In an earlier blog, I mentioned my problems with organization, how I use baskets and notebooks and colors to keep track of all my stuff and what I should be doing. In THE MATCHMAKERS OF BUTTERNUT CREEK, Gussie uses different totes for the various sections of her life. Yes, I took that from my life. I had one tote for school–a very large one–another for church, and many others for volunteer activities.
Today, I mostly use my totes for shopping and realize anyone looking at them would learn a great deal about my life. One is from an anniversary of the founding of my college sorority at Kansas State. Whenever I carry that, I make sure my hair looks good, my shirt is clean, and my shoes don’t look too ugly. I do that because living here in Austin, I fear a young collegiate Theta will see me and think, “I didn’t think alums looked that bad.”
I have another with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) logo on it. This is a communion chalice on a St. Andrews Cross. That cross is on its side and looks like the letter X which causes people to ask me if I’m a member of the temperance league.
Another tote has this written on it: “My hero can kick your hero’s . . .” Well, I’ll allow you to fill that in so I won’t insult any readers. I have totes with Romance Writers of America conference themes and one with the symbol of one of my publishers, all of which might tip people off that I’m a writer.
Many years ago, my dear mother-in-law gave me a tote with “Cats and Books” on it. That pretty well fills in my other interests: pets and reading.
What’s your favorite tote? What does it tell people about you?
. . .is that I’m back from San Antonio and the conference of the Romance Writers of America. It is an absolutely overwhelming and exhausting experience: 2,000 writers meeting together to network, chat, learn, meet and mingle–and some to party. Okay, most to party.
The conference, from Wednesday to Saturday of last week, is like a space station filled with the friendliest, most helpful people you’ll ever meet, circling in our own universe. Yes, 95% of those who attend are women so whole lot of talking going on.
Wednesday evening was the literacy signing. Published authors sit at tables filling a ballroom. At five-thirty, the doors are opened and crowds rush in to buy and have their books signed by the writer. The books are donated by publishing companies. This year, $58,000 was made, all of which goes to literacy: creating readers by selling books. I have to say this is, for me, an amazing experience and, every year, I’m so proud to be seated there and signing among all the amazing writers gathered.
Saturday evening is the awards presentation, a huge gala during which the best among published and unpublished novels and writers are honored.
In between, we attend workshops and meeting editors and do other signings and wear ourselves out greeting old friends and . . . and I’m so tired I can’t even think of anything exciting to write in my blog.
I’ll do better next week. I promise!
I got a pedicure Thursday and now look down at bright coral toenails that don’t look a bit like mine. During that hour of pampering, I discovered my feet are a great deal more ticklish than I’d realized. Everyone in the shop was laughing with me because–for a few minutes–I couldn’t stop.
Why did I have this, only my second pedicure? Because I’m leaving for the national conference of Romance Writers of America today where I’ll join 2,000 of my best friends in San Antonio. Probably half the writers in Texas and many from the rest of the US plus members from Canada and Europe and Australia and other places will gather there for days of networking, workshops, greeting old friends and making more. I’ll be participating in two signings, several parties and will be “doing” breakfast and dinners with friends I’ve known through RWA for fifteen years or more. What fun!
When I went to my first RWA conference in 1995, I entered the ballroom for the book signing. Saw rows of tables, hundreds of writer with their books stacked in front of them and hoards of readers wandering through. At that time, I vowed, “I’m going to be here someday.” Six years later, I was. After ten books, it’s still fun.
I’ve rested up for this and have nap time scheduled so I won’t wear out before I have to drive home, but I’m ready! Just have to pack, take the kitties to the spa, and take off!
Hope you all have a wonderful week. Hope to see some of you in San Antonio.
The Romance Writers conference is in July. Because I’m a RITA finalist, I have to come up with something to wear. Looking in my closet, I realize my wardrobe consists of jeans and knit tops, many with Cardinals or Power Cats on them. I once had a pretty, flouncy dress. I wore it in 1999 when I was a Golden Heart finalist and in 2004 when I was a presenter during the awards ceremony. This spring as I cleared out closets, I thought, “I’ll never wear this again because ‘fancy’ doesn’t fit my life style.” Some lucky woman bought it at Good Will and I’m out looking to replace it.
The search has been distressing but had it’s moments of fun. I tried on a lovely black sequined dress which did not look like me. As I left the dressing room, I ran into Tracy Wolff–one of my favorite writing friends–and had such a great conversation that people came over and said we sounded as if we were having fun. I’ve been pondering if they really meant, “You’re too loud.” She got some great and very bright clothes. I got a pair of jeans.
A few days later, I went to lunch with the beautiful and talented Katie Graykowski who offered me a couple of her fancy outfits. Thanks, Katie! Katie is gorgeous. She’d look great in red velvet but it’s just not me.
Then I had an idea! I had a black top with black beads around the top in my dresser. I’d never worn it because, yes, it’s fancier than I am. Sadly, that shirt had been ignored for so long that one-third of the beads had fallen off.
How would you describe yourself? Are you fancy or comfortable or do you just not care?