I’m back from the Romance Writers of AmericaTM National Conference. Normally Marissa and I blog “live” from there, but this year, I collected all the interesting tidbits and brought them back with me. And I wasn’t even over weight on my luggage!
The day before Conference starts, I usually attend the Beau Monde mini-conference. The day-long affair brings together writers of Regency romance to share their knowledge and love of the period. This year was no exception, with fascinating talks on ciphers, madness, the medical profession, and sailing ships, to name a few. Speakers included Cheryl Bolen, Patricia Coleman, Louisa Cornell, Laurie Alice Eakes, Georgie Lee, and Ella Quinn, with a keynote by the tremendously talented and often hilarious Jade Lee.
That evening brought the Beau Monde soiree, where ladies (and gentlemen) danced and played period card games, and learned who won the Royal Ascot (the chapter’s contest for unpublished manuscripts). The winner this year, Elizabeth King, hails from New Zealand. She also won RWA’s most prestigious contest for unpublished manuscripts, the Golden Heart, in the historical category. This lady will be one to watch!
I didn’t actually go to the soiree myself. I let my “cousin” Sir Reginald attend in my place. Here he is partnering Jes Lyons, an assistant at Prospect Agency. I hear she was an excellent dancer!
I must admit that the hotel was amazing, with lots of overstuffed chairs along the marbled walks for sitting and catching up with old friends and making new ones. And the pool! So beautiful, by day and by night.
I took in a number of workshops at the Conference, but I slipped away one evening to see the sailing ships in the harbor. You see, the San Diego Maritime Museum was only a mile or so walk from the hotel along the boardwalk, with the ships right up against the walkway. I didn’t reach the museum in time to go inside, but I certainly took my time ogling the ships. The Star of India, built in 1863, is the oldest iron-hull merchant ship still sailing. The HMS Surprise is a replica of a 20-gun frigate built in 1757 and was used in the film Master and Commander with Russel Crowe. Le sigh.
All in all, it was a productive, insightful, delightful trip, though I found myself wishing that a certain dear author had been at my side. Here’s hoping for next year!