Conference Craziness

So next week, I am officially off to the Romance Writers of America® Conference in San Antonio, Texas. I am both tremendously excited, and nervous. I mean, wasn’t it just May a minute ago? And now suddenly it’s the end of July.

My Golden Heart Pin and Invite FINALLY arrived!!
My Golden Heart Pin and Invite FINALLY arrived!!

For budget constraints (and since it’s only fair sometimes my family gets to travel instead of just me), I generally only attend Conference every second year, or at least, that’s how it’s worked out. But this year will be extra special.

First: because ever since I saw the location posted as San Antonio, way back when I joined RWA® back in, hmm, I think 2008, that’s where I wanted to go. Blame it on too many western novels and a small obsession with Texas in my earlier years. 😉

Second: this year, I’m going as  Golden Heart® Finalist. Which is pretty exciting. I’ll attend my first Golden Network Retreat. Actually got first choice of agent and editor appointments.

AND, best of all, I get to meet all my fellow finalists. Some of which have become critique partners, and it’s so strange having to much contact and trust in someone technically, you’ve never met face-to-face.

Well, them and the other couple thousand attendees. Did I mention the conference is HUGE? (Look, it deserves caps and everything). 😉 Yes, I am getting a bit goofy. Probably the result of rushing to get to this point, and suddenly almost being there, like standing on a precipice, and thinking, “huh, that’s a bit higher than I thought.”

But speaking of rushing, I still have some work to do, and it promises to be a fairly intense week of getting my writing ready, and “getting my game face on.” 😉 That is, settling down and preparing to meet lots of brand new people, see some familiar faces, and generally act a bit more like the social butterfly than I naturally am.

I love talking to people, but not about myself. Yes, I was one of those people who would rather have been in a bridesmaid’ dress at my own wedding – I’m not big on being the focus of attention. 😉

Okay, before I burble on some more, better get to work. I hopefully will post more before I leave Tuesday, and fingers crossed, lots of exciting news to share when I get home.

Are you attending Nationals this year? Let me know. I’d love to meet you. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and have a great week. 🙂

Over the Moon and Surreal Moments: 2014 Golden Heart Finalist

This morning I got the call from RWA® that my novel, “Hidden Magic,” is a finalist in the 2014 Golden Heart Contest. Golden Heart® Finalist (If you’re curious, you can visit the link the all 2014 Golden Heart and RITA finalists here.)

To say I was “excited” is an understatement. My husband was afraid I was having a heart attack. And if I had been, I don’t think I’d have cared. 😉

I’ve had many well-wishes including to “enjoy the ride,” and only now am I starting to get some idea of what a surreal kind of ride it is. Honestly, this week I’ve been trying to ignore the deadline for when contest finalists were announced, and planning on the fact that since I’m going on holidays, it could be consolation for another year when I didn’t get that call. I had already decided this was certainly the last time I was entering the contest. And I’ve been dreaming of attending this year’s conference in San Antonio for four years but doubted I’d be able to attend (where winners are announced and there’s lots of Golden Heart fun). When I got the call this morning, and the lovely caller said she was calling from RWA, I refused to let myself get excited. I wondered if I’d done something wrong, maybe there was an issue with my membership or something.

Even now, as I’m staring outside and its snowing (where the heck is spring?!?), I’m not even ranting and raving. And I can still hardly believe it’s true, more than just a tiny bit of validation, encouragement to keep writing, to keep pushing on improving my craft, and that maybe, I’m on the right path after all.