06 July 2011

Getting By With a Little Help From My Friends: RWA Continued

The Romance Writers of America national conference was a total girl-power experience. I was surrounded by so much estrogen, I'm pretty sure I pushed menopause back a good five years. I felt like I was living in my own Bizarro world, except with Wonder Woman, not Superman.

My stay in the Alternate Universe began in my  hotel room. Originally, I was going to stay with my friend June, because she lives in New York City. But my friend Deborah Blake, a fellow Betty, lost her roommate. Never to be found again. Nah, her buddy just couldn't attend, which left Deb in a bind. I considered the benefit of having a place to crash between volunteering gigs, and signed up. It was a wise decision, most notably because Deborah is a good woman, and an easy bunkmate. Wait-that didn't come out right. Although she did say she's available.

We had fun. And we learned the most important lesson of all: order one meal, and share it!

At the end of my first, long day, I was sitting in Orientation and got a text. It was an empty thought bubble. Naturally, I wanted to know who was bursting at the seams to tell me...nothing...so I wrote back. It turned out to be Colette Auclair, my fellow contest slut, who reached out to me after we finaled in the Winter Rose. Actually, I'm much more of  a 'ho than Colette, who won first place in our category. She's lovely and talented, so in the future I will know not to compete against her. I ditched the orientation in favor of food and company, and quickly hijacked the conversation, plus the chair formally occupied by her friend, Kimberly Savage. The conference provided different opportunities for each of us, so we weren't always together. But here we are, looking glamorous after the fancy schmancy Awards Ceremony.

Megan Coakley, Colette Auclair, and Kimberly Savage: Future Award Winners.

When I was in Salem for the NECRWA conference, I was determined to hand out my business card to every woman I met. The first two victims of my blitzkrieg were Serena Bell and her best friend, Ellen Price. Ellen and I kept meeting up in the restrooms, where I would invariably give her another card. Both she and Serena are dedicated and knowledgeable about their craft, supportive and helpful with their advice. Also, it's just fun to listen to them finish each other's sentences. They're like a married couple. Or sisters.

My new peeps: Serena Bell, Ellen Price, and Kimberly Savage.

That is what the conference felt like-a huge gathering of all the women in a family-mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins. Strong, independent females, striving for individual and collective success. Listen, I really want to be published. But I also want that for Colette, Kim, Serena, Ellen, Delia, Lora, and anyone else driven by the need to share their stories. The Lone Woman is surrounded by penii, but believes in the power of the vagina. If RWA is any indication, sisterhood can change the world.

Come join us. Positive attitude required. Blonde hair, not so much.


  1. Anonymous6.7.11

    I love these pictures, and how cool was it to have so much fun and meet (or re-meet) so many great women?!

  2. Come on...that sounds so cool I might be willing to go blond to attend!

  3. Gorgeous pictures. So cool that you ran into Sarah and Ellen there, too! Keep it coming. :)

  4. Were there truly no men there? I know that some men pen romances, usually under a woman's name.

    It sounds wonderful, but so big that it feels a bit scary. I'm glad you met and re-met such great people.

  5. Looks awesome! And all just a 10 minute walk away. So close, and yet so far. :)

  6. @Skye: There were only a few men there. Some were authors, and some agents. But I would say 95% women, if not more. It was a huge conference-impossible to do everything I wanted. So, next time, I'll know better. But it was great for meeting new people!

  7. More things would be better in this world if it were vagina-powered. Which sounds dirtier than I intended, but I'm pretty sure you know what I mean. I love the pictures and the solidarity.

    I'm late commenting, but I certainly hope your delicates survived. But getting a 15 year old to do their own laundry is at least a small victory on it's own. ;)

  8. It was a great conference, but it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without you to share it with.

    The not-very-blonde-but-still-fun,

  9. Is it sad that I'm getting all teary eyed just looking at all our pictures? Seriously, I'm all emotional. I had so much fun! Thanks for the fun, the great memories, the friendship!

  10. @Deb: gosh, I must have missed this, because I will absolutely vouch for your fun-factor!

    @Kimberly: I think the post-conference emotional crash is natural. It's strange to make such instant connections with people that live far away. The parting is such sweet sorrow! I'm so happy we got to hang out, and I know we'll get to do it again.


Thanks for reading! Unlike other Diaries, this one isn't private. Feel free to share your thoughts. Politely, of course.