Nationals Recap

It’s hard to believe I have to go back to reality today. I really enjoyed my time off. I think I was in total need of blowing off some steam. Since I got home, I’ve felt very relaxed and laid back.

So, Nationals was great. I had a wonderful time meeting so many fantastic people. I was so lucky in that I finally – after all these year – got to meet Sara Reinke who was the best editor I ever had at Samhain. Sara is just as delightful in person as she in online. And her books are still awesome.

I think the best way to do this is a day-by-day. So if you know me and have already exchanged emails with me about the conference, then this will be a repeat performance. Sorry about that. 😉 Otherwise, sit back and enjoy!

Tuesday Night / Wednesday

sidewalkcafeI arrived in DC on Tuesday and took the Metro from the airport to the hotel. Super easy. And I met Jeffe, the president of FF&P, there and we rode in together. She was a most excellent roommate! We got all checked into the Omni and then I was off to get my headshots done. Damon of Studio 16 took the photos and they were great! You can see the one I’m using for my author page on my website by clicking here. It took a while since they were running a bit behind but it was well worth it.

Then got back to the room and went to have a late dinner at a local coffeehouse. The picture you see here was taken at breakfast on Wednesday and I had a giant cup of coffee in front of me. It was delish.

On Wednesday, we spent the day at the leadership semrinar. It was great. Very informative and I learned a lot. I think I took away some things I can apply to the chapter and be a better leader and lead the chapter into a better place. I hope. We’ll see. I have so much to decompress over on that and get organized. So much to do and so little time to do it, it seems.

At the end of the seminar, the Board of Directions was introduced and that’s where I finally met Sara. I was so happy to meet her! She was the editor I had for A BEND IN TIME when she worked at Samhain. She’s a Regional board member now. I’ve known her for about three years so meeting her in person was a real treat.

That night, it was the Literacy signing. You’ve seen pictures of that already here. Literally 500 authors signing books in a giant room! GIANT! Nora Roberts was there as was JR Ward and a whole bunch of other folks. I met Nancy Haddock who is a dear sweet lady.

Thursday

DSC02210Got up and went to the opening session with Janet Evonivich who was hysterical. Her talk was wonderful. After that it was off to the Annual General Meeting and then back to the ballroom for lunch and keynote speaker, Linda Howard. The workshops started up that afternoon after lunch. I got one in, then ran to stuff bags with the Prez of FFP for The Gathering, our awards party that night. An hour and half later of stuffing, I headed back to the Omni to get cleaned up and dressed for the party. Got back to the Marriott and we started getting everything set up for The Gathering. And yes, I wore my fabulous red dress and four-inch heels. 😉

After a great panel discussion with some of the FF&P Prism winners, it was on to the Harlequin party so I could catch up with a few folks I wanted to see. I never did connect with one person in particular and I feel guilty about that, but hopefully we can catch up together at the next conference (because already thinking about Nashville!). After that, I headed down to the bar, found some FF&P folks and we sat in the bar laughing and talking until midnight.

Friday

I got up at 6:30 am and headed to Marriott where I met the Elements gals for breakfast. I needed serious coffee. Met them, though, and they were all lovely. So we sat and talked for over an hour and I finally met some of my favorite people from the Yahoo group and then ended up going on to my pitch session with the agent. It was freaking FREEZING in that room so not only was I shivering but I was a nervous wreck. And still really tired from the night before.

So it was my turn finally and I get up there and finally sat down with my stupid little notecard and I felt like a moron. I introduced myself and start in with my book. I asked if I could read from the card and she says, “You wrote the book, didn’t you?” and of course I felt like a jackass. So I babbled my pitch and she asked a few questions and said to send her the first three chapters and synopsis and I got up and left. I swear I only used 2-3 mins of my pitch appointment. At least she asked for a partial but I think she took pity on me. LOL

That afternoon, there was more workshops but I was beat and finally succumbed and went back to the hotel, stopping at McDonald’s for fattening food and then I went to the room. I talked to the Man on the phone for nearly 2 hours (he was pining away haha) and then worked on the opening of PHOENIX and then crashed.

Saturday

Went to some workshops, ran around like a crazy person, and the finally came home that afternoon to Man. He was very happy to see me. So was the cat. LOL Both my flights were pretty good but there’s something about sitting in an airplane, thirty thousand feet up and thinking, Crap. That’s a long way down. I’m thinking I might need an aisle seat next time. 😀

All in all, it was WONDERFUL. I met so many people. I exchanged a TON of business cards (so very glad I got those printed up!) and learned a lot. I absolutely cannot wait until Nashville in 2010. And I can’t believe I’ve waited so darn long to go to a conference. It was a blast. And I made so many new, wonderful friends.

Sunday I vegged out with the Man, unpacked and got the laundry done. We ran some errands. And then Monday he was back to work and I took the kiddo to meet my sister and drop him off for the week. I am so lonely for him! I haven’t seen him in over a week and now he’s off to have fun with chickens and goats and sheep. I know he’ll have a blast but I can’t wait to see him on Saturday. He finally lost is other front tooth and he’s FINALLY front-tooth-less and it’s cute as hell. His permanent teeth are already coming in, though. On my way home from dropping off the kiddo, I stopped to visit with Mom and drop off her JD Robb book I got for her (signed!) at the Literacy Signing.

As for me, I’m back to revisions. And I’m doing Candace Havens new workshop challenge. I’m so excited about that and getting my book done! I really want to start working on the futuristic now, too.

So lots for me to do. And lots to get done. But you know… I thrive on that stuff. 😉

Happy Tuesday, ya’ll!

By Michelle

I love dragons, castles, fairies and elves. I drink coffee, wine and martinis. Fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance author. Proud Texan.