So sorry this post is late, however, computer problems, a time crunch, and travel home prevented me from posting this yesterday. But my final day at the convention was just as eventful as the others. And the trip home was quite a story.
Saturday, the last day of the conference, I gave over solely to my workshop, Swag for the Romance Author. I grabbed breakfast, got to hear Nalini Singh give a funny keynote speech about her first trip to RWA (that actually resonates with me as you’ll see later). Then I headed to the hotel room of dear friend Beppie Harrison, to put my swag bags together for the workshop. I’d brought an entire suitcase of swag with me—both for the Goody room and for this workshop, so I proceeded to fill and decorate the goodie bags while Beppie and I talked about all kinds of stuff. Great way to pass the morning and keep my nerves at bay.
After chasing Ella Quinn, her husband, and a group from our Regency Romance Critique loop to an Irish Pub for lunch, I went back to the room to finish the bags and go over the notes for my workshop while trying not to panic. I may teach public speaking, however, I’m usually terrified of speaking to large groups. I had an inkling that this one wouldn’t be over twenty or thirty people, because my time slot was the last workshop on the last day of the conference: 4:30-5:30pm. Everyone was exhausted and getting ready for dinner and the RITAs, right? But with my luck the room would be packed, so I prepared 50 bags just in case.
Long story short, the workshop went very well. I had been correct and ended up with only about twenty people, including my friend Beppie, who said it went very well. My moderator was another friend, Lindsay Downs, and the group asked some really great questions and even had some suggestions for me, which I appreciated a lot.
After the workshop, time seemed to telescope. I needed to get changed for the RITAs, have dinner with Beppie, and drinks with Lindsay before attending the RITAs. Everything got done except for attending with ceremony. I had to choose between spending time with Lindsay or going to the award ceremony and I chose the friend. We had drinks at the bar and talked for two and a half hours about all things writing.
At last we said goodbye and I started the final marathon: the train trip home to Virginia. My train left Penn Station at 3:00 am, so I simply didn’t go to sleep at all. I packed up, said goodbye to Beppie and Ella, and headed to the lobby of the Marriott to wait. At 1:30am I got a taxi to the train station and boarded right on time.
So far, so good.
I settled into the Quiet Car and promptly fell asleep. I awakened at 6:00am to the sound of silence. Nothing was on, no lights, no engine sounds, nothing. Going through a tunnel outside of Washington, DC, the train engine had died.
And the first thing I thought of was Nalini Singh’s keynote speech the previous morning, because in her trek to her first RWA, the exact same thing had happened to her, the train engine had died in the deserts of Utah.
Oh, the irony. (Well, if my career takes off like hers because of it, it will have been time well spent. LOL)
So we were stuck on the tracks with no lights, no air conditioning, and no flushing toilets for two hours. I ended up starting my signed copy of Jo Beverley’s Too Dangerous for a Lady, which took my mind off my troubles quite nicely. The train finally got a new engine and with only another short delay in DC, I arrived home safe and sound, only three hours late. I got in at 3:00 pm, so I was on the train for about twelve hours total.
Now, safe at home, another journey begins, as I finish polishing my Regency romance To Woo A Wicked Widow to send out as requested. RWA is over for this year, but the writing goes ever onward.
Thanks so much for following my RWA saga last week. And if you’re wondering what became of those 30 unused swag bags? Well, if you’d like one, shoot me a comment in this post, include your email address, and I’ll send you one while they last. 🙂
Have a great week, everyone!