During the day it's spectacular, but at night? Incomparable!
I even had a chance to revisit some of the city. Can you guess where this was taken :)??
I didn't really know what to expect of the opening session this year, but it really was wonderful. 3 very different authors writing very different books and each one was fascinating. I certainly wouldn't have expected Diana Gabaldon for instance to mention blow jobs, but there you have it! It was a highly entertaining and educational panel :).
The keynote addresses are often a high light at these conferences and this year was no exception. Both Madeline Hunter and Sherrilyn Kenyon absolutely rocked, but it was Sherrilyn that delivered perhaps the most moving and inspirational speech I've heard. You really have no idea when you look at a person what they might have gone through, what they've overcome and how they've triumphed. Now I understand how she could have written Acheron. Not everyone could have written that book. She's my new hero and if I ever complain about writing, someone please pick up one of her books and hit me over the head with it!
The workshops have become less useful for me in terms of craft, but I still get a tremendous amount out of them. In fact, the entire conference is one big inspirational experience from start to finish. What could be better than spending several days in the company of writers and like-minded professionals? It really is a very liberating experience.
Some of the highlights in terms of more 'fun' events were the Romance Divas Divafest. There I connected with people I've only ever met online and got to try a butterscotch martini. OMG yum!
I also attended the RWA Passionate Ink party. Yes, she is doing what it looks like she's doing. But we're equal opportunity.
I also went to the Harlequin PJ party. No PJs for me, but I was able to connect face-to-face with a number of folks who hang out on the eharl loops. Oh and of course, I can't forget 'naked, g-string guy'. Our window looked directly into the changing rooms for the Broadway show The Lion King. And he was changing. It was right there and it was spectacular. There was no-where else to look. Honest LOL. OK, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!
The conference ended with the Rita and Golden Heart Awards ceremony. This is our chance to get dressed up, relax, hang with friends and recognize some of our best aspiring and established authors. It's always fun and some of the acceptance speeches are amazing. Meg Cabot did a great job as MC. Yep, even more inspiration!
So...I had an amazing time, caught up with new and old writer friends, got inspired and hopefully fired up enough to carry me through to next year!! Anaheim 2012, here I come!