Crazed person that I am, I decided to attend a conference the weekend before I zip off to England. It proved the perfect anecdote to the "have I packed the connector cable for "X"?" Moonlight & Magnolias is hosted by Georgia Romance Writers and this is their 25th year. They've obviously been perfecting things over those years.
I really enjoyed myself. Between swapping tales with my writing buddy Michelle Roper (who writes with Berta Platas as Gillian Summers) about their newest Young Adult book The Tree Shepherd's Daughter, to pitching a couple of new books at Monique Patterson (St. Martin's), it was a grand weekend. Even the hotel's luncheon was good. Usually hotel food, especially when served to large crowds, isn't that tasty. This was!
I passed on attending the Maggie Awards as I'm still frantically getting projects completed before hopping the plane. Today we had a Koffee Klatch with librarians and booksellers. Wow! This was fun. I got to talk to all sorts of wonderful folks, including Barbara Vey, a blogger for Publishers Weekly (and a force of nature -- trust me on this!) I also b.s.'d with Sherrilyn Kenyon (she's on my "This Lady Rocks!" list) who pointed out that we see each other more often than she sees her family. How true. I also spoke with Sarah Trowbridge from Fayette Co Library. I'm doing a talk at the library on November 3rd (ya'll come down!) so it was so great to talk to Sarah ahead of that date. Very nice lady.
I had a few minor moments of sincere panic when it appeared that my contest box (complete with entries), bookmarks and a box of 100 Sojourn samplers had been tossed out after the book signing the night before. Whilst trying to track this stuff down, the front desk informed me that if it was thrown out, "We put everything through a compactor". My heart sank. Diana Love Snell, who was conference honcho and who has now ascended to my "This Woman Rocks!" alongside Ms. Kenyon, said she'd make things right for me. Okay, I admit it, I got a bit drama queen about it all. I was frankly quite worried about the personal info that was on the contest entries. But lo, the stuff was found and I gave Diana two hugs. She took responsibility for the problem even though she was not directly involved. Gee, why can't she run for public office instead of some of the bozos we have to deal with? On my side of the fence: DO PAY ATTENTION WHEN THEY MAKE ANNOUNCEMENTS OVER THE P.A. SYSTEM, MS .OLIVER. Especially the ones that say "TAKE YOUR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS WITH YOU." Lesson learned.
Tonight I finished up my packing because I'm One of Those and tomorrow I'll be finishing up my Ripper talk, buying some No Jet Lag herbal medication and tidying up the house. And desperately trying to remember what else I need to get done before Tuesday. Of course, I'll remember the really important stuff the moment the plane achieves altitude. Such is life.