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RWA National Conference: What NOT to Do in San Antonio

I'm pretty excited about the RWA National conference in San Antonio. It's only a month away! If you're a reader, you should attend the huge multi-author booksigning on Wednesday, July 23 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel in the 3rd floor ballroom. Admission is free, and all proceeds benefit literacy programs.

If you're an author, get out of the hotel and see some of San Antonio. It's a fabulous city. It's only three hours from Houston, so I've been many times. The Riverwalk is always fun. There's lots of shopping, lots of history, and fun things for the kids too like the Alamo and the Children's Museum.

But you know what's not fun? SeaWorld. If you're going to San Antonio and bringing the family, think twice before going to SeaWorld.

I've never been a fan of SeaWorld. Whales and dolphins weren’t put on this earth to dance in pools to synchronized Christmas music. You don’t even have to believe in God or a higher power to realize that we demean these beings when we imprison them or make them perform like humans.

Recently, I watched the film Blackfish. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s not graphic or incendiary. It didn’t make me cry, and it didn’t make me furious. It did make me determined.

The film is basically interviews with former SeaWorld trainers, and they discuss an orca named Tilikum, who has now killed three people. It’s a fascinating look inside the culture of SeaWorld as well as an education about orcas—their natural behaviors and lives in the wild and captivity.

Tilikum has been sentenced to a life in what amounts to a bathtub. Maybe smaller than a bathtub since his tail and nose can touch.

Aeriel view of Tilikum's "home"

That's not fun for the whales, and it's not what I want my child to think is how we should treat animals. But form your own opinion. Watch the movie Blackfish and then take action.

I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio and meeting readers at the literacy signing. Let's promote literacy, not cruelty.


  1. Poor Tilikum! I will not be going to Sea World in San Antonio, because it's simply not in my plans. But I am taking part in the signing and plan to fit in some sightseeing.

    1. Can't wait to meet you there, Sherri. It's really a fun town.

  2. I went to Sea World a very, very long time ago and have known for a while that I don't agree with it. I really wish I was a vegetarian (my nephew and my sister are) but my husband wouldn't go for it and truthfully I'm just too lazy to come up with all the work it would take to come up with new recipes and mostly just for me. It's so easy to throw a piece of chicken or meat on the barbie!

    1. Good for you for not agreeing to go again, catslady. Not everyone is up for vegetarianism, but we can all be compassionate. Thanks!

  3. I am sorry not to be at RWA with you guys this year Shana, but thank you for the heads up. Like catslady, I haven't worked up the nerve to abandon meat eating, but cruelty is something I definitely want to avoid. Great post.


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