Wednesday, July 29, 2009

DC - Part 3

Before I launch in, today is my youngest's birthday. I am working this morning, and then this afternoon will be spent poolside with a dinner of barbequed something or other, cake, and presents. In lieu of a party, we went to see Harry Potter yesterday and stopped at McDonalds (her choice) on the way home. on to Friday night and Saturday.

Friday night was the Harlequin Party at the Ritz Carlton. When the doors opened to the ballroom, it was just wow. Big screens around the room, flashing the 60th birthday logo and covers from over the years. Tables with lovely floral arrangements and candles. And tables and tables of decadent desserts. Here is a picture of me with Shirley Jump, just as things were getting started.

Here's the sad thing. I didn't have ONE THING chocolate. Not one. I could have. But when we arrived I wasn't really hungry, and later on I was too hot and the music was too good to think about eating ANYTHING. And that's kind of a shame. Because I totally would have loved one of the individual pecan pie thingies that Fiona had.

You know, I didn't even overindulge in the drinks - maybe 3 cocktails the whole evening. I did promise Liz Fielding I'd have a G&T for her before spinning out on the dance floor, and I was true to my word. But lining up for beverages meant not dancing, and a choice had to be made. When I did leave the floor, most of the time it was for water! (Here is me, with Jennie Lucas, and our Gin and Tonics)

The DJ was amazing. Apparently the same guy that was in Frisco last year, and rumor has it he's on board for Nashville next year. Not hard to see why. I was a little infatuated, to be honest. He has IT. I think it was the fact that he seemed to have fun. Sang along with the lyrics, danced a bit, came down into a throng of crazy women and worked the crowd...Shirley Jump was right there with me. I think it came down to the fact that there's something really sexy about confidence.

ANYHOO - I danced my feet off (and have the blister to prove it) and had a marvelous time.

Saturday morning I was tired but thankfully (because of water) not hungover. Had breakfast with my Calgary chaptermates and then went to a workshop Kim Young and Joanne Grant were doing called "Don't Let the Plot Get In The Way of Your Story". Had several lightbulbs, actually, and lots of laughs. They had a powerpoint presentation with the funniest graphics!

After that, Kim and I had coffee. Kim is my senior editor, and it was great to sit in the garden and just chat. :-)

Lunch was at the Lebanese cafe close to the hotel with Fiona and Kate Hewitt. The food was spectacular!!!!! Whether it was a hang-on from the 4 hour workout the night before or what, Fi and I were really, really hungry. The rest of the week we'd been just meh with food, commenting on reasonable portion sizes etc like good girls. On Saturday, we were STARVING and my mixed shawarma was excellent. We even - sinful girls that we were - ordered baklawa for dessert.

Saturday afternoon I had Rita rehearsals, and then attended an excellent workshop with Nina Bruhns and her agent, Natasha Kern.

Fi and I knew we should eat before the Ritas, since if we didn't we would be wayyyy too hungry at 10 p.m., so we had a much lighter meal at the pub. Then it was off to dress in our finest. I was filling in for Jessica Hart, who had finalled in the Short Contemporary category with her 50th book, Last Minute Proposal. Which means I got to sit in the GOOD seats. Kate Walker sat with me, and we sat next to Jennie Lucas and her crit partner, who was up for a Golden Heart.

The Ritas were fun - Anne Stuart was hysterical - what a character! And there were several touching acceptances. First for Jeannie Lin, who not only won the GH but who got "the Call" on the Wednesday of conference. Her acceptance made me sniffly - and I am really looking forward to her historical set in CHINA!

Gwen Cready and Kathleen Creighton's acceptances were also particularly poignant.

When it was all over, I met up with Fiona and Julie Cohen and we mingled about, sipping wine, nibbling a few appetizers at the reception. Here is a picture of the three of us looking all glam!

And thus ended the conference. But I still had one day left...


  1. Anonymous10:35 a.m.

    Wow Donna, sounds like such an amazing, motivating time. Thanks for sharing!!! Makes me want to get published even more, lol. Hopefully I'll make it to NY in '11!

  2. Well I'm glad they're keeping the DJ! I've heard only fabulous things about him! Actually you might see him next year, you might not... it depends on whether I get to him first and then he'll be far away in Australia and you'll all have to come over here and dance :)