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.”


Autumn Jordon said...

LOL. Ann, you make even the worse trip funny. Glad you, DH and luggage made it home safe and sound. It was great meeting you too. AJ

Ann Whitaker said...

Gotta laugh when these things happen. What I didn't mention is that the couple in front of us on the "Streak" was from Crawford (15 miles from us), and we had a great time talking to them. Her parents own the Coffee Stop where the former president used to go for burgers. Seems he'd been at his ranch for the last couple of weeks and no one has taken much notice of him. Such is fame.

Seems she's also an animal lover so we also talked dogs, and she took some of my cards and bookmarks for Fuzzy Friends, a local no-kill shelter.

Which is all to say it wasn't as bad as I probably made it sound. I never realized until I wrote DOG NANNY that I was prone to exaggeration (but only in my writing). I guess Texas has rubbed off on me.

I just read the excerpt from your book on your Web site. Now I see why you were a GH finalist. Very well done.

Becky Sue Burkheart said...

I'm glad you had a great time in spite of the trouble on the trip home.

Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks, Sue. We got home. That was the important part.

Cara Marsi said...


Very funny, Ann. Meeting you and your husband was one of the highlights of the conference for me. I'm glad you got home safely after all your troubles. And I know about fever blisters. I usually get one when I travel, but I didn't this time. However, I didn't notice any fever blister on you. You looked great the whole time.

Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks, Carolyn. Same here.

Even the fire alarm and leaving the restaurant was fun in its own way.

Linda LaRoque said...

Sounds exciting, Ann. Makes our trip home from the cruise not sound so bad. Our flight from Chicago was delayed by 2 1/2 hours so we stayed over in Austin again rather than drive on home.

Glad your first conference was a success.

Julie Kibler said...

Sounds like a fun time at RWA. I attended the awards ceremony and party with some friends in Dallas a few years ago, though I don't write romance. Delores Washburn sent me your way -- I'm an HSU grad and fellow writer, but you're a little farther along your journey than I am. I'm querying agents. I'll keep my eyes open for your book. Congratulations!

Ann Whitaker said...

Linda--I was in "going home" mode by the time we got to DFW. Would have probably started walking at that point if the Streak hadn't been available.

Hi, Julie. I tackled romance thinking it would be easier than the women's fiction I'd been writing. It's NOT!! Romance is even more difficult.

Nice to hear from you. I'll be signing at Texas Star in Abilene August 13. Drop by if you get a chance. Time is on my Web site. I'd love to meet you and talk writing!