Oh, Friday. Friday had another breakfast gathering, this one of cherries, so it was more fun breakfast than work breakfast. Then workshops, signings, and meetings. (I swear, there were awesome workshops, several about writing YA, theme with Suzanne Brockmann and Sarah Frantz, and Roxane St. Claire's mending broken scenes to name a few. I look forward to reliving them via recording.) Friday was also the day I started to go a little nuts. I may, for example, have tried to steal Thea Harrison's ARC of Storm's Heart. I may have begun narrating my actions aloud - sample, "Water. Water is good, I should probably get some of that." (Scintillating, isn't it?) I may have stuttered when talking to Jennifer Crusie. I may have told Caridad Ferrer that When the Stars Go Blue made me cry. (Okay, that was actually normal behavior for me. I also, earlier in the week told Jennifer Echols that I sat down to read Forget You with dinner and next thing I knew it was 10:30pm.)
It was a wild weird morning and then my sister and I met up for lunch only for us to discover that she lives in the same building as the friend I had met earlier in the week. (Too funny. And no, my sister had not previously met this friend, although I've known her forever.) Both of them are dog owners, so I got to spend some quality pet time while away from my pet.
After lunch, I returned to the madness before finally sneaking away to recharge both myself and the various electronics. Then dinner and back to primp for the Golden Heart and Rita awards. I had overheard folks in the elevator talking about a schedule change so got there earlier than planned and was trying to find friends and such.
I ran into a couple in the lobby who wanted to know why we were all dressed up - there was also a medical banquet, but since they asked me I explained that it was the romance writer awards. They nodded and said, "Oh, like Harlequin?" And I agreed that yes, Harlequin publishes romance novels. It turns out they have a friend who loves Harlequin (I assume as a reader although possibly as a writer too) and when they saw the screen listing all the workshops, they decided they needed to call and tell her.
My feet, I confess, were tired (not me, of course, I was fine) so the waiting was wearing and I confessed to another person waiting for her peeps that I was close to making new friends (not an idle threat, people, although not really a threat either). Anyway,found some chapter-mates to sit and cheer with. Meg Cabot was a lovely host. And the speeches were great. The woman who mentioned her son was in prison so writing was keeping her sane was certainly memorable. The lovely Jill Shalvis won a RITA as did long time finalist Virginia Kantra. And Lifetime Achievement award winner Sharon Sala's story of her granddaughter coming to a signing and saying, "You must be famous like Britney Spears!" was lovely.
After I ran into another friend who recognized me because of my knitwear. I also had a few chats with folks who shall remain nameless about foundation garments. (My dress, while lovely, had a lining that crept up to my navel and rendered itself useless.)
Saturday dawned and people in the elevators and such looked familiar, but they no longer had name tags. It was very confusing.
I found a knitter in the lobby and introduced myself. After chatting a bit it turns out she's critique partners with one of my chapter mates. She also introduced me to another knitter/writer. And I ran into someone else I had met earlier in the conference so we could exchange contact info.
I ran out to do some last minute errands before heading back to check out and then head to the bus pick up. My companion for this journey was a wonderfully behaved sevenish year old who's parents were across the aisle. He played a quiet game on his dad's phone, then laid his head on his knees and slept, then hummed quietly to himself for a bit. He finally asked his parent's how close we were as we pulled into Union Station.
And I made it safely home with my bags stuffed with books. (Although a certain someone brought home a number in the triple digits.)