Monday, August 4, 2008

A Break From Reality

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

No, I am not having a psychotic episode... Am I???

All kidding aside, the break from reality I mean is the one that I just had with about 1,999 other romance writers. Of course I'm talking about the annual RWA National Conference. I just returned home from this year's conference and my head is still spinning from "conference overload."

You know that feeling... too little sleep, too much great writing/publishing information, too many great people and networking opportunities. For three or four days every year, we lucky RWA members have a chance to leave behind our regular routine. No family obligations, no fighting to squeeze in writing time around other responsibilities, NO REAL LIFE!

Instead, we get to eat, sleep and breathe writing!

We get to rub elbows with our favorite published authors. We get to talk to editors and agents. We get to attend workshops, talk to other writers who "get it." Best of all, we get FREE BOOKS!

Does it get any better? Not for me!

This was my third time to attend RWA National and each one has been a unique experience. The first time I was new to RWA and to conferences. Talk about your wide-eyed newbie! Everything was a wonderful new experience and I couldn't get enough.

My second RWA National I was a Golden Heart Finalist. I truly felt like a princess at the ball! I met so many wonderful people, and finally felt like I was a "real" writer. I loved every minute.

This third time truly has been "the charm." I was a published author! People in the elevators or standing in line for a workshop looked at my First Sale ribbon and congratulated me. The fact that these people actually understood the struggle and accomplishment behind that ribbon made it that much sweeter. I felt as if I truly had arrived! I really was on top of the world!

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and after the glittering awards ceremony and dessert reception, so does RWA National. Old and new friends must bid adieu, for come Sunday morning it is all over. Stuffed suitcases must be hauled to the hotel lobby, bills settled, and departures made. Time to go back to the reality of day-to-day life...


Please share some favorite conference memories with me to ease my transition back into reality. Favorite vacation memories count too! Or if you have any advice on how to cope with my return to reality, please TELL!


  1. Your are right it is certainly hard to get back to reality after the level of excitement and noise for the past four days.

    Favorites memories? There was just so much, but I think meeting all of the Sourcebooks authors for the first time, and Danielle who does so much great work for us. I also gave my first National Workshop with four other ladies, and people came. In fact, quite a lot of people came and some of them were very complimentary about our information, so that was a huge highlight.

    And of course the Sourcebooks Spotlight and seeing both my books up on the screen.

    Yes, feeling like a real author is indeed a wonderful experience.

    I won't talk about the free books, I'm still wincing at the extra charge for my suitcase, but there was no way I was leaving those free books behind at the airport.

    And yes already I am looking forward to next year.

  2. Just take a big, deep breath and give it up. Life goes on. Shit happens. Of course, nothing brings ME back to reality like a night in the unit with someone trying to die on me, or throw up on my shoes.
    Can you tell I didn't go this year?

  3. I wish I had some re-entry advice for you, Aunty. I am jet lagged and staring down a deadline for my magazine at work, which is now officially running late. Sigh... Focus.... Attempting to focus...

  4. Hey Michele, glad you made it home safe and relatively sound! :-)

    Yes, the Sourcebooks Spotlight was AWESOME! I heard nothing but positive comments about it. Dominique and Deb were wonderful in the obvious enthusiasm for romance in general and their authors (US -- SQUEEEE!)in particular! I got a chill down my spine every time my cover flashed up on the screen!!

  5. Cheryl,
    We missed you so much! Sure hope we can all connect next year in DC. I dunno about everyone but I will solemnly promise I will NOT try to die in your presence, and I will NOT throw up on your shoes!

  6. Marie,
    The dreaded day job (DDJ) is a bummer only one day after leaving San Francisco. :-( But deadlines must be met. Do NOT make Aunty bring out the whip, and you KNOW I have one (actually two). HAHAHAHAHA!

  7. LOL! But knowing me, I'll probably throw up on my OWN shoes if I get on a plane!

  8. Cindy, your enthusiasm is contagious. I'm so happy for you! You deserve it all. All the writers do. And don't come back to earth too soon; reality is simply overrated. (wink)

  9. AC--

    It is so hard to believe that we were all in SF just a couple of days ago. I had a blast meeting Nora Roberts, but the highlight of my trip was meeting so many of the Casablanca Authors in person! You are all fabulous and I will never look at giving birth the same way (and if you weren't in our limo on the way back after the author dinner, I'll let you imagine what was discussed):)

    My advice for coming back to reality--don't! Keep basking in the conference fun!!

    It was a blast meeting you and the other banditas, too!

  10. Christina,
    CYBER HUGS to you! Yes, we all DO deserve the wonderful attention! Writing can be a long, hard, twisty journey and any positives we can grab along the way are life sustaining!

    We missed you too! Here's hoping you can join us next year. Do we need to order anything special to entice you? I'm ordering a heavy-duty barf bag for Cheryl decorated with glitter. If that's what it takes to get her to DC, then I'll apply the glitter myself. LOL!

  11. AWWWW! Danielle, it was WONDERFUL to meet you too! You were even cuter and more vivacious in real life than I imagined (and we all know Aunty has a vivid imagination)!

    And thank goodness your mother is a nurse or that limo ride might have scarred you for life! HAHAHAHAHA!

    Thank you again for coming to the Bandita Bash and for eating some cake. We had almost half of it left over... no wine punch left over however. ;-)

  12. A glittery barf bag... I'm completely undone....