Saturday, July 23, 2011

RWA 2011 Rocked!! Wanna see pictures?

My biggest accomplishment for this conference? I did it on 2 pairs of shoes. Total!! I'm really not kidding. Seriously though, the high I've been on since RWA 2011 in New York City hasn't lessened a single bit. I look forward to that conference every year and pretty much as soon as one's finished, I'm counting down the days to next year. This conference was a lot of fun for me because it was in NYC. I used to live there for about a year so it was incredible great to be able to be back in the city again. The hotel was located right in Times Square!! I've heard it described as the cross-roads of the world and it's just a vibrant and alive place, any time of the day or night. I loved that I had such an awesome view of it from my hotel room!

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 :)??

It's also important for me to volunteer to an organization that does so much for writers. This year, I signed up to help set-up for the huge literacy signing. This event is open to the public and the proceeds go towards literacy. So many authors, so many fabulous books and I got a bit of a workout. Perfect.

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.

 And I can't forget the guys either!! I'd only recently joined this RWA chapter but it was SO much fun. Who knew I'd actually learn something useful about Burlesque while laughing my butt off and getting to see some performances that were just great!

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!

Here's a pic of me and Rula Sinara! We only see each other once a year, but we make it count!

 And a self portrait :). I look tired, but it was a good tired!

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!


  1. Yay! Glad you had a good time. I wanted to go but then my car crapped out, and transportation had to take priority. But I'm totally going in 2012!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing these, Kaily! :)

  3. Great pics! I'm so glad I got to meet you in person :) And really wished I had that view out my window ;-)

  4. Elizabeth, so sorry you couldn't make it :(. I'll hope to meet you in 2012!

    Carolyn, you're welcome. I have others, but Blogger was just not cooperating with these. I know how I always love to see pics of events I don't get to go to.

    Natasha, it was so awesome to meet you in person as well. I was surprised by the view too. When I checked in they told me my room wasn't ready and would I like a room that had a great view. Ah...yeah!!

  5. Great pics, Kaily! I still can't believe your phone camera takes much better night pics than my actual camera!

    It's always so much fun to get together at Nationals, and I know I wouldn't have experienced NY the same way if you hadn't gotten me out of the hotel, LOL. I can't wait for CA :)

  6. Fabulous post! I was at RWA too, and had a dream come true time. I was in the lounge the first night and an agent sat next to me. She invited me to a get-together at her agency's office for the next day. It was like going to a movie premier except surrounded by writers, editors, and agents. Dream come true. She has my MS, so cross your fingers for me. :)

  7. Thanks, Rula!! Yeah, that camera is really good. I've gotten that I sometimes don't take my regular camera places anymore. You know I had a fabulous time at the conference and I loved being able to show you some of the city :).

    JAustenwannabe, wow, that was a dream come true. See? I can happen. Best of wishes for your submission! I'll cross everything for you ;).