I know I've already posted some stuff about Nationals so this is mostly to share some pictures with you.
On Tuesday I arrived at the Marriott courtesy of Air Canada and then the DC Metro. After an afternoon of waiting for my room to be ready, and feeling exhausted after being up shortly after 4 a.m., it was such a relief to see Fiona Harper checking in. I saw her room, she saw my room, we took an hour to rest etc and then met downstairs for drinks.
One of the first people we saw was Michelle Willingham, who recognized me right away. Bear in mind NO ONE has name tags at this point. It really puts one at a disadvantage! But I knew it was her too, and it was so great to meet her. Michelle and I sold within weeks of each other, and that has always kind of linked us in a special way.
Once we finished chatting, we found Jennie Lucas and had dinner at Harry's Pub. Jennie cracked me up right away. Being tired I had a glass of wine only with dinner, but Jennie ordered a lemondrop. Those things are lethal. When she couldn't finish it, the "waste not want not" in me was appalled at the thought of pouring it down the drain. I finished it for her. And stood up and remembered that lemondrops kick my butt! We then went to the lobby lounge for coffee (smart) and off to bed.
Wednesday morning I met Fiona in the lounge again as well as historicals author Ann Lethbridge - she'd registered and I saw her nametag! We grabbed coffee, fruit and pastry and munched in the lounge and then I went off to register. The first person I saw was Holly Jacobs, as I mentioned before. After a hug and the Hollyworld speech, I got my name tag and bag and promptly ran into Kate Walker for another hug - Kate gives the best hugs in the WORLD.
Kim Young, Fiona Harper, Me, Elaine Knighton at the Museum of Natural History
Since Wednesday I was free until 1 p.m., I joined a group going to the Smithsonian. Michelle Willingham, Fiona, Kim Young, Joanne Grant, Elaine Knighton and her friend Mary-Lou (Mary-Lou if you are reading this, why didn't I ever get your last name?) and of course yours truly took the metro down and first went to the Museum of Natural History. My fave was the bling - the Hope Diamond and all the other lovely jewels and gems. I was in heaven. I'm like a crow - if it glitters and sparkles I'm inexorably drawn to it.
After that it was off to the Museum of American History where we saw the Inaugural Gowns of the First Ladies. I'm putting a pic here that Fiona sent as she took FABULOUS pictures. This is Mary Todd Lincoln's gown.
Joanne was hit by jet lag and I had a lunch at 1 so the two of us caught the metro back to the hotel. Jo was gracious enough to snap a picture of me with the monument behind me. :-)
My lunch was with the Heartbeat chapter, and though I'm not a meds author, it's organized by a Calgary chaptermate, Julie Rowe. I was happy to go along and see old friends and chat to some new ones, and to see Brenda Novak get an honourary membership for all the work she does for Diabetes Research. It was great to see Brenda again as well - we first met over a year ago when we sat together at a signing. She is so lovely!
At 5:30 I was seated at my table at the Literacy Signing. When I sat down there was a postcard with "Girl From Mars" on it by Julie Cohen. I was like, what the...and then I flipped it over and it read: "Love you man! J". It made me laugh and relax. I saw Julie lots throughout the week which was awesome. This pic makes me look slightly evil, I think. But I was smiling a LOT, and quite widely too. LOL
I was seated with Starr Ambrose who was signing her debut for Pocket titled "Lie to Me". Starr was great and I got to meet some of her chaptermates who were a blast. I signed some books along the way as well, and met Jen McAndrews from Eharlequin, FINALLY! This isn't a great picture of me, but here we are. I'm pretty sure I've cracked up because one of us (ok, it was probably me) made a comment about our dangerous necklines.
I've known Jen online for YEARS. It was great to see her in person.
After the signing, Fiona and I went to the Bookseller's Best Awards as she was nommed in the Traditional Category. I stood in for Jessica Hart. In the end, Myrna MacKenzie won (yay Myrna!) and Kim Young accepted for her.
Then we ended the day by joining Mills and Boon authors in the lobby lounge for drinks and food - hosted by the legendary, lovely Sandra Marton. Here she is chatting to Janette Kenny and Kate Hewitt.
And that was Day One. Phew!