Next thing I know, the woman in front of us in line turns around. Not in that "you're acting crazy what's wrong with you" kind of way but in that "did I just hear someone say my name?" kind of way. Holly breaks into a huge grin and I glance at the woman's name tag.
Yep, I was standing right behind Charlaine Harris in line and she heard it all. I'm pretty sure I blacked out everything that came next: Holly assures me that I said thank you and yes, I did turn bright red and stammery. I remember thanking her for taking the time to read and post and she said that she hadn't have said it if it weren't true. I pretty much beamed the rest of the day.
Seriously, that kind of coincidence is the type of thing I'd read in a book and roll my eyes at -- how crazy! Crazy awesome, that is :)
In a nutshell, the RT Convention pretty much rocked. I'd never been to RT before (I'd only gone to RWA Nationals) and I had no idea what to expect. Pretty much, the convention had everything: craft panels where I was struck with inspiration and furiously took notes, events like the Mr. Romance contest that had everyone hooting and hollering and laughing, and in between lots and lots of hanging out with pretty awesome people. Ally Carter has a great recap with lots of photos here and Jen has a list of ten things she learned here (yes, the evil hair is important!).
|Pictured (clockwise from back left): Holly Black, Jeaniene Frost, me, Vicki Pettersson, Ally Carter, Patrice Michelle, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Melissa Marr. Photo taken from Ally and Jen's blog|
Here's the part that I'd forgotten: standing in my room, wanting to cry because there were hundreds of people downstairs and I was going to have to push myself to go down there even though I knew no one. I remember standing outside the entrance to a ballroom where one of my chapters, the ChickLit chapter, was having a mixer and having to take a deep breath and tell myself over and over again, "You can do this" when all I wanted to do was go run and hide in my room. I remember forcing myself to go into the room, to introduce myself to people, to smile and not let anyone see how terrified I was.
For a moment, at the start of RT before Ally (my room-mate) arrived I had to tell myself the same thing: rather than stay safe in my room I had to tell myself "you can do this," and force myself to go downstairs. The elevator doors opened, I took a deep breath and stepped out onto the convention floor. The first people I saw were Holly and Jen and Melissa and that was that: I wasn't alone anymore. It made me feel like I'd found a home.
I've always thought that one of the best things about this industry is the people in it, and the RT Convention was no different. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to hang out with such amazing people and soak in their wisdom. And now that my well is refilled... time to get writing :)