Now if I could just remember to use it.
Everything started out hunky-dory. I got to Dallas expecting to grab a cab to the Hyatt Regency Dallas, home of the RWA national convention. Then, Lee Duncan (in white, front left), a lovely woman from the Florida chapter of RWA, as well as Washington Romance Writers snagged me and invited me to ride with her group.
E voila! I had insta-friends! And guess who was part of the group? Bella Rocki St. Claire -- of Bullet Catchers fame-- who is aaaaaaaallll the way in the back right of this photo. Remember when Rocki visited last Dec 22 to tell us why she hates Christmas (not really) and loves Clooney (yes, really)? Rocki's already booked to visit us just before Christmas this year -- our holiday tradition.
So, this all leads up to a fun ride into the city and to the hotel where registration was in full swing. And who should I see almost immediately upon arrival? Our very own Bella Marilyn aka Playground Monitor from WritingPlaground.com! She looks great, is so nice, and I'm having lunch with her today. I so wish you could hang with us, but maybe we'll really get this Bella bash off the ground for RWA '09 in DC? :)
Aaaaand, that leads me to dinner last night with Lisa Kleypas. Yes, it was a delight. Yes, she's gorgeous and petite and funny as anything -- especially after the wine, which she actually knows how to choose.
Yes, we talked "Blue Eyed Devil," her spring sequel to "Sugar Daddy," and, OMG, it sounds so frikkin hawt. Hardy Cates is gonna be a classic Kleypas hero, the kind we fell in love with back in the Derek Craven days. And the story line? Well, I'm sworn to secrecy, but I think the things gonna burn up the pages for myriad reasons.
Lisa gives the keynote address at lunch Thursday and she's invited me to sit at her "special big girl's table." I'm totally honored. But here's the thing that might go missing in this whole discussion about why Lisa and I click: we both competed at Miss America and adore the romance genre:
See, the Miss America scholarship program is every bit as niche-y as romance -- and every bit as misunderstood, yet worthy of the same tounge-in-cheekiness. So when you get Lisa and I together, with a little wine, we've got a layered connection similar to the one we've all got here. Only most of you have never supported your cleavage with duct tape or worn a tiara and stilettos in a supermarket.
Anywayz. I'll try to take pictures today, and find some good stuff to report on. Oh! You know what Lisa cornered me on? Whether I'd read the new J.R. Ward yet! Oh, Bellas, it wasn't pretty...