I Am Here In San Francisco

Yes, I am in San Francisco for the Romance Writers of America National Conference. And I am wired. On line but also excited, excited, excited. Less than 12 hours here and already I’m motivated and inspired.

We got up at 4am Eastern Standard and have been going strong–at least I have–ever since. And of course I had trouble getting to sleep last night because of pre-conference anxiety. Did I pack everything I’ll need, is everything set at home for the pet sitter? Did the kids pack everything they will need? I maybe got 4 hours of sleep. I barely remember getting up and dressed. In fact in the Charlotte Airport between connections, I went in the restroom, looked in the mirror and thought “Wow, I’m wearing a necklace. When did I put that on?”

I spent the first flight (not long enough to pull out the computer and start writing) and the time between flights doing the in-flight magazine crosswords. Then I had to try the Sudukos. Besides there was the movie (Nim’s Island–enjoyed it) and the meal. Then I had no excuse. I needed to at least try and work on my revisions. And I wrote more than 1000 words. I had insight into the scene. I knew where I was going next. It felt so good since I’ve spent the last week cleaning house, getting errands done, packing and NOT WRITING.

Then we get to SF. BTW my DH and 3 boys came with me this year. An experiment. DH’s brother lives out here and it’s been 7 or 8 years since we were last out so I talked them into it. Wasn’t sure how it would work. I’m here to learn, see old friends, make new ones, network. But my family is here too and I want to spend some time sightseeing with them. I’ve balanced it. I had DH schedule us in early in case I went to the Leadership conference on Wed. but I decided not to do that. I’m a poor leader and not going to run for any other offices in my chapter in the foreseeable future. And to be honest, though it was interesting and stimulating last year I did not have much to bring back. Our chapter pres. attended last year too and I think she got more out of it. It’s just not my strength.

So today and tomorrow were for my DH and boys then the conference and then Sun we have time to do some more sightseeing together before we take the redeye home.

We get in, get the luggage, DH calls the car service and we go out to wait. He’s all concerned because they said they were sending a Lincoln Town Car and he thought the 5 of us and our (mostly my) luggage wouldn’t fit. I’m in conference mode. We’re here. It’s all good. So maybe we’ll be squished but we’ll get to the hotel and so what we’ll survive.

What drives up? A black stretch limo. I think that made DH19’s trip right there. Mr. Laid Back is taking photo’s with his cell phone. And I felt like a published author with a readership. It felt–good. And it helped send my self doubts right out the window. It was my first trip in a limo too. DS13 was blase. He rode in a limo after meeting a selling goal for magazines in middle school.

At the hotel, the rooms weren’t ready but I was watching the people come through the lobby and check-in and I RECOGNIZED PEOPLE. Some had done workshops I had attended. Some were familiar faces from the other conferences I attended. It felt good.

Another thing that felt good was being the one who was here on business. All our other trips have been tied to business DH was on. I was the one who took the kids around to see the sights while he was in meetings. And I loved it and am so happy we have had the opportunities. But to have the kids see me as a professional means a lot more than I ever expected. I don’t know if it makes a difference to them but it does to me. And I see it as a start. This may be the first time but it won’t be the last. My confidence is rising with every minute and I haven’t even attended the first workshop.

It was a bit off putting because all my guys were wiped out and couldn’t drum up interest in going out and about today. I was wired. It surprised them. When I told them I spent all of every conference I went to like this, DH told the boys he might have to room with them to get some sleep.

So we went to eat then got into our rooms, DS17 fell asleep. DS19 vegged out on the bed, texted his girlfriend and went on-line and DH begged for a little time to recharge his batteries. So I took DS13 swimming. Note: If you go to a conference with a bunch of women and you think no I won’t take my swimming suit because I don’t look the way I want–forget it. Everyone else is thinking the same thing and the pool is empty. So is the spa and the one here is almost big enough to swim laps. After spending almost 12 hours either on a plane or in an airport, stretching my muscles by swimming and then soothing them in the spa felt glorious. Take your suit and go to the pool.

After our swim and a shower, I took DS13 to the consierge lounge to check out the horrie doevers. I saw a friend from Australia that I’d met in the CL at my first conference in Atlanta. When DS13 went back to the room, she invited me into her group and I spent the next hour and a half talking with writers. Not big name published writers but writers of differing levels of experience, some in their 10th conference, some in their first and it was great as it always is. What I have found is that romance writers are welcoming, supportive and a whole lot of fun.

Check in tomorrow to hear what we talked about and more about the City on the Bay and the Nationals. And the wonderful and wise words of a reader friend that express exactly what it feels like to put your heart on the page and send it out into the world.

Okay, I’ve been awake for more than 21 hours. If I’m going to be functional tomorrow I better try and get some sleep.

7 Responses to “I Am Here In San Francisco”

  1. Merry Says:

    On behalf of all current and former Californians, Welcome!
    Go play tourist! That’s a great city to be in when you’re wired.

    See you in person soon, hopefully,

  2. McB Says:

    Go get ’em, tiger!

  3. Kay T Says:

    Yay! See you later (today?).

  4. Theresa Says:

    Have a great time getting recharged!! And enjoy seeing San Fran with your family!

  5. BCB Says:

    Awww. Now you’ve got me feeling all nostalgic. Atlanta was great fun, wasn’t it? SO glad we dragged you out from behind that plant in the corner. Can’t imagine WHAT you were thinking.

    Have a terrific time! Hope to hear more news, but I know how it is. You’ll be too busy doing stuff to talk about it. We can wait til you get back.

  6. jennifer Says:

    RSS, sound just perfect!
    Having your sons realizing that you are more than a great mom to them is really special.

  7. Sammie Jo Moresca Says:

    I’m right in your pocket, Robin. You ought to be a writer, ya know?

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