What? Summer was over a while ago? Well, then you know how long I’ve been meaning to write this post–as in seriously, I must write it today, come hell or high water. Guess I can now compliment myself on being immune to both hell and high water. 🙂
So let’s see, what all happened since I last posted.
It’s always fun to attend a RWA conference. But the highlight of my conference, without a doubt, was this:
The preparations leading up to the awards ceremony was the same as the year before. I had a couple of commitments that left me about forty-five minutes to get ready. I threw on my dress. My roommate Kristyne did my make-up. My other roomie Shellee flat-ironed my hair. (My hair, left to its own devices, is wavy. And since it is never not left to its own devices, it was the first time I’d ever seen my hair completely straight. I was thrilled to discover that I looked like a Hong Kong gangster’s moll–the expensive sort, of course!) My other, other roomie Tracy, my bedmate actually, introduced me to the wonder that is the vibrating mascara applicator last year. This year she did nothing to help me! LOL, because Tracy, a first-time nominee, had to get her own gorgeous self ready for the event.
Right before I left my hotel room, I tore a small strip off the edge of a newspaper that’s been lying around. I figured, just in case, I should jot down a few reminders of people I wanted to thank.
(I didn’t do this last year because last year I was nominated for PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS, and had I won, you’d have heard me thank myself. Seriously, somebody should give that speech, for all the writers out there who don’t give themselves quite enough credit. Since PA was written on my own time, at my own instigation, without ever inconveniencing any family members, I figured it was the only time in my career I could say, “And most importantly, I want to thank me for never giving up on me. I would never be here if it weren’t for me!” I’d have done it too–I can see Shellee, Kristyne, and Tracy all nodding their heads going, yep, she totally would have–except for the fact that my name didn’t get called!)
This time it did get called.
Even as Teresa Medeiros, the presenter for the historical category, read the list of nominees, I was scrutinizing the same list on my program and wondering if it was going to be Elizabeth Hoyt, Liz Carlyle, or a complete dark horse. And then came the drumroll.
Until then I had no idea who it would be; my gut is usually dormant when it comes to such matters. As soon as the drumroll started, however, I sort of knew.
Somebody hugged me from behind–my agent, as it later turned out. And then I was upon that stage. And I am totally mortified about it now, but as I was walking across to the podium, I heard my name shouted from the back in the ballroom–and I waved. Waved, like a beauty queen! *dies of embarrassment*
The statuette is surprisingly heavy. Perfect-for-braining-home-intruders heavy. I pulled out my little piece of paper–reproduced below–and poured out my gratitude. It can never be said enough that I needed all the help I could get on NOT QUITE A HUSBAND–on each book since PA, in fact–and if I look back and see only one pair of footprints, it was probably because my editor carried me. And so the award was dedicated to her.
I did forget one line on the list–the line that said “everyone.” So if you are reading this, I want to thank you–and thank you again–for everything.
I got my picture taken more times that night than at my wedding. Drank a bit of champagne–and that’s not an euphemism but literally two sips. And then went back to my room to hang with them what brung me, my wonderful roommies.
And then, I put on my headphones and listened to this song three times straight. It is called, aptly enough, “Just for Tonight.”
This is a tough business. But it does have its occasional glorious moments.
(The video is incomplete. The full version does not allow embedding, but you can access it here.)
I had the good fortune to spend five weeks in San Diego this summer.
His Hawtness was working there, the family joined him for some time before RWA. On route to Orlando I dropped off the kids at their grandparents’. From Orlando I went back to SD for a nice little grownups-only time with the honey.
I love San Diego. True, I was shocked upon arrival that it is so arid–I was expecting a humid maritime climate, like my hometown in China, not taking into consideration Southern California’s proximity to the deserts. But other than that, the weather could not have been more delightful, especially coming from the heat of a Texas summer. (This year wasn’t quite as bad; last year we had 100 days over 100F.)
We went to the beach. We hiked. I wrote in a public library with a spectacular view of the ocean. I visited my jewel of a critique partner, Janine, and the awesome Bettie Sharpe in LA–sprinting like mad to catch my train back to SD because we were having so much fun. They in turn visited me in SD.
And, of course, His Hawtness and I stumbled upon a clothing-optional beach. (Janine and Bettie, it was where we did not go down to the beach.) Imagine, it was near twilight, we were having this wonderful walk on this largely empty beach that goes on for miles and miles. There were a few people fishing, some joggers, others on an evening constitutional–perfect normalcy, if you will. And all of a sudden I blurted, “Is that man not wearing anything?”
It was exciting stuff, let me tell you, even though I kept my eyes averted from the dangly bits–and not out of modesty either, but so as not to laugh. Anyway, nude beach! This suburban soccer mom has never seen one before. And now she has.
Thank you, San Diego. 🙂
Latest Foreign Covers
Spanish paperback DELICIOUS
For a while there, I thought there was no more to say after foreign covers, and then of course, I had to smack my forehead.
I am writing a new trilogy for Berkley. The schedule pub dates are May, June, and September of 2012. From now to end of next year I have to produce three books. I’ve never had such tight deadlines before. Send speedy vibes my way!
I am going to give my chemistry workshop–which has totally become my workhorse presentation–at NJRWA’s Put Your Heart in a Book conference Oct 22-24. I am very excited about it, not only because I’ve never been to New Jersey–or a big regional conference, for that matter–but also because I am going to room with Meredith, whom I haven’t seen since RWA D.C.
I am going to attempt to shame her into writing an update blog post, so we know what she’s been up to. Wish me good luck! 🙂