Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday's Words for August 4, 2010

This is the second year in a row I’ve been to Orlando. Last year it was in the spring, and was for the Romantic Times Booklovers’ convention. Then just last week, it was the RWA Nationals.

There are a lot of differences between these two events, even beyond the fact that Orlando at the end of July is not for those who abhor heat.

The major thing that differentiates the two events, in my opinion, is the attendees. While RT is peppered with writers, those who attend the RWA Nationals are mostly writers. And for the most part these writers are serious about their craft, and they’re there to learn.

You do get more big-name, New York Times bestselling romance authors at the Nationals. Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Debbie Macomber, Jayne Ann Krentz – these are names familiar to readers of romance.

In some of my past essays I’ve commented on the way some members of the RWA seem to have a poor opinion of e-published authors. I would have to say for the most part, that’s still true. So I imagine it was a shock for a lot of these attendees to learn that e-books are gaining ground, and that the organization, as an entity, is beginning to pay more attention not only to the medium, but the authors of them.

The Kindle, the Nook, the I-Pad, have all revolutionized the way people are purchasing their books. Many of the seminars and workshops this year at RWA focused on this change. Authors who echoed the executive’s opinion of just a few short years ago—that e-books were a passing fad, and the writers thereof not real writers—have been informed that e-books are likely here to stay.

Since the only people who like change are babies with messy diapers, I find I have some sympathy for these authors. Not a lot, but some.

This trip was also a vacation for the two of us. Mr. Ashbury and I found time to play in the pool this past week before I turned my attention to the conference. As an added bonus, my beloved had the privilege of playing a round of golf with Mr. Wildes, the beloved of my good friend Emma Wildes. The men declared they each shed ten pounds in the fierce Florida heat. But they had a good time.

Dinner with friends, hours spent connecting with fellow writers, the week went by far too quickly. You may be pleased to know that I operated my rented scooter without running into anyone! In truth, the device was a God send and I can’t imagine doing a conference or convention without one.

We left Orlando on Sunday morning at 630, and I was able to drive nearly seven-hundred miles that day. We arrived in Hazleton, Pennsylvania Monday afternoon.

Because I write nearly every day and hadn’t taken a conscious vacation from my craft in more than a year and a half, I decided that I would use these two weeks to rest and rejuvenate. And as much as I enjoy our annual visits to this area and our friends who live here, I am itching to get home.

I’m not as happy a traveler as my beloved is. I prefer the familiar – my own desk top computer, my own office, my own bed. I suppose that is why I have dragged my pillow along with me. It is a piece of the familiar amidst all that is strange and different.

And so far, we’ve not left my silent fluffy friend behind. But I have a few more days to go and one more Inn to check out of, so my fingers are still crossed on that one.


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