Friday, April 17, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

by Christie Kelley

It’s that time again. The annual trek to the Romantic Times convention. Last year it was held in Pittsburgh and the only plus to that was the fact that I could drive there. This year it is in sunny, warm Orlando, Florida! After the cold winter and very cool spring we’ve had in Maryland, I can’t wait to get there.

So Monday morning, I’m getting on the plane and heading south. My 81-year-old mother is coming with me. She is a Disney fanatic so she is meeting me at the airport. We will spend two days at a Disney resort before heading over to the convention hotel. I have a feeling she will wear me out in the parks. My mother has more energy than most 50 year olds. After raising nine kids, I would think she’d want to rest, but not her.

The conference officially starts on Wednesday, although RT has good beginning and advanced writer classes that are held on Monday and Tuesday. I found a few good workshops that I want to attend on Wednesday and Friday. Thursday evening, Kensington is having a cocktail party for its authors, which is always fun. I’m looking forward to seeing some of my author friends. Saturday is the big author signing.

I know for certain, I won’t be the only bandita there either. Donna will be there and hopefully a few others. I will certainly be at the award luncheon cheering on our very own Donna and Jeanne who are both up for Reviewer Choice awards.

This blog will be short today as I still have laundry, packing, dinners to cook and then freeze, and notes to write so my boys (including the big boy) know what has to be done and when. It’s exhausting just getting ready to be away from them for a week.

So, it you’re planning to attend the conference, please let me know. And please stop by and see me at the book signing. New authors are very needy. If not, have you attended a readers or writers conference? What did you love/hate about it? When is the next conference you plan to attend? If you haven’t been to a conference, what would make you want to go?


limecello said...


Helen said...

Well done limcello

Have Fun

limecello said...

Awe... have fun at RT, Christie! :) I think a LOT of people are going - so that'll be tons of fun.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Lime, he's back with his true love, I see! Helen was breathing down the back of your neck.

Christie, have a wonderful time at RT. One day, I'd love to come over for it but at the moment my one trip to the US every year is for RWA. Good luck for the signing!

Good luck to Donna and Jeanne too! More awards in the lair are always VERY welcome!

Christie, I adore writers conferences. They wear me out as in my usual life, I live a very quiet existence. But it's wonderful to catch up with everyone and talk writing and just get that blast of energy that only a conference can supply. I must say, though, by the time something like RWA is over, I'm longing for just a little bit of quiet. The noise level of thousands of excited romance writers in one room is like a jet plane taking off!

Helen said...

Have lots of fun I wish I could be there. I have been to one conference the first Australian Romance Readers Conference ARRC09 that was held in February in Melbourne, Hubby and I made it a bit of a holiday and we drove down taking our time and stopping along the way and I gotta say I had the best time.

I am still in awe of the wonderful job that the organizers did the conference went off without a hich as far as I could see they had invited lots of authors and lots of them came it was awesome talking to these authors and talking to other romance readers who new what you were talking about.

I got to see, meet and talk to Anna Campbell, Stephanie Laurens, Sara Bennett, Annie West, Amy Andrews, Denise Rossetti, Paula Roe, Bronwyn Parry they are some of the Australian Authors from overseas there were Sherrilyn Kenyon. Diana Love, Mary Janice Davidson, Liz Maverick, Susan Grant, Michelle Ann Young/Ann Lethbridge.

The panels that I attended were fantastic I came home with stacks of new books and lots of bookmarks pens etc which I love.

They are planing another one in 2 years and I will be there again I loved the whole weekend.

Enjoy yours Christie

Have Fun

Helen said...

Donna and Jeanne GOOD LUCK Ladies I have everything crossed for you.

Have Fun

Annie West said...

Hi Christie,

I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time at the conference. I went to my first readers' conference here in Australia in February and it was tremendous. My next conference is the August RWAustralia conference in Brisbane, closely followed by RWNew Zealand in Auckland. Roll on August!

PJ said...

Congrats, limecello!

Have a great time, Christie! I had thought about going to RT this year but finances dictated I could only attend one big conference and I opted for RWA. I went to the RWA booksigning in Atlanta and had a blast but this will be my first time as a registered participant and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm getting a taste of how busy I'll be in DC - I already have two parties, one coffee and a luncheon scheduled and it's only April!

I've been to the Celebrate Romance and Moonlight & Magnolias conferences. Both were terrific! I've already registered for this fall's M&M conference. Hope to see Banditas there again this year! :)

Donna and Jeanne, good luck at the RT awards! I'm looking forward to hearing all about it when y'all get home.

Safe travels!

Nancy said...

Limecello, congratulations on grabbing the bird! Helen, better luck next time.

Christie, both Disney and RT sound like lots of fun. Basking by a pool in Orlando has way more appeal than giving finals.

I like conferences. I enjoy meeting people and talking to authors whose books I love. Since I've never been to RT, I don't know what it's like. RWA has a very business-like vibe, and although I enjoy it, I'm usually tired at the end from being on company manners for four days. The two days of M&M are a better fit, length-wise, for my personality.

DragonCon is a fan convention, which is more relaxed. I pack in one carryon bag for DragonCon, as opposed to the big garment bag and carryon I use for RWA, because jeans and what the dh refers to as "appropriately decorated t-shirts" are the uniform of the day in fandom. For RWA, I need suits, at least one dressy dress, and appropriate accessories.

RWA is definitely planned by morning people, while DragonCon is not. Nothing starts early at DragonCon, and the hotel bars are jumping far into the night. Which is probably why nothing starts early. :-) But the program tracks go until something like 11 p.m., with videos and bands running until after 1 a.m.

As a non-morning person, I'm in better shape out of the gate at DragonCon. At writing conferences, I have to summon alertness. And coffee. Lots of coffee. *g*

Nancy said...

PJ, I'm so glad you're going to RWA. I hope to see you there. At least 3 banditas will be at M&M for sure, and we'd all love to see you. Trish, Caren and I are presenting a panel.

Nancy said...

Helen, I like panels, too. I like picking up tips from authors and hearing how they approach things. When my favorite authors talk about characters I love, hearing them brings the book alive for me again.

Terry Odell said...

I'll be there (actually, I'm already here -- I live a couple of miles from the hotel.) So stop by and see me, too! I'll be at both book signings, co-hosting the Mystery Chix Breakfast, and goodness knows what else.

Beth said...

Christie, I hope you have a fabulous time at Disney and RT! I love writer conferences *g* I can't wait to attend RWA's national conference in DC - I'm already counting down the days :-)

Best of luck to Donna and Jeanne!!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Christie - I'm looking forward to seeing you again next week. I'm not arriving till Wednesday morning. No Disneyworld for me (sigh). I did a mother-daughter trip like that a few years before I lost my mom. She wore me out at the Mall of America (of course, I was the one pushing the wheelchair). You two have fun.

Nancy - RT is more like DragonCon - only with romance fans. It's all about the fantasy. Lots of hunky models, costume balls at night, mega promo, and books, books, books. It's less professional than RWA - even the workshops are geared more for readers than writers, but it's fun. Looking forward to seeing Terri and maybe Hawk there.

I'll be blogging live from RT next Thursday so if you can't come to Florida, at least come to the blog *g*.


Barbara Monajem said...

I love writers' conferences, too, but RWA National is a little too long for me. I get so wired I can't sleep, so the last day I'm a zombie. Either that, or I take a lot of naps and miss too much :(

I hope to go to RT next year, because I have a book coming out around that time. RT sounds like a pretty wild experience... I adore costumes. I'm thinking of going to Dragoncon this year, too.

Christie Kelley said...

Congrats on the GR, limecello. I'm hoping to grab him early Monday morning and steal him away to RT with me. He would have a blast!

Louisa Cornell said...

Ah, Lime, he needed a little alone time with you I see!

Christie, I know you will have a ball at RT. I really wanted to go this year but this *&^%$# economy dictates my travel plans at the moment. And I figured I'd better attend RWA in DC on the off chance I might pick up some jewelry there. Even my attendance there is iffy until I save up all the money I'll need. Pray that no tires blow or any other of those thousand and one money eating gremlins shows up at my door!

RT just LOOKS like loads of fun and I AM going to get there one day. I attended RWA last year in San Francisco and I had the best time of my life. It was amazing! The highlight? Meeting the Banditas of course!! And my lovely lunch with La Campbell!

Conferences really are one of the best ways to re-energize the writer and make you believe you can do this thing!

Good luck Donna and Jeanne !! I'll be cheering you on here in Alabama. You might just be able to hear me!

Oh and Donna! Guess what I found in a Wal-Mart in the next town over? THE SEDUCTION OF A DUKE !!! YAY!

Christie Kelley said...

Anna, I do understand why you don't make it to RT. And boy do I agree with you about the exhaustion factor. This won't be too bad but RWA this year will be tough. My husband and I leave for Italy five days after the conference ends. I'm going to be beat!

Christie Kelley said...

Helen, thanks for letting us know about your experience at ARRC09. That sounds like such a fun conference but I doubt I'll get to that one any time soon.

Christie Kelley said...

Annie, have a great time at those conferences this summer, no wait, that would be your winter, right? I need more coffee to get this straight.

Christie Kelley said...

PJ, RWA will be such a great time. I'm so glad you're coming! I can't wait to see you. But RWA is always crazy with all the special parties and luncheons. I find it far more exhausting than RT because there is so much more to do there.

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, I'd never make it DragonCon. I'm way to much of a morning person.

But you're right about basking by a pool right now. We're finally getting some real spring weather and might even make it to 70 today. It's been a strange spring here.

Christie Kelley said...

Terry, I'll definitely look for you. I'll have a Bandita pin on. Plus with the red curls, I'm pretty easy to find.

Christie Kelley said...

Beth, I can't wait for RWA either. I missed the last two conferences and really feel like I missed out.

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, I can't wait to see you again! Any special hats or purses this year?

Christie Kelley said...

Louisa, you are so right about conference re-energizing a writer. That is the thing I love the most about them (well, that and seeing all my friends)

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Barbara, RT is fun and you have to take it that way. The costumes and craziness is a little overwhelming. I'm not sure about next year yet. Since I'll have two books coming out next year, I'll probably go.

Kate Carlisle said...

Have a blast at RT, Christie!! And enjoy the time with your mom. The Disney World trip sounds like so much fun!

We'll expect a full report when you get back. :-)

Good luck to Donna and Jeanne, too!! We're so proud of you!!

Gillian Layne said...

Take lots of pictures and have fun! We'll want to hear all about it when you get back!

Christie Kelley said...

Thanks, Kate! I'll post updates here when I get the chance.

Christie Kelley said...

Gillian, thanks for the reminder about the camera. I had completely forgotten about it. I may steal my son's since his is smaller than mine.

Cassondra said...

Hey Christie!

You're a better woman than me. I know RT will be a fun time, but I've heard it's a crazy wild one too. I think I'd be intimidated.

Nancy said:
Nothing starts early at DragonCon, and the hotel bars are jumping far into the night. Which is probably why nothing starts early. :-) But the program tracks go until something like 11 p.m., with videos and bands running until after 1 a.m. Now THIS...THIS is how a conference should be set up. What is this "breakfast at 7, workshops at 8" baloney? Sheesh. If I wanted to get up and go to an office, I'd keep a REAL job. (Evil Grin)

Seriously I am so not a morning person. Left to my own devices, I'll work until 2 or 3 in the morning, then sleep until 10 or 11. Can't do that at RWA cons. So THAT part of RT I would like I guess.

Christie I know you'll have a blast meeting readers! And I'll be cheering for everyone up for awards.

Christie Kelley said...

Cassondra, it will be crazy there but that's okay. I can always use a little crazy.

I know so many writers who are night owls. I am certainly not one of them. I can't write past 8pm. But I can get up at 6am and start writing.

limecello said...

Christie - I'm sure the GR would love RT. (I forgot to add - I recently read "Every Night I'm Yours" - I really enjoyed it, but haven't gotten a chance to write a review for it yet.)
As for what would make me go to a conference? Well I'd LOVE to go to one - but time, and cost are always my deterring factors, sadly. It never seems to work out.

terrio said...

Disney and RT together? Sounds like Fairy overload. LOL! You are going to have so much fun. I only attended the booksigning last year and it was great. I did the NJ conference couple years ago and San Fran last summer. As Louisa puts it, it was the time of my life. Gosh, that was such a blast.

BUT, the jet lagged nearly did me in so I'm happy to be taking a short 3 hour train ride to DC this year. I'm even going in a day early so I can be well rested before the crazyness starts.

Good luck Donna and Jeanne! We'll be cheering from all directions.

Genella deGrey said...

RT is the BEST. On Wednesday there is an ebook signing in addition to the Saturday print book signing. RT is the only conference that gives kudos to ebook authors and publishers, that is only *one* reason out of *many* I prefer RT over the other big national conference.

I leave on Tuesday - Have a BLAST at Disney! Your mom is an inspiration!

See you in Orlando!

Genella deGrey said...

And limecello - You so crack me up!

Pat Cochran said...

Never been to a conference such as
RWA or RT. Someday, maybe. One of the conferences was held in Houstonin 2006 or 2007, when I was just beginning to get interested in the blog world. Didn't know enough to try attending, at least the book signing session.

Enjoy the conferences, ladies and

Congratulations to limecello and to
the Golden One also!!

Pat Cochran

Pissenlit said...

Congrats, limecello!

I'm not big on conventions. Mostly 'cause I can't really afford them and I'm not a huge fan of crowds. However, I've never been to a readers or writers conference and you all make it sound so fun. It's possible I might be a tad jealous. :D

Joy said...

Wow, your lucky. I went a few years ago when it was in Saint Louis and we had a wonderful time. Enjoy it! Hope you bring back lot's of goodies.

Keira Soleore said...

I've been working on my new vow to stay off the Internet as much as possible, so I haven't been in The Lair as much as I used to be.

Have a great time at RT you three, Banditas. We're waiting for the award news that'll make us whooooop in celebration.

And yes, PICS, please. RT is way more outrageous than staid RWA. So I always want to see pics from the RT parties.

Are all the Banditas heading to DC this July, or are there a few of you who aren't?

Christie Kelley said...

limecello, I hear you about the costs. That's why I missed the last two RWA conferences. RT was cheap last year because I could drive there and had two people rooming with me for the weekend.

Christie Kelley said...

terrio said...
Disney and RT together? Sounds like Fairy overload.

LOL! Too funny! I look forward to seeing you again at RWA. I'm really looking forward to that conference.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Genella! I'll look for you at the ebook signing. I too think it's great that RT does that.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Pat, hopefully you can get to a conference soon!

Christie Kelley said...

Pissenlit, I'm not much of a crowd person either. When I get home, I want to be left alone, which doesn't really work with a husband and two boys. Conferences are fun and worth stretching the comfort zone.

Christie Kelley said...

Thanks, Joy! I went to RT in 2000 and 2001 and after that said I wouldn't go back until I was published. Well, it took awhile but last year was my first RT where I could sign books. And that was such a blast.

I know I will have lots of goodies, at least the ones my mother doesn't steal from me :)

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Keira, we've missed you!

I know a lot of us are going to RWA this year. It's only 40 minutes from me but I'm still staying at the hotel so I can enjoy the nightlife. Hope to see you there!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Christie!!

Y'all have a blast in Orlando at the RT convention! I'm sadly forced to actually attend work so I can't be there. Jo Davis and Tracy Garrett will be on the loose there, so watch out for them!

Christie Kelley said...

Suz, I will look for them!

Virginia said...

Congrats limecello on grabbing that rooster!

Have fun at the RT. I have never been to one but I bet its a lot of fun!

PinkPeony said...

Chiming in late...Limecello, congrats on the GR. What "kind" of chicken is the GR? A Rhode Island Red? A Jersey Giant?

Christie, I think it's wonderful that you're taking your mom with you to Orlando. I've only been to Disney World once and it's magical..makes you feel like a kid again.

I am ashamed to admit that the only "convention" I've ever attended outside of work related events, was an "X-Files" convention in S.F. My friend was a rabid fan and insisted I go along...uh..great place to people watch... =:-O
I really enjoyed "Every Night I'm Yours" :)

Christie Kelley said...

Thanks, Virginia!

Christie Kelley said...

Thanks, Jen! I've never heard of an X-Files convention but I can imagine the people-watching would be great.

I'm glad you enjoyed ENIY!

Evangeline said...

The RT Convention sounds like so much fun! I think anything would get me to a convention because it mixes business with pleasure. Now if only my wallet mixed with wealth...

limecello said...

... um, Genella deGrey, why?

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Christie,

I will hope so! I have attended
two conventions, one for Catholic
youth back in the day and one for
adult volunteers who worked with
Catholic teens a few years ago.

Also wanted to tell you I really
enjoyed reading Every Time We Kiss!

Pat Cochran

Anonymous said...

Hey Christie, good luck surviving Disney! I'm sure it will be much quieter for you than it was for me when I was there last summer...and cooler, too!

Definitely bring along a Disney guidebook -- there's just no way to manage the place without it. And start your day early early early. We got all the big crowded rides done by 11AM, just as the crowds were really massing. It makes for a much better day and you get a lot more rides in.

And don't forget to do It's a Small World -- that ride never gets old! :-)

Nancy said...

PinkPeony, Trish and I are dedicated to DragonCon. You and X-Files have nothing to be embarrassed about in this company. :-)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Your mom sounds like a firecracker, Christie. Say "Hi" to Disney World for me. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

PinkPeony, Nancy is right. We're both huge fans of DragonCon. I'm even going to dress up in costume this year. :)