I wasn’t planning to go to New York

for the Romance Writers of America National Conference in June, until the morning of March 25th.  I’ve belonged to RWA for fifteen years, and I’ve never been to Nationals.  Never felt I had a good reason to go, and until recently I seldom had the money.

But on March 25th Lorraine Heath called me.  Actually, she emailed me, because I was at work and she had my home phone number, and her email asking for another number landed in my spam folder.  Since I know Lorraine only by name and her email was headed “Request from RWA” and it was March 25, I had to pick myself up off the floor before I could send her my work number.

Then I raced to tell my best friend, RWA sister, and employer, Jo Anne Banker, about the email.   Before I finished the story, the phone rang.  Lorraine was calling to tell me that Paper Hearts was a finalist in the historical category of the romance world’s biggest manuscript contest, the Golden Heart®.

Jo Anne had gotten her own call a couple of hours earlier, so I had walked into the office that morning to the news that her manuscript Lost and Found was a finalist in the contemporary series category.  I was happy for her, I really was.  And I moped for two hours.

For the last three years, Jo Anne and I had sent off our Golden Heart® entries together, laughingly promising that if we made the finals we’d go to the big conference.  If we’d really thought about it, we’d have known that the odds of both of us finaling would baffle even Mr. Spock, and for two years we shook off the disappointment and declared that at least we wouldn’t have to have our pictures taken.

But this year it really happened, and we’re going to New York!  We have our conference reservations and our hotel room.  We had our pictures taken after all, and sent them to the RWA office.  We joined the 2011 finalists loop, and the Golden Network, the RWA chapter for GH finalists past and present.  I took a class on WordPress and set up this blog.  Yesterday we signed up for editor and agent appointments at the conference.

On March 25th, the conference in late June seemed far away.  Now it seems closer every day, and I have shopping to do.  Our three-person office takes “business casual” pretty literally; most of the time we wear jeans, sneakers, and shirts, not always with buttons.  So I’ve bought some slacks that (a) are not jeans, and (b) are long enough to wear with shoes that are not sneakers (I’m tall).  I haven’t been on a plane in twenty years or so, so I’ve bought some luggage that is not the good quality, very heavy, hard-sided, wheel-less American Tourister lurking in my attic.  I need a decent summer jacket and a small purse, and who knows what else.

And, heaven help me, something very fancy for the awards ceremony.  I’m going to New York!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. D'Ann
    May 04, 2011 @ 23:34:10

    Awesome, Kay!
    I can’t wait until this happens for me and my writing buddy, Kristi!



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