Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane - Donna Alward

Today is Tuesday the 14th. This morning, I'm leaving on a plane for Washington, DC.

I loved Anna Campbell's post on going to Washington - her excitement is something I'm feeling so much right now. Because despite having written romance since 2001 and having been with Harlequin Romance since 2006, this is my FIRST national conference.

I know. I'm kind of a newbie all over again.

It's not that I don't enjoy getting together with my colleagues or learning - it's very important to me and I soak it up each time I have the opportunity. But to be honest, I really enjoy family vacations, getting away from work and spending time with my husband and kids exploring and learning and relaxing. There's not usually the money to do both.

But when I checked and saw that this year it was in Washington, well, I decided this would be the year. It is, in particular, a city I want to visit. It's also east coast, making it cheaper and easier to attend. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. And every day it seems I add something to my conference calendar - that is a bit of a thrill.

Today, weather permitting, I'm going to indulge in either a trip to the Arlington Cemetery or the Zoo. Tonight, I'm getting together with fellow Romance author Fiona Harper - I haven't seen her since AMBA in 2007. Major gabbing and eating - can't wait.

Tomorrow, I'm at the Heartbeat chapter lunch, catching up with some old friends, hopefully meeting some people I've only met online, and meeting some brand new faces as well. Then of course there is the Literacy Signing...and I've seen the list of authors participating. I feel like I should be sitting at the kid's table, you know? If you're there, please stop by. At every signing I do I have this fear that no one will come to my table. I'll be signing copies of my June release, Hired: The Italian's Bride.

On Friday I have an agent appointment and a focus group and, of course, the Harlequin party!!!!! This party is legendary and I got very squeeish when my invitation arrived in the mail!

And Saturday...well, Saturday is the RITA ceremony. Several weeks ago I splurged on a lovely outfit. And I am so glad. Not long after I brought it home from the store, one of my favourite authors ever asked if I would stand in for her at the ceremony as she cannot attend. The request nearly overwhelmed this newbie - I feel incredibly honoured (and it may be my one and only chance to sit in the good seats!). So that's what I'll be doing Saturday night.

In between those times, there will be other lunches, workshops, drinks, meetings, and general fun. I KNOW what it's like when we writers get together. DC won't know what hit it.

Finally, on Sunday, I get to play tourist before flying home on Monday. The idea, being time-challenged, is to take a bus tour and get on and off, much like I did in London. Keep your fingers crossed the weather is kind to me.

I'm going to have a wonderful time. And then I'm going to see my kids' shining faces when I return and be very, very glad to be home again. :-)


EllenToo said...

Just being in DC is exciting, see as much as you can in the short time you are there but Arlington and the changing of the guard is a must see. I would also suggest a trip to the American History Museum would be a very good stop if you get the chance especially if you are a sentimentalist. But whatever you do enjoy your time in DC and at the conference.

Pat Cochran said...

Have a great time, Donna! There is
so much to see and never enough time
to take in all the sights!

Pat Cochran