Some of you may recall the post I wrote earlier this year about ‘why I don’t read romance novels’. The timing was ironic because no sooner had I hit ‘publish’ when I won a registration to the Australian Romance Readers’ Association convention in Melbourne.
Although I still had to pay accommodation and flights (and am again a mortgage-holder) I decided to go, and am so glad I did. The people I met were unbelievably friendly and it was wonderful to hang with people as passionate about reading and writing as moi.
It also allowed me to tick an item off my #5before50 bucket list. (Attending a readers / writers conference.)
In fact, I enjoyed it so much I decided to head to the Romance Writers’ of Australia Conference in Brisbane which kicks off tomorrow night (11 August). And yes, I know… I’m not a writer of romance. Or ‘author’ full stop. But I still dream about being one. About finishing either of the two suspense novels I’ve started (one of which consists of 50,000 probably-very-poorly-written words) or… the (gulp) chick lit / romance novel I started late last year. (Yes, it’s true… now you know my dirty little secret! And yes, I am being facetious. #obvs)
Unlike other writers’ festivals held across multiple venues in various locations, this is more like a conference – at one place where we’re forced to mingle with like-minded peeps.
I’m exceedingly excited to again see some of the fabulous writers I met in Melbourne and so admire their camaraderie and support I see on social media and the like. And I’m again catching up with my writer and blogger friend Jo Tracey – who has written and published three books and has another in the works (and is running a session at the conference). A local writing friend is also attending the event as well, along with an old friend I haven’t seen for years.
I love meeting and chatting to new people and am – if I do say so myself(!!) – a most excellent networker, so the social element doesn’t worry me. And the sessions I’ve chosen to attend look great.
There are however, are some stressful (highly-fraught) elements. Like what to wear. Well, not what to wear to the Saturday and Sunday conference sessions (cos I’m thinking jeans and shirt!), but what to wear to Harlequin’s animal-themed cocktail party Friday night or the Awards / Conference dinner on Saturday night (cos obviously EVERYONE will be care what I wear!). The only other special occasion I’ve dressed up for in recent years was the Awards dinner at the Romance Readers’ Convention in February so I may need to pull out that kinda-boring outfit (previously worn for friend’s wedding in September 2011 and my dad’s funeral the following month).
Speaking of the Romance Readers Awards dinner in February, here I am with my much-deserved award.
Okay, so that’s not true. That’s actually Amy Andrews’ award, but still…. a girl can dream!
I should mention that my niece (my only sibling’s only child) will be turning 21 this weekend as well and although we’re doing family celebrations on another weekend I will get to see her before heading home.
Do you enjoy conferences and / or social soirees? Any suggestions for the animal themed cocktail party? (As low-maintenance as a headband with ears?)
I’ve joined Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the world wide web. You can link up via any one of us!