I returned just this past Thursday night from the Romance Writers of America National Conference in New York City. I was lucky enough to spend ten days—six of which, were running around the city, pretending I was a native. But how can that be when there is so much to see and do. And anyone who knows me, knows how much I love the theater…and not just theater, but in particular The Phantom of the Opera. So here is what I did laid out Day-by-Day.
Monday July 20th – 12:30p. World Rogers Airport for 3:30p TSA PRE flight! (That’s always nice. You don’t have to take off your flip-flop sandals.) Layover in Houston. Not so bad only about an hour.
11:14p. LaGuardia, New York City. My plane landed early! Unfortunately, the shuttle was REALLY late. And gas fumes were coming in. It seemed as if the driver didn’t quite know where he was going…but I landed at the Marriott Marquis Times Square by 1:20a Tuesday morning.
Tuesday July 21st – New York City. I ran into Cindy Kirk first thing in passing. She is a friend and also the current president of RWA. After which, I bought my metro pass (subway card) and hit The Metropolitan Museum of Art and activated my “City Pass.” (Great value, by the way). I took some fabulous pictures!
5:30p. Marriott Marquis Times Square. Though I braved the MET, I wasn’t feeling so hot. I think it was from the fumes in the shuttle van. Anyway, I decided to take a short nap. I had tickets to see Aladdin at 7p.
6:20p. Marriott Marquis Times Square. I shot straight up and out the door. I couldn’t miss my show! It was pretty cute. I especially loved it when the Genie broke out into other Disney songs from Beauty and the Beast.
Wednesday July 22nd – 7:30a. The Beau Monde Mini Conference. The conference was different from the last time I’d attended a couple of years before. It was still great and the workshops were most informative. (Which reminds me, I need to send Cheryl Bolen an email regarding the “Great Houses of London” floor plans.)
7:00p. The Majestic Theater. Phantom of the Opera. Yes, I blew off The Beau Monde Soirée to see Phantom for the 11th time. And, yes, it was worth it. Oh, and a drink at Sardi’s just before the show.
Thursday July 23rd – Marriott Marquis Times Square. I started off the day with a good breakfast then made my way to the ballroom for the opening talk by Barbara Freethy. Sadly, I was unable to stay because I was obligated in assisting set up for the National Reader’s Choice Awards (NRCA) Ceremony that was to begin at 10a.
10:00a. NRCA. This was the first year I made the announcements. It was great fun. I will be taking over the running of the contest in the coming year from Silver James. Next year is our 25th!
2:00p. Indie Book Signing. Not quite as successful as the previous time I participated, but in the end everything worked out.
6:00p. Broadway Times Square. My phone is pickpocketed on the way to the subway.
7:00p. Little Italy. Dinner was fab…then we had gelato.
Friday July 24th – 7:45a. Marriott Marquis Times Square. Breakfast of course! Then I was off to my assignment at Agent/Editor Appointments where I was a runner. Looking for agent and editors whose appointments were either cancelled/forgotten or some poor author freaking out deciding they could go through with it. This was an enlightening position that I hope to volunteer at again.
2:00p. My first actual workshop: Seven Deadly Sins of Self-Publishing that should have been titled Etiquette Lessons for the Author…What Not to Say and Do… truly….
3:15p. Back in my room getting dressed for dinner with Sharon Sala and her Harlequin editor Leslie Wainger for a 4:30p meet up.
4:30p. Meet up.
6:30p. Drinks and appetizers with Heather Graham, husband Dennis, Sharon and Leslie just before the Harlequin VIP Party.
8:00p. Harlequin Black & White Ball where my dress had the time of its life!
Saturday July 25th – 8:30a. Made the early morning keynote with Nalini Singh. So inspirational…
9:00a – 4:30p. More workshops. Oh, and a late lunch with Jade Lee.
6:15p. The Annual Ritas and Golden Heart Ceremony. Where Jodi Thomas invited me to sit at her table and meet Berkley editor, Katherine Pelz. It was fabulous (I’ll be sending her my historical once I’ve completed the edits. Yay!)
Sunday July 26th – Once everyone vacated the room, I slept in. Then my friend Sourav Pati whom I worked with at Devon, now located in New Jersey, came in on the train and we hit the Empire State Building. (Now I need to rewatch An Affair To Remember.)
7:00p. Something Rotten! A hysterical musical featuring William Shakespeare as a rock star.
10:00p. The pizza place next door to the theater where I met a guy whose friend got misplaced somewhere. He is apparently Andrew Bynum’s nephew, David. Poor thing was shitfaced doing shots all night and had decided to take a nap upstairs of the restaurant. (They got kicked out).
Monday July 27th – 10:00a. Sprint store to contact the insurance company about my phone. Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. Lunch at Les Halles near Wall Street where I met Nelson Ospina and his friends Igor and Emily.
Tuesday July 28th – 10:30a. Checked out of the Marriott Marquis (No more excellent conference room rate…) and checked into The Gregory Hotel in Herald Square. The person checking in before me went to the bathroom and a room became available which went to ME! I’m the luckiest person in the world.
11:00a. Walking down the street where I found the Plaza Hotel. I snuck upstairs to the ballroom and snapped some pictures. The hotel played a part in the 1920s MC4 Series. Also, did the Guggenheim Museum and a fun bus trip.
7:00p. Fish in the Dark. A play written by Larry David (Seinfield) and played by Jason Alexander. Very funny show that was like a 90 minute Seinfeld episode. Still…who doesn’t love Seinfeld…
Wednesday July 29th – 10:00a. Back to the Sprint Store. The
insurance never sent out my phone. So…got a new one.
2:30p. Tea/Coffee with Charles Greimsman. Just catching up.
Thursday July 30th – 8:20a. Bought tea at a Starbucks that had no tables then walked down the street and sat in a small park at Herald Square and enjoyed the birds and reflecting on my 10 days from home and living it up in The Big Apple.
9:30a. Called Uber and hightailed it to the airport. <*>sigh<*> Back to the grind….