Last week I shared my reasons for not reading romance novels. I’d actually drafted that post for Valentine’s Day but a work trip (and general apathy) delayed its publication.
It meant just as I was ‘polishing it up’ (yes I know… you couldn’t tell I take the time could you?!) I received word that I’d won a ticket to the Australian Romance Readers’ Convention in Melbourne the next weekend.
Oh irony, thy name is… um, irony.
My thoughts have been mixed. My #5before50 bucket list involves me going to a readers / writers’ event this year. Though obviously romance wouldn’t be my first choice, there’s no multi-day crime fiction equivalent; and large writers’ festivals don’t have the same level of camaraderie as a convention or conference.
But… although I saved $300 by winning the Booktopia sponsored ticket (thanks Booktopia BTW!), I still had to pay for my accommodation, flights, awards dinner and so forth. So… I’m already down $1200 before buses, taxis and (importantly) wine. Which blows my budget for the new few months and delays some essentials. Like pest control and a new computer. 😉
Of course there’s yet another flipside as I haven’t traveled much (at all) in the last few years so flying to Melbourne and staying at a hotel for a couple of days sounds kinda fun.
And on top of that, although romance is the theme of the sessions, some are broadly of interest to lovers of words. Like moi.
However… even though I’m trying to be positive, I’m conscious I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone, cos:
I will know no one
I should mention at this point that I’m going alone. I’ve met one of the writers who’ll be there and am excited to meet a couple of others, including Amy Andrews who I’ve been virtual friends with for a while. But that’s the extent of my social circle.
So, I’ll be the one walking into each event alone.
Thankfully that’s not something that worries me too much. I’m more than happy to walk up to a group of strangers and
ambush them start chatting. Well, usually.
I won’t fit in – square peg, round hole
However on this occasion… I’m a tad nervous my lack of knowledge about ANYTHING romantic fiction like will be obvious. Or that I’ll be ostracised as a non-romance-fiction appreciator. Or something.
Perhaps it’ll be cliquey and I’ll have no one to sit next to at the awards dinner like an awkward loser-like child in the school lunchroom.
And finally, the age-old dilemma….
I have nothing to wear
I messaged Amy Andrews to ask if the Saturday night Awards Dinner was dressy.
“Yes,” she said.
“Shit!” I said.
She reassured me it wasn’t school-formal dressy. But still…. it means I have to find the ridiculously expensive dress I was pressured into buying (at a styling session) 4yrs ago and have worn once. It’s the sort of dress (and possibly occasion) that would normally require pantyhose, but screw that for a joke.
And I’m intending to only take hand luggage, so I’m gonna need to stick to one or two pairs of shoes, which means limited colours and clothing options. Melbourne’s weather is famously unpredictable so I’d normally have to worry on that front but I doubt I’ll set foot outside of the hotel – other than to scour local 7-11s for Vanilla Diet Coke of course.
Do you often step out of your comfort zone? Have you been to a conference / convention where you know NO ONE?
I’ve joined Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebz. You can link up via any one of us!