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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

RWA Nationals 2008: Before I Forget it All

As the parties quickly fade into hazy memories of wine, women, and song, I'm back in my own bed and my own house with Stinger and Hunter (it's a toss up who was happier to see me) and I'm thinking I'd better get some of this out of my head before it disappears completely.

Let's see, quick rundown. The Knight Agency party was fab--those ladies really know how to live it up! We went to First Crush Wine Bar, just a short hop from the Marriott, and had the wine cellar party room all to ourselves. There must have been 100 people there, rotating in and out, and with the low ceilings and uncarpeted floor, it got fairly loud. Are we noticing a theme? The Diva Dinner was cacophonous, and now we have to shout to make ourselves heard at First Crush. But it was all good; we got to meet lots of new people, since Lucienne Diver's clients were there and it was our first event all together since Lucienne joined TKA.

Daytime events: I moderated agent Elaine Spencer and YA author Marley Gibson's workshop on agent/author relations. It was a smashing success, very well attended by lots of good, engaged listeners with questions at the end. I did take pictures, but they were all actions shots of the girls talking, so I'm pretty sure Elaine and Marley would hurt me if I posted them here. The next day, Kristen, Laura, Jo Marie and I went down to Fisherman's Wharf for a little more sightseeing. I had my heart set on the sea lions, who I'd been told got down and dirty with each other on a daily basis, but we mostly saw Ghirardelli Square, a fabulous little cupcake place (is Kristen Painter not the most adorable thing you've ever seen in your life?), and a bunch of handmade jewelry stalls where I think we each bought something for the coming night of publisher parties.

Pub Party Night started with a flying visit to the Berkley/NAL party being held in the hotel. I said hi to all my friends and former coworkers, which was lovely, then we headed out to the St. Martins party. SMP took over the top floor of a shmancy asian restaurant and served adorable hors d'oeuvres like mini takeaway boxes of cold noodles, skewers of portabello mushrooms and yummy egg rolls, along with knock-you-on-your-behind "St. Martini" cocktails. They were fuschia and tasted like straight punch, but were evidently more like straight vodka infused with fruit juice. I met lots of wonderful people, from editors to execs to fellow St. Martins authors, and it was just great. Then we crashed the Harlequin party, and the evening quickly spun out of control.

In a good way! Harlequin gets crashed by half the conference every year, so they expect it by now. They'd reserved the entire enormous Four Seasons ballroom, put in a dj and dance floor surrounded by huge potted palm trees harboring spot lights. There was a double-sided mirrored bar serving so many women you couldn't hear yourself think, and at one point things got so rowdy that one of those giant potted spotlight trees crashed to the floor to accompaniment of a wild cheer from the dance floor. Did the dancing stop? Nope. Everyone was having too much fun. Kristen, Marley and I were there with Roxanne St. Claire and Jane from Dear Author, and Rocki immortalized many moments which I hope will never see the light of the internet.

And then we all stumbled home! I left the next day, missing the Ritas, so I can't give you the scoop on that but I heard it was lots of fun. I'm already looking forward to next year! Poor little Washington, D.C. isn't going to know what hit it.


I should be on a t-shirt.

Loved hanging out with you and your weather-telling arm. Can't wait for DC!

I love your party recap. Way too much fun had by all!

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