In a perfect world, I would have had a week, possibly even a month, to mull over all I took in at Romance Writers of America's Annual Conference in Atlanta. But my world isn't perfect, and, because my mom's birthday converged with conference time, I had only five hours or so (on the drive between DFW and my childhood home) to reflect on my conference week.
These hours weren't enough; in fact, I spent most of them freaking out. I freaked out thinking about what to do next, I freaked out thinking about all of the amazing women I met, and I freaked out remembering all of the absurdly awesome events I attended, big and small.
Of course, I also spent many hours freaking out before RWA--on these very same topics...and outfit planning.
Selfie City: Whew, my outfits worked out.
My mom, at the very least, enjoyed seeing pix of my RWA13 outfits.
Ruthie Knox writes it best (better, bestest ever!) over at Wonk-o-Mance when she asserts "we all fit." And it's true. We all do (did, will continue to!).
If you're an unpublished author or if you're a Centennial Award recipient (100+ published books!) or if you're somewhere between the two, it doesn't matter. At RWA, you fit! And I'll continue to abuse exclamation points because it is such an indescribable feeling to walk into a room of approximately 1,980 strangers and know you fit in!
I was tickled pink to spend time with the approximately 20 folks I "knew" before conference. My Smacaroons, a great group of writing women who met taking Sarah MacLean's Media Bistro class last fall. And the ladies of Wonk-o-Mance and their associated twitter followers. (Somehow I have next-to-no good photos from WonkoKaraoke.)
The Smacaroons celebrating Sarah's first RITA after the ceremony.
I had some absolute pinch-me moments at conference: breakfast with Sarah MacLean and Sophie Jordan; meeting Eloisa James (in her suite!) for tea and a brain-bending strategy session; having drinks with Angela James in High Velocity; and attending a lovely event at the Margaret Mitchell House with some Avon authors.
But the quiet moments of con were just as memorable: entertaining my roomie (Royal Ascot winner!) Julie Hinz with my pajama choices (Forever21 leggings FTW!); hanging out with writer friends (new and old); getting out of the hotel for a great meal; and holing up in my blissfully cold hotel room working on my agent/editor pitch.
I live-tweeted conference and posted a jillion pictures on Instagram. Some of those I hash-tagged with #RWA13 are here at Storify.
But my ultimate takeaway is: romance matters. Our stories matter. (Kristan Higgins said it best; if you're a member of RWA, I think they post audio after login. At least, I hope they do!)