This recap is probably a little late, since I've been home from RWA for a week, but I wanted to put it up anyway. I'm always so excited when I get to attend, and I had such a good time at RWA this year. It started with a road trip from New Jersey to Orlando with my mom. I will admit that the idea of driving to Florida sounded miserable (such a long drive...two days in the car) and, in fact, I've said that I would never drive that far again, but I did. And it turned out to be a lot of fun. It was great to spend so much time with my mom, talking and listening to Lisa Kleypas and Nora Roberts (Devil in Winter! Savor the Moment!) books in audio. It reminded me how much I loved those books—books that Mom and I have both read before and shared—and now I want to go back and read the rest of each series again. My to-be-read is so long, but I'm going to have to make time for that reread. We didn't stay in the conference hotel, but where we stayed was close to Disney, and it was so pretty too. We had dinner and drinks by the pool more than once!
I fangirled a bit (more than a bit?) over favorite authors and got some books signed. I talked books and writing with author friends and writers I'd never met before, and I was so happy to be among these romance authors. Writing is such a solitary occupation that it's amazing to be surrounded by other writers and book lovers (of course, by the end, my introvert self was ready for some serious time without talking to anyone...). One of my outfits was chosen for a best of RWA fashion article, which was so much fun. You can find it here, and check out that Beauty and the Beast purse—I covet it.
One of my favorite parts of RWA is always the speeches. They are just so inspiring and leave me fired up to go write more words. This year Sherrilyn Kenyon was the speaker at the Golden Hearts Award lunch, and she reminded us not to let anyone tell us we don't deserve our dreams—we do. Susan Wiggs gave the keynote at lunch on Friday and told us how to be an overnight sensation in 30 years. So much of what she said resonated. And then there was Beverly Jenkins's speech when she accepted her Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. I cried listening to it, and I know I wasn't the only one. This part especially got me: “You have no idea what it means to be a descendant of a people who, by law, were denied access to the written word; and be here before you this evening as a celebrated, award-winning author. So now, here I stand, Beverly Elaine Hunter Jenkins. First of her name, descendant of slaves, daughter of Delores, slayer of words and the 2017 Recipient of RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award!" If you haven't heard the whole speech, you can find it here. It's well worth a listen.
And since, we were in Orlando, I had to go to Disney! I only wish I had more time there (yes, I absolutely love Disney and would visit all the time if I could). I'll leave with a bunch more semi-random pictures from the week. (Most are mine, but some are courtesy of Alexis Daria, Robin Lovett, and Frannie Cassano.)