What a week! I left last Tuesday for New Orleans and Romance Times Convention 2014, commonly referred to as RT2014. This was my first convention and it was quite an experience. I'll probably write a few more posts just to keep my thoughts a bit more organized. I arrived in NOLA (that's what people in the know call New Orleans, Louisiana) excited and nervous. I had plans to meet up with (and spend significant time, hopefully) with Cara Bristol, Sue Lyndon and Alta Hensley, as well as a few others who I knew would be there.
So, what's it like to "meet" someone with whom you've emailed, blogged and written anthologies...but never spoken to or seen in person. Logically, I knew they had to be nice people and that we'd get along, but still, I wondered...will they like me? Will I talk too much (the answer to that is always yes)? Am I wearing the right clothes?
You know...like a blind date.
I arrived at my hotel and rested a bit before the big meet up. I had been shopping quite a bit (at least by my standards) to assure the appropriate clothing for the festivities. Tuesday night was to be dinner at Saints and Sinners with the folks from Blushing Books, incluidng Bethany Burke (owner), her staff members Joey and Allison and assorted writers, but more on that later. I had a nice white cotton blouse with some lacey sort of cut outs which I wore as a jacket over black pants and a black top. Pretty basic, but I thought it looked nice.
When I'd tried the blouse/jacket on at home it had sometimes felt a bit tight in the arms, but I twisted and pulled and it worked out. It seemed odd that the tag was in the front, near the buttons, but I assumed that was because it would look funny sticking out of the lacey detail in the back. As I checked myself out in the mirror before heading off to wow my new friends, I noticed an odd detail in the back...darts.
Yes, I was wearing my "jacket" backwards. But in my defense---who'd wear a blouse that buttons down the back?
I considered changing, but by then my fashion sense was depleted and so I went with my usual life plan of "Oh, what the hell" and ventured out in my reversed-wear to impress my fellow writers and all of Bourbon Street.
Sue Lyndon texted that she'd arrived and was waiting to check-in. I stood near the check-in line and texted "wave, so I know who you are", a sort of frightened looking woman in a cute dress turned and looked around. She probably noticed my backward clothing, but still waved, so we nervously hugged and said hello.
This may come as a surprise, but when I'm nervous, I talk even more. Neat.
Next, I left Sue to finish checking in and went to Cara Bristol's room. When she let me in I jabbered and explained the backward jacket and who knows what else I said. I suspect it might have been a bit much, but well, I don't get out much.
Cara was lovely and gracious and did not jabber at all.
Eventually we all met up in the lobby, including Alta Hensley, and ventured out to Bourbon Street and Saints and Sinners, where we had dinner with Bethany Burke, Joey and Allison of Blushing Books, Paige Tyler and her husband, Maren Smith, her two sisters and her father (they dumped us for a Ghost Tour. I wondered if it was due to my backward clothing...), Isabella Kole and her assistant.
With such a large group it was tricky to talk to everyone, but it was nice to put faces with names.
The only other thing I remember from that night is that Alta Hensely attracts weirdos on the street.