmi):

Enjoying a well-deserved trip to the bar with former Golden Heart nominee and super cool Brit Chick, Anna Sugden:

"Skyping" with friends would couldn't be there, like Harlequin Blaze author Tawny Weber (I particularly love this picture because of the angle - that's Tawny on the screen, and me in the mirror, along with RITA nominee Kathleen Long, and Mills&Boon Medical author Janice Lynn who's taking the photo. Harlequin Superromance author Beth Andrews is manning the keyboard.)

Going to parties with your friends every night is always fun, particularly when someone wears a tiara:

And when the party's over and you're looking for a Ladies' Room? No problem!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Cinderella Story

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived a little girl named Pug. That wasn't her real name, of course, but that's what she was often called, for her button nose, her plump cheeks and tomboy-ish ways reminded some of a puppy, clue-less to the ways of the world, yet eager to please.

Pug grew up in a house with five other children, one boy and three other girls, all far more beautiful than she. Her three sisters were loving and kind, but being older and quite popular with boys and girls alike, they had little time for sturdy little Pug to be trailing at their heels. Her brother - being a boy, of course - was the bane of her existence, and never tired of pointing out the buttonness of her nose or the plumpness of her cheeks. So, Pug spent most of her time in the woods, climbing trees and building forts, or curled up in a shady thicket where she would sit silently for hours, watching the squirrels and the birds and the butterflies go about their business, all the while pretending that she was one of them - a shy fawn, perhaps, waiting for her mother to come back from foraging in the meadow.

Pug lived in a world of make-believe, you see, a world aided by the books she simply couldn't stop reading: heroic fables of King Arthur and the Round Table, fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, spine-tingling stories by Edgar Allen Poe. Books were the solace of her childhood, but as all children do, Pug eventually grew up. Still lost in the world of fairy tales, she was quite surprised when, as an adult, her Prince Charming turned out to be a toad, and her happily-ever-after turned out to be a unhappily-here-and-now, but ever determined - much as that pugnacious little puppy she was once compared to - Pug persevered. She stopped waiting for her dreams to come true on their own, and decided to make them come true.

And here is the result:
The little girl who once hid in the bushes reading stories of other worlds and other places, now writes stories of other worlds and other places, and is lucky enough to share them with the world.

She has beautiful, wonderful friends who write them as well, and once a year, she gets together with as many of them as she can, and lives out the dream of being a butterfly instead of clumsy little puppy. She laughs and she dances and she enjoys the here-and-now with a true Prince Charming who (after 18 years) has yet to sprout warts or to croak her back into the shade of the forest.

And she never, ever forgets the little girl who lived inside her head when she was small, wearing her older sisters' hand-me-downs and playing alone in the forest, hoping all the while that others will enjoy the world she's created in her stories.

And, as in most fairy tales, they all lived happily-ever-after.