Tag Archives: new york city

Nationals Wrap-up

I know, it’s been several days since you’ve heard from me. In fact, if you actually want to hear my voice, you’re so out of luck. Nationals destroyed my voice and I sound like I have a secret to share with everyone. I don’t. Not really.

Nationals was fun. No doubt about it. I met so many new, wonderful people and was able to meet up with people I met last year. I didn’t grab the wrong bag at the airport this year, but I did almost get on a first-name basis with the security guards at the hotel. No, not in that way. I sort of locked myself out the hotel room safe, then two days later had a door that wouldn’t lock. They were very nice, by the way.

I wish I could talk about everything that happened, but that would mean this post would be about five pages long. Hence the reason I still have the non-existent voice: I keep having to re-tell my conference stories to relatives who stop by. I actually saw one of my critique partners do a top 10 list, so I think I’ll follow in her steps. Ready?

10 of the best things that happened at Nationals (in no particular order):

– I saw gorgeous men (there were a couple of cover models there. More on that later).
– The food (when I ate) was excellent.
– I finally met my critique partner, Daisy Harris, in person and she’s just adorable.
– I also met my agent, Nalini Akolekar, in person and she’s wonderful and thinks I’m a bizarre woman. It’s a good thing, trust me.
– The hotel was beautiful.
– Jillian Chantal took mercy on me and walked with me through Times Square because I was afraid someone would whisk me away (and no, it wouldn’t have been Gerard Butler).
– I had a lot of fun people watching.
– The Gathering (FF&P party) was a lot of fun with great food.
– I had drinks with several up and coming Avon authors with books out, or just about to come out. They were a lot of fun.
– I met my publisher and several Siren authors for drinks. A wonderful time was had by all.

10 things not so great about Nationals (in no particular order):
– I stubbed my toe in the women’s bathroom and had to beg a band-aid off of someone to stop the bleeding.
– I was locked out of my safe and then couldn’t lock my hotel room door. Thank God for security men.
– The elevators were completely whack.
– The shower was one of those “gentle rain” type shower heads when I really needed to have the hot water beat me half to death every morning.
– Starbucks closed too early and were stingy with their chairs.
– The smoking area left a lot to be desired and I’m almost positive my butt will never gain back it’s normal shape.
– New York shuttle drivers are insane and should probably not have licenses. In fact, it might be better for the entire city to be closed off to vehicles for the safety of tourists with heart conditions.
– Chicken is a four-letter word now and I never want to eat it again.
– Could someone please tell me why they don’t turn the a/c units on “arctic” when there’s a book signing with over 500 authors? Anyone?
– Internet charges should never be that much at a hotel like that.

So, that’s what I got out of Nationals. If you haven’t been, you should definitely go. Of course, now I’m debating on whether I’ll be going to Anaheim next year for Nationals or Chicago for RT. I’m thinking RT might be a wild ride. What do you think?

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First Impressions

So, as many of y’all have probably guessed, I’ve never stayed in a city as big as NYC. I’ll admit to feeling very intimidated by it all. It’s not…quiet, lol.

Yesterday wasn’t really a conference day for me. It was more of a wake-up-before-the-crack-of-dawn-and-pray-I-make-it-to-the-airport kind of day. You’ll be relieved to note that, yes, I made it to the airport, made my flight, and even made it to the hotel…eventually. My shuttle driver was having conniption fits because every street she tried to take was closed off. Yeah, it took nearly 2 hours to get from the airport to the hotel, but it’s okay.

I got to meet with my publisher, Diana, with Siren as well as several Siren authors. We had a few drinks, talked about writing, and generally just had a nice time. One of the ladies, Cheryl Brooks, had her traveling sidekick, Willie, with her. Willie, in case you were wondering, is a naked male doll. He took pictures by margaritas and seemed to be enjoying himself. A lot. *cough*

One thing I will say about New York is that…well, these people seem to think they’re superhuman. Is there something in the water here? ‘Cause every corner we came to with a pedestrian light was more like a suggestion rather than a law. People were weaving in and out of the cars like they were nothing. I nearly put holes in my hands from wanting to yank the steering wheel out of the driver’s hands because I thought she was going to hit someone. I think we may have glanced a pole at some point. *shudders*

It’s going to be a quiet web presence week for me. I’m not paying the crazy prices the hotel has for internet service (at least for more than one day) and my phone keeps crapping out on me. So I plan to have a nice long blog next week to recap.

I hope y’all have a great week and if I can sneak any messages out, I’ll try!

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Sheltered and Other Foolishness

While driving in town the other day, I happened to get stuck behind a public transit bus. I suppose I should start this post at the beginning.

When I was growing up, my hometown wasn’t very big. Oh, sure, it took a long while to get from one end of town to the other, but that’s because the city is spread out. After the oil industry came back in full swing in the 90’s and Hurricane Katrina displaced so many residents in and around New Orleans, my hometown grew by leaps and bounds.

It’s to the point right now that real estate is at a premium. You can’t buy land unless you’re a business and the land that’s out there is mostly marsh. Houses and neighborhoods sprang up where sugarcane fields had stood for at least a hundred years. It’s insane.

So I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when a few years back, the parish government decided to give the area public transportation. It kind of blows my mind, really. I’ve been on one public bus (well twice cause I had to leave) in my life. I was in England with a Brit who knew where the hell we were going. I don’t know if I could recognize my upcoming stop if it hit me over the head.

That’s the sheltered part.

I frequently feel like I missed out on so many experiences because I wasn’t raised in a big city. However, I know I’ve had some unique experiences that people in the big cities have never had. Yeah, how many people can say they had to watch out for cougars as they waited for the bus? Or cracked an alligator across the snout with a cypress ball? *looks around* Yeah, I’m a country girl, but I want to experience the big city.

That’s why I’m so hyped about RWA Nationals being in New York City. Just thinking that gives me heart palpitations. Me? In NYC? ‘Scuse me while I try to calm my breathing. Terrebonne Parish has around 110k people in it. That’s the whole parish, mind you. New York has…people numbering in the millions! *pants* Oh, sure, you could say “Well, you had to have landed in London which is a monstrous city” but hello…I went from the airport to a bus. I didn’t get to see crap.

So excited and hopeful that I can actually make the conference. Me. In NYC. *blinks* I’m terrified and exhilirated all at the same time. What happens if I get lost? What if someone mistakes my Cajun accent for something else and think I’m a local? (I have heard that a true Cajun accent resembles a Brooklyn accent). What if I spend too much money buying crap I don’t need, like a dozen Statue of Liberty magnets? Argh! It’s mind-boggling. Of course, if I do go, I’ll have to put Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind on loop for the flight out there.

What scares you the most about traveling? Have you ever been somewhere completely unlike your hometown and felt distinctly out-of-place? Are you going to Nationals in NY, and if you are, will you let me¬†superglue myself to your side so I don’t get lost?

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