Did you miss us? Sure you did!
The Romance Writers of America conference was held at Disney’s Mariott Swan and Dolphin last week. Naturally, it was an opportunity to take the kiddos on a magical vacation. So I came to town five days earlier, building memories. Nine to twelve hour days for three days at the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom. My feet were screaming for mercy before the conference even started. Still, the awe and wonderment in my youngest daughter’s eyes when she met her favorite Disney characters, the laughter and squeals of my oldest daughter as we rode coasters, and the speed at which my hubby whipped out his camera to take pictures of Storm Troopers marching through the park made it all well worth it. Most definitely a vacation to cherish.
After the fam returned home, I stayed behind for the second leg on my Florida stay. I can’t say I was disappointed. How could I be? Workshops, education, networking, inspirational keynote speakers, meeting new friends, hugging old friends, yummy cocktails, and dancing—it was all so wonderful! See for yourself.
Arriving gives me the giggles.
We start off the conference with Level Up workshops on Wednesday. Stacey and I took a Master Class and an Indie Track class, each lasting 2 hours and each chock full of great information.
Intensive Workshop with Mark Dawson.
Another great workshop with Roxanne St. Claire and Kristen Painter.
Thursday was filled with more workshops, book signings, the Golden Heart luncheon, and the Rita Awards. Avon Books sponsored a dance party following the Rita ceremony. Dancing, drinking, laughing, nonsense ensued. It’s not a party until you break your favorite pair of kitten heels.
The Golden Heart luncheon with our friends from our local chapter, Northwest Houston. Amazing ladies, they are.
Posing with our superstar sister and Rita finalist, Sarah Andre.
Dancing the night away!
Drinks while strutting to the music with Rita finalist and fellow Ruby sister, Vivi Andrews.
Fun with friends Chloe, Eliza, & Ruth. Pics were taken for prosperity, of course.
Friday ushered in tired feet, more workshops, the trade show, networking, an impromptu podcast, another luncheon, RWA’s AGM, and volunteering to set up the literacy signing event.
This was just the beginning of getting the massive event set up. Even better when you have friends like Becca St. John (who took this pic) toiling away with you.
Throughout the conference, there were so many opportunities to meet new friends, catch up with old pals, finally meet online buddies, and make connections, usually with a nice relaxing cocktail.
One of my newest friends, my kindred spirit and fellow pirate wench, Chloe Flowers.
Finally meeting in person after being friends for years, Pam Stack, executive producer of Author on the Air Global Radio Network.
Are we ever serious? No…not really.
Stacey chilled with a (literally) smoking drink.
Saturday brought in, you guessed it, more workshops, the leadership breakfast, posing for a new author photo, the literacy signing, and a special book launch for one of my all-time favorite authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon.
2017 Readers For Life Literacy Autographing!
Stacey and Jami, beautiful ladies with beautiful smiles, showing us how it is done!
Lark and I were ready to sell out!
Girl crushing on Sherrilyn Kenyon. What a great way to end the week!
Last night at the Dolphin. So pretty!
No conference trip is complete without the TSA rummaging through my (locked) suitcase. Again.
Musetracks had a great time in Florida. Next year…Denver, Colorado. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.