Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday's Words for April 30, 2009

What an amazing week I had in Orlando! I always return from the Romantic Times Book Lovers convention energized, and ready to get to work.

The resort itself was beautiful, lushly landscaped, 16 two-storey buildings set along scenic paths and around swimming pools, lagoons and restaurants, with its own Convention center built in. Whenever I had to go anywhere on the grounds—mostly between my room and the convention center—all I had to do was call the bell desk and they very promptly sent someone around. They had a fleet of golf carts for ferrying guests hither and yon.

I mostly went hither, with only one side trip to yon on Saturday after the giant book fair. The pool was wonderful.

Coming home always seems like entering a space that is totally strange, at least for those first couple of hours. You realize your adventure is over and it’s time to return to the real world. You gear yourself up, mentally, to go on a trip; but you rarely go through the same process to return home, and so your mind needs a bit of time to adjust. At least that’s my theory.

Of course, sometimes the schedule, when I get home, doesn’t quite mold itself to my intentions. I thought I would spend my day in solitude, writing, on Monday. Instead, it was a day of laundry, dishes, and running around, which was just as well as my daughter, now graduated from her course, spent the day here, alternately looking for jobs on line and reading.

But the inspiration I soak up from being among readers and writers is enormous, easily outlasting a few days of plans gone awry.

I met so many wonderful people this year, and so many of them touched my heart. While sitting at my publisher’s table in Club RT, I couldn’t help but notice two women my own age sitting near-by, chatting as one of them sketched. Every so often they would look our way and smile. I was privileged at the time to be sitting with Siren-Bookstrand authors Wendi Darlin and Raina James. Through this interval, several people stopped by to introduce themselves, to inquire about some of our fabulous authors, or to enter our draws.

After a while, the two ladies I had earlier noticed were packing up to be on their way. As they passed me, the one who had been sketching offered me a sheet of paper. “This is for you,” she said. I looked, and she had sketched me. “This is beautiful, thank you,” I told her. She smiled, and said, “You write beautiful words.” I regret that I was so stunned I failed to get her name!

At one event I was sitting with a group of older people, and when they asked me what I wrote, I told them erotic romance. Then one of the women said she liked to read real romance, so I told her about my Magic And Love series. Next to me, one very sweet lady who’d suffered a stroke and had to form her words carefully said, “I have never read an erotic romance.” I assured her that it wasn’t for everyone, but she shook her head. “I want to!” she declared. Since she confirmed that she was attending the book fair on Saturday, I told her there would be plenty of authors selling stories that were erotic romance, and that if she wanted to buy one, she should.

And how touched I was when, on Saturday, she came straight to my table to buy my book.

Lest you think it was all work and no play, I will assure you there was more than one evening spent, sitting with friends and chatting, refreshments at hand. And I did get the opportunity to enjoy one of the pools on Saturday afternoon, after the book fair.

So I communed, and I ate; I drank and I swam; and I re-charged my batteries, refilled my well, and am ready to begin another year of asking—and answering—‘what if’.

I really do have the best job in the world!

Two men. One woman. Three hearts. One love.

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