RT: Re-Try, Re-Taught, Re-stless….
RT: The annual convention held by the Romantic Times review magazine that brings together romance readers and writers for several days of laughs, reads, business seminars, and lots and lots (and lots) of free books and swag.
This year’s event was held in Los Angeles, CA, and since this is only a short drive from me (well, compared to RWA 2011, which is being held in New York City this year- literally the other side of the continent), fellow writers Robin DeJarnett, Lisa Sanchez and I packed up Helga (my beloved Ford Escape Hybrid) and made for Hollywood. [Here I want to give special thanks to these two wonderfully gifted women: not only did make the whole trip a reward in itself, but they kept mum when my iPod shifted from Bulgarian folk music to the Rolling Stones to Eminem.]
The scope of the 60-90 minute panels were meant to strengthen and expand every sub-genre of romance writing: scifi, contemporary, alternative, fantasy, historical, paranormal… There were even several sessions on Steampunk (BTW= Gail Carriger is BEAUTIFUL). I tended more towards the sci-fi and non-traditional panels, if that tells you anything about which direction I’m heading these days. 🙂 Also, because the event was being held just a few miles from Hollywood, there were several sessions geared towards script writing.
Robin and Lisa also hit up a few panels I was too prudish to journey into, one notably named “Five times a night, really?” meant to *hmm* educate romance writers about the physical capabilities of men whilst they are attending to their “manly duties.” Friday afternoon, all three of us also participated in the E-Book/Graphic Book Expo, where we had the opportunity to ply our wares to a book-hungry crowd. (A larger book signing fair was held Saturday afternoon for those published primarily through traditional presses, where I picked up a signed copy of “Lily of the Nile” by Stephenie Dray.)
Now, of course, whenever you get a whole bunch of women together, there needs to be social functions. At the end of each day of lectures, seminars, and giveaways was a magnificent ball. Night #1’s theme was Bollywood, sponsored by Ellora’s Cave. EC hired a team of Bollywood dancers to entertain the crowd, and when they were done, the dance floor was open. This is how Robin and I can attest that Lisa Sanchez can get pretty damned funky. The second night was the Faery Masquerade ball. Again, Lisa rocked the floor, but at the end of day two my nerves were pretty frayed, so I escaped early and sought out ice cream. The highs and lows came on night three, when we attended the Vampire Ball. The sponsors of this event had prepared a (not) short (enough) skit that made me believe the ball was so called as the entertainment sucked away one’s will to live. It was … well, it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched both “Isthar” and “The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl.” But, there was an upside. Any of y’all who knows me knows I hate picture of myself, and I generally don’t think I look good EVER. Well, I totally rocked the dress up portion of the vampire ball. So much, in fact, that I agreed to let one of those really rare photographs be taken of me. And rarer still, I’m actually sharing it.
And now the best part! One of the things you get at RT is just a wagonfull of free books. And me? I’m busier than a fox in a hen house most days, so I’ll never read three-quarters of what I picked up. So, over the next several weeks, I’ll be giving away some books here on the on the blog.
Just not five times a night.