Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wild Ride With Romance Writers

Got back this week from my latest adventure in the nation’s capitol, where I attended the Romance Writers of America 29th Annual National Conference.

Suffice it to say, after listening to her speech, I now want to be Janet Evanovich and write mysteries, even if she is (slightly) older than I am and from New Jersey.

As with most trips, it had its ups and downs.

ot the same fever blister that’s appeared every three years since I was 45. I thought those things were for kids.

—Our flight home from D.C. to DFW was almost diverted to a site unbeknownst to us because of bad weather also unbeknownst to us. However, our pilot was kind enough to inform us we’d been circling for some time and that we were RUNNING OUT OF FUEL!!

—Upon arrival at DFW, we discovered our flight to Waco had been cancelled (because of the same non-existent bad weather), so we had to pay $160 to hitch a ride on the "Waco Streak." How could I have known the real excitement lay ahead?

Imagine riding inside an off-balance washing machine for two hours. Actually, a van with no shocks, hurtling through Dallas traffic at 90 mph with a Mario Andretti wannabe behind the wheel. Okay, maybe only 70 mph, but my mouth popped open several times when I wasn't talking.

—When we finally got home (see the UPS list), no one at the toll-free number for lost baggage knew where or when our bags would show up. When asked to describe the contents, all I could think of was "lots of dirty clothes."

Minor DOWN—my husband accidentally stepped on the goody bag of chocolate kisses I was bringing to my mother-in-law. So what if I’d already eaten all the peanut butter cups and my share of the kisses. She wouldn’t have to know that.


—No more fever blisters for another three years

—Got home safely. Met the last flight of the evening in hopes we’d get our luggage off the conveyer belt before the dirty-underwear thieves materialized. Lucked out—bags were there. Hope they enjoyed the flight.
—Our dogs were healthy and happy, thanks to my mil's good care and to Penny, who stopped by to give Mardi his insulin injections twice a day. A big Texas "thank you" to you both!!!

—But the biggest UP of the conference itself, by far, was meeting so many of the women I’d known for the past few years only through my online writing group. Every one of them was even nicer than I'd anticipated. Helpful, friendly, fun, intelligent, creative.... Yes, I could go on, but all good things must end.

Now that I’ve caught up on the laundry and grocery shopping, I’m also reveling in being home.

As I like to say: “Home is where my stuff is.”