Tomorrow I'm heading to Washington, DC to present at the Romance Writers of American (RWA) National Conference, known by insiders as "Nationals."
Back in the winter when I found out my panel had been accepted, I jumped around my living room. I then concocted a plan to draft a solid opening few chapters of a romance novel to tote with me and pitch to agents. Or publishers. Or both.
Confession: I have three novels started. They are, in the words of Anne Lamott, shitty first drafts. Cliche ridden, underdeveloped, too talky, and riddled with (perhaps unnecessary) details about food and fashion. And, I have another novel project in the works, a collaboration for NaNoWriMo, potentially involving rugby playing telephone pole climbers and dangerous hot vampires (don't ask).
Alas, my fiction writing has fallen aside, as I've focused on blog entries and "creative non-fiction" this summer, so those dreamed of meetings with agents are a fantasy.
I'll be presenting as one of a very few professors. I'm anxious, eager, excited, nervous.
My presentation title: Food, Fun, and Fellowship: Reading Recipes for Romance in Jenny Crusie’s Fiction
My presentation topic: how Crusie uses food in three of her novels (Faking It, Bet Me, and Agnes and the Hitman) to develop characters, build relationships, and suggest successful recipes for other romance writers to follow.
My fellow panelists: leading romance scholar Pamela Regis and best-selling author Jenny Crusie.
Hence, the butterflies are flitting.
I'm looking forward to attending the luncheons and moonlight madness bazaar, the writer workshops and book signings, and, of course, the awards ceremony. My suitcase is filled with clothes to take me to all of these events. I'm partial to pink, power shoes, and little black dresses.
I'll be live micro-blogging and tweeting about my experience (brief blips because i'll be writing from my itouch) over the next few days, so the focus of this blog will temporarily shift to book dorkiness, with a few mentions of delicious eats thrown in, I hope.
Sunday will be my free day in DC. I had hoped to spend the afternoon with a certain dynamic DC duo, but I think they're a little busy at the moment, what with health care plans and such. Therefore, I'm looking for suggestions for how to spend my day. Should I wander the mall? Gaze gape-jawed in the Library of Congress? View the artworks at the National Gallery? Marvel at Julia Child's kitchen in the Smithsonian?