By Beatriz Chantrill Williams
Flash forward to late July 2010, and I'm still sweating through my suit jacket, but the scene has changed. It's Orlando, and I'm whizzing under the Disney World entrance arch with a suitcase full of business casual and a BlackBerry full of meetings and appointments. I'm looking forward to my second RWA conference so much, I can feel my belly muscles strain, urging the taxi onward.
So this time, as I walk through the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel, I recognize countless name badges, whether from email loops or books read or people met. This time I dodge half the workshop slots to dine with my agent and her other fantastic clients, to sit down with my paperback editor for the first time, to meet face-to-face the many writers and bloggers I've encountered online. Instead of slouching up to my room at eight o'clock, I head for the pool or the bar, sipping chocolate martinis with chapter mates and new best friends. On Friday night, I tiptoe into my first publisher party, where the fangirl moments come so fast and furious it almost starts to feel... normal.
But every Cinderella eventually hears the clock strike midnight. At the awards gala on Saturday, I lose track of my buddies in the lobby crowd, and find myself herded into the massive ballroom without (gasp!) a tablemate. It's 2007 all over again, and after all the glamour and fellowship of the last few days I'm back sitting through a three-hour ceremony with a bunch of strangers. All of sudden, my dress feels wrong, the goddess ponytail that InStyle magazine assured me would set the summer ablaze seems silly, and I'm dead certain my mascara is smudging.
And then I pass by a familiar face. It's our own Lauren Willig, just sitting down to dinner, and with a big smile and a friendly laugh she welcomes me back into the sisterhood. By the time I head up my room that night, I'm convinced that there must be some pixie dust in these books we write, because it's no small miracle that a profession so notoriously rife with competition and neurosis could produce so many helping hands.♥
Beatriz Chantrill Williams is thrilled that the next RWA national convention takes place in New York in only ten and a half months. Her first novel, OVERSEAS, will be published by G.P. Putnam's Sons just in time.