A year ago this time I was feeling some envy for everyone packing and prepping to travel to Denver for the RWA 2018 conference, I hadn't attended RWA's annual celebration of romance writing and reading in many years and had fond memories of long past conferences. But a looming deadline for this July's release of Her Kind of Hero ruled out any chance of going.
I consoled myself with the thought that 2019 would be a great time to reacquaint myself with the conference and also to hopefully meet some of my Heartwarming colleagues. What better place to do that than NYC, an icon of romance? So at this very moment I should be packing and prepping too, right?
Well not quite. I'm drafting this post ahead of schedule because on July 23 I will be doing all of the above as well as biting my nails. Pre-travel anxiety is always a challenge for me as I'm Type A when it comes to organizing. Punctuality and preparedness should be my second names - or so my family tells me. The problem arises when those traits are pitted against my husband's last-second style of organization - if I can even call his packing a suitcase an hour before heading to any airport organized.
Nevertheless, I decided (maybe a tad impulsively) that he ought to come with me to this year's conference because he hasn't been to NYC since he was 17 (reverse those digits for now) and this year is our 50th wedding anniversary. Combining the two events seemed like a good idea. Weeks ago!
Now I'm in the position of adding worry about synchronizing 'me time' with 'our time' over four conference days to my already long list of stresses: do I have any good clothes at all and will they fit in carry-on? will I have time to squeeze in shoe shopping (I hate shopping in general)? should we buy roaming packages for our phones so we can coordinate meet-ups etc?
All of this planning and prepping also has to be done from our island cottage, where we must remain until early September because we've rented our house for the summer to our neighbors, whose own home is being renovated. In hindsight, not the best decision.
So my mani-pedi will be administered in a wash basin on our deck and I hope I can pumice off the grime this very wet spring and early summer has produced. Because we share our boat with other family here, forays into town for any shopping other than groceries has been sporadic so I'm resigned to taking comfy shoes instead of pretty ones. Reminders to husband about getting clothes ready have gone unregistered so far - he's been too busy mucking out the hen house and maintaining bee hives.
Thanks to his sister though, we have a place to stay the night before we depart so we won't have to leave the island at 4 a.m. to make a 9:30 a.m. flight in Toronto!
Despite my stresses, I know I'll have a great time at RWA, finally meeting women whom I only know online and sharing with them a common love of writing and romance. And for sure I'll find time to walk the High Line with hubby, visit the 9/11 Memorial and indulge in one or two gourmet meals. Once there, all my worries will seem as small and insignificant as I know they really are.
Looking forward to all of it!
Got any conference tips or memories to share?