Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Heartfelt Words For My iPad

Dear iPad,

I owe you an apology, complete with total honesty, much groveling, and a trail of sloppy wet kisses.

When I first heard of you, I scoffed (yes, scoffed!) at what your designers decided to call you.  I thought it was the silliest name for a product I'd ever heard (unless said product was for feminine protection), and considered it a marketing disaster.  Oh, how wrong I was, and how a-rose-by-any-other-name-is-still-as-sweet you turned out to be!

Our journey to find each other has been rife with mistakes and misconceptions, for which I take all the blame, and can only hope you'll forgive me. When I found myself on a plane, carrying two separate books so I wouldn't run out of reading material during the flight, and cursing the space they took up in my carry-on, I knew it was time to look into e-readers.  I flirted shamelessly with the Nook, and to my everlasting sorrow, even took up briefly with a *gasp - dare I say it?* Kindle.  I read one book on it, but please believe me when I tell you that it will NEVER happen again!  I was blinded by its popularity, much like that of a movie star who'd flashed a blindingly white electronic smile in my direction, but YOU... you, iPad, are the one for me.

The crystal clarity of your screen, the ability to change font styles, font sizing, screen brightness and direction... the exquisite sensitivity with which you respond to the touch of my finger as I flip the pages as though I were reading a real book instead of clicking a meaningless, annoying button... oh, iPad, how could I have been so wrong about you?  I even believed that stupid lie about how I'd have trouble reading you outside in the sunlight... can you ever forgive my gullible arrogance?

Instead of returning my callousness with cruelty, you gave me even more to love, meeting my needs in ways I'd only dreamt of having them met.  The ability to check my emails from anywhere - the airport, my car, the back seat of a cab... Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, all at my fingertips, in mere seconds!  That laptop that used to seem so wonderful has taken it's last road trip, replaced by your beautiful, streamlined simplicity.  Why, oh why, did I ever think I had to sign up for some expensive two-year cellular contract in order to have you for my own, when nothing could be further from the truth?  Yes, it's true that I paid more than I expected initially to in order to have that cellular convenience, but it wasn't your fault!  The ability to pay a small fee of $14.99 on a pay-as-I-go basis is completely and entirely worth it, and I know you won't be angry if I pay for it only when I travel.  The rest of the time you'll be perfectly content with me using free Wi-Fi, which is everywhere these days.

I love your flexibility, how you intuitively switch from landscape to portrait mode as I move, intuned, as it were, to my very thoughts.  I love how you're willing to flip yourself on your head for me if I wanted it, and how your buttons are exactly where they need to be for the convenience of my fingers.  I adore the rich depth of colors in your screen, and oh! the apps, my darling... the apps!  There is nothing I desire that you don't provide, including a slim outline and a light weight so that I can slip you into my purse and take you everywhere.  I'll never leave you alone again, dearest.

You had me at "Hello", iPad.  I only wish I hadn't taken so long to say it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Readers and Writers at RomCon2010

I just returned from a fun, fabulous weekend in Denver, CO, attending the first annual RomCon Conference, hosted by Borders Books.  It was two days of non-stop talking, laughing, workshops, games and booksignings, and I enjoyed myself immensely, in large part because of the company I kept!

I kicked off the festivities on Friday by catching up with one of my favorite people, NYT bestselling author Anna Campbell.  Anna hails from the "land down under", and despite jet lag from her long trip from Australia, she was, as always, upbeat and full of giggles.  Anna and I discovered several years ago that we have a great deal in common, including a quirky sense of humor and a mutual love of fine red wine wine.  She was sweet enough to bring me a lovely bottle from her native land, which we made sure to find time to sample together!  (Thank you, Anna, and the next bottle's on me, luv!)

Right after that, I hooked up with fellow Avon author (and my personal favorite when it comes to tales of sexy vampires), NYT bestseller Jeaniene Frost.  If you haven't read any "Cat and Bones" books yet, you are missing out!  Spending time with Jeaniene was an absolute treat, as she is one of the most genuine, down-to-earth people you'll ever meet, and kept me in absolute stitches with her honesty and spontaneity (meaning you'll never know what's about to come out of her mouth!).  Despite numerous panels, workshops, meals and fan gatherings, she never lost her patience or her smile, and I came home feeling as though we'd been best buds for years.  (Miss you already, Jeaniene!) 

Here we are with our editor, Erika Tsang, who is the woman responsible for bringing you Jeaniene's Night Huntress series, as well as my Nicki Styx series.  Erika is also the one to thank for my upcoming Devil's Bargain series, featuring the character of Sammy (Satan) Divine, and many other great books you'll find on today's bookshelves  The woman knows her paranormals, and better yet, she knows how to take a good book and make the right editing suggestions to make it even better!
The three of us had a fabulous time hanging out together, particularly when we stumbled upon some life-size cutouts of a few "classic" romance novel poses, and took some ridiculous pictures of ourselves.  My favorite one is unfortunately on Jeaniene's camera (she owes me a copy of it, as it was TOO funny!), but this one on the left also cracked me up.  Do I look swept away by passion, or what?

Another fun event was the Masquerade Ball, during which people were invited to dress as they pleased.  Debut paranormal author Meagan Hatfield proved to be a ghoul after my own heart when she showed up in 19th century mourning clothes with her adorable baby, Zombie Zach.  (A puppet, incredibly lifelike and creepy!)

At any rate, I met so many readers and so many writers that I could go on for days, but I'm afraid I'd forget to mention someone, so I'll just say that it was fun, fabulous and exhausting.  I particularly enjoyed playing some of the reader participation games, including Monster Charades and Were-Squares, as well as coming home with more free books, bookmarks, candy and other goodies than were probably healthy for me (my suitcase was bursting at the seams, but it was hard to choose what to leave behind!). 

I'll leave you with this final picture, which is of some particularly interesting candy given away by a fellow author (and no, they're not rocket ships)!  We romance writers can be a naughty bunch, which is partly why reader/writer conferences like RomCon2010 are so much fun!

Hope you enjoyed this peek into my weekend, and don't forget - you can join in the fun next year at RomCon2011, which is open to anyone who loves a good book!