by Kate Pearce.
For me, it was a simple drive through the tunnel, to the bay and into the city. Note-residents do not like it being called Frisco or San Fran, no idea why :) For some of the other Lusties, and ex-lusties it was a bloody long way. I remember when I first joined RWA looking at the list of conference venues and imagining when it would finally come to San Francisco, my home town. it seemed like light years away, but not only has it happened, but it's all over...
One major problem with 2000 women getting together is the noise level. It has a high-pitched kind of element to it that soon drives me insane. And all that estrogen floating around? Scary, I kid you not. The rare male who braves it, (yes there are a few male romance writers out there), who generally by the end of the week, end up looking either terrified or totally overwhelmed, and I can see why. The cleavage, the shoes, the outfits, God, it's fantastic, like high school meets Ms America.
To my eternal pride, I actually recognized the divine Madelynne Ellis when I met her at the pre-mini Beaumonde conference. She and I spent a happy day going to workshops on gunpowder, clothing, Regency knick-knacks, Regency food and tippling. Well, Madelynne tippled and I caked it, but it was fun either way.
When I met Portia, I could only be amazed about how little and delicate she was. Of course, all the Americans loved her and Madelynne with their 'quaint' accents. I loved them too, but at least I could just about understand them. I'm not sure what 10 years of living in California has done to my accent-maybe they couldn't understand me!
Please note the cleavage of Ms Madelynne Ellis in this picture. Cleavage was very 'in' or should I say 'out' at RWA this year. Mel, a friend of mine, runs an annual contest on her blog called "who's tits are these?", which has nothing to do with writing at all but is still good fun.
This is the obligatory picture of a cable car. I'm proud to say that despite living here for ten years, I've never been on one. But I've heard the ride is equally fascinating and terrifying. The hills really are unbelievably steep, so if you hang on the side, you get the near death experience of almost falling out. If you sit down, you get the air squeezed out of you when everyone leans on you. I can think of better ways to die...
I did ask Portia for her impressions of RWA and San Francisco and she said the worst thing has been the jet lag. I can understand that having suffered it a few times myself over the years. The best thing for her was meeting me-(well actually, what she said was meeting all the people she knew online, so I suppose that includes me. :)
Some fellow Knight Agency clients made up a basket for the Passionate Ink party, which is the erotic romance chapter of RWA. We called it "The Knight Agency box of Naughty Deliciousness" As I lived closest I ended up getting packages sent to my house containing riveting items such as 'cock soup' penis shaped lollipops, orgasmic mints and smutty books. I added some dark chocolate balls and various other edibles. The whole thing was topped off by two feather boas and a feathered black and silver mask from New Orleans.
Imagine my delight when Portia won the basket! And guess who got to take it all back home again ready to ship it to Portia?-yup, me.
I believe there were lots of workshops at the conference although I 'think' I only managed to go to about six...The rest of my time was spent 'networking'. I like that term, it covers such a wide range of activities doesn't it? I went to a lot of parties as well, 4 in one night, which included the awesome Passionate Ink party where they gave away mini-vibrators as party favors. Now that's classy and with wine at the hotel at $11 a glass, a gift full of endless amusement seemed far more satisfying and a lot cheaper than getting drunk.
My other publisher, Kensington also had a cocktail party that night and they even paid for the drinks which is probably why I'm smiling and flushed in this picture.
The other big party is the Harlequin one, which everyone seems to crash, except me this year, I was still knackered after the night before. Here is a lovely picture of Portia, Saskia Walker, Shelli and Karen, obviously having the time of their lives, without me.
And let's not forget the Lost Lusties...This is Dayle and Teresa at the Romance Divas dinner refusing to share the chocolate cake. You can see why they fitted in so well around here.
Erotic romance is still viewed with some suspicion by many members of RWA, but I think they are coming around. I sat next to an inspirational/mainstream romance writer at the literacy signing and she was extremely nice. She even introduced me to her rather shocked friends at one of the luncheons-I'm all for spreading the love...after all that's what San Francisco's all about, right?
Anyone who wants to add their experiences, or ask any questions about what else we got up to, please do!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Posted by Kate Pearce at 3:36 AM