This and That

RT Conference 2013, the Oscars of Romance

Headed to RT (Romantic Times) Conference in Kansas City for a week of workshops, author panels, book fairs, cover models galore, parties and more networking opportunities than you could ever hope to achieve in one setting. It is overwhelming, exciting, and exhausting all wrapped up in one glorious week what some romance authors would almost consider the “Oscars” of romance conferences.

RT brings together both published authors and aspiring writers to experience the same workshops in an environment where they are learning together and from one another. For don’t we all learn best from those who forged the path before us. It also brings in a facet of a mentor/mentee relationship that begins to form when you meet that published author, that takes pity on you, and takes you under their wing and helps guide you on your own journey towards success.

The other great aspect to RT is it is filled with fans. People who, spend a lot to, come to this particular convention every year just to see their favorite author, get the scoop on what is coming next, get a ton of stuff signed by their stalked authors, and leave with your own body weight in swag and technically books (they did pay for the convention after all). I am amazed at the amount of fans who attend for this very reason. Standing in line last year I would listen to fans argue about why or why not a particular author should or should not kill off a character, then some talked about characters like they were family members and would show up at their home for supper, or perhaps hoped would be a better term. I loved being surrounded by the chatter of people who just enjoyed the love of reading and were not afraid to voice their opinions out in the open.

Getting to meet my idol – Lorelei James (GAH!)

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Now, besides seeing your idols walking around and seeing that, yes, they are a real person, when you actually take the time to you drag your eyes away from stalking your favorite authors, you will see, and try not to drool all over, the delicious eye candy that walks around the conference. Men, men, it’s raining men. They pop up everywhere and women will stand in line to get a photograph with them (not that I’m naming names or anything, ahem) especially when they arrive shirtless (oh my, my loins are all aquiver). Starting to see why fans pay big bucks to come to this 🙂

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So, as I’ve waited an entire year to go back to “the mother land” and be amongst my people, I look forward to the experience with trepidation and excitement.

This and That

Introvert heading into the lion’s den

With RT right around the corner my excitement and panic level are growing daily. It’s like knowing I’m willingly walking into the lion’s den with all the blind faith of Daniel that the lions won’t eat me, yet I’m still scared out of my mind because let’s face it, these are frickin’ lions.

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I work myself up to the point of sheer inner panic that I would rather spend time meeting my favorite rock star alone, making a total ass of myself; because knowing me I would open my mouth and insert foot, calf, thigh, all the way up to my ass. I would still brave doing that vs. going to the one place where I will no doubt do the very same thing in front of the peer group that I look up to, respect, and hope to one day work among. So yes, I would rather spend time willingly degrading myself in front of my favorite rock star. At least I would get some fantastic ogling time and beautiful eye candy dreams from the experience and I could totally block out the stupidity of myself from the humiliation of it all for the few brief minutes in heaven right?

Gah! It is no wonder I spend more time with fictional characters, real people terrify me 🙂

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As an introvert, living life in general is hard, because guess what-you are constantly surrounded by-PEOPLE! Introverts are highly misunderstood, often times seen as snobby or too good to join in, or those are some of the rumors I hear. When we do make an effort to attend a function, the fear of actually being there is highly overwhelming so staying towards the back of the room seems like the best option. A great place to not get eaten up by the crowd. Although, it once again looks like you are not a participator, perhaps too good to want to join in, or there to judge the rest of the group.
Now, trust me on this. The only thing running through my mind, aside from the sheer panic that someone will ask me to remember their name, because that is my Achilles heel, is that I will be asked to participate in something that will put me center stage. I abhor being in the center of attention, being pointed out, you name it.

Now get this; Karma, fate, whatever you want to call it, obviously hates me because I was made to stand out and I mean that literally. I have red hair and I mean bright orange, not dark red where it could be brown or even blonde with red mixed in, no it is bright orange! I am the female Carrot Top, Shawn White, etc… Can’t tell you how many times I hear, “Found you, just saw your hair.” A mile a way through a sea of a thousand people.
Then to top it off I have an annoying laugh, not a petite feminine laugh, oh no, the good Lord graced me with a loud, obnoxious, boisterous, at times snorting laugh. If you couldn’t find me through the sea of a thousand people by my hair alone, just get me to laugh and you’ll find me soon enough. No GPS needed to find me. I am my own beacon.
Do I have issues? Yeah, you could say I have issues, which is probably why I tend to shy away towards the back of the crowd. Do I try to combat those issues? Yeah, I do try. I’ve tried my entire life to do things that terrify me. Will probably die at an early age from the sheer terror I constantly subject myself to. 🙂
Tombstone: Died from living

I do sympathize with the troll in the Billy Goat Gruff story though. Here was a troll, happily living under his bridge; alone, peaceful, with not a care in the world. Then one day Billy comes along and tramps all over his bridge disturbing his blissful peace. I would get a little steamed and feel like eatin’ me some goat too. I mean really, Billy probably disturbed the troll from reading a really nice romance about two trolls running off into the sunset together or something along those lines. That would piss me off too. Yet once again, in this particular story, Billy’s name gets top credit, the story is all about Billy, Billy, Billy. We don’t even know the troll’s name. The introvert’s never get any credit, we are only seen as evil and wicked, a non-participator. *Sigh.*

The funny thing is if you were to give me a script, something rehearsed, something I know by heart and put me in front of a crowd I would be fine. I worked in HR for years where I not only had to lead meetings in front of hundreds of employees, but I had to know what I was talking about, be prepared for those random questions that someone from the back of the room, its always that person from the back of the room-grrrrr, would ask and try to trip you up. I always went in prepared, researching every angle, looking up every possible answer before someone could even think it. Ok so besides names, my other nemeses is being asked a question I don’t know the answer to when I really should.
Ever taken a test that you’ve studied for and you look at the question and your mind suddenly went *poof*. Yeah, I hate that feeling too. It’s there right on the tip of your brain, you can almost touch it, but it is off hiding with all the names I should remember. They are off having a party and they didn’t invite me-bastards!
If you haven’t noticed I have something of a type A complex. A bit controlling, a tad obsessive when it comes to my own work habits, yet I do accept and admit my own flaws-I curse you flaws!
So mix the type A personality with the huge insecurity of being unable to reach out to others and what do people see-a recluse, snobby, perfectionist.

But those who know me, the real me, know my house is anything but organized-ok drives me nuts, but that has more to do with my kids than me, but I stopped fighting that battle long ago. I decided life was more fun living than cleaning. I’m a very open honest and loving person. Actually its kinda hard to get rid of me, just ask the school friends I grew up with. I’m like a barnacle, just try to scrape me off-whahahahaha. That sounded miniacle didn’t it? Did I happen to mention I’m a tad evil too, or maybe wicked is a better word. You could ask any of my girlfriends about my wicked side, my family knows all about my wicked side too. I think they actually like my sick/twisted side. It makes their mother cool.

Just don’t send me into new territory, into a huge social function without someone to cling to.
What?
Going to RT by myself you say?
Shoving me into a huge social situation with thousands of people you say? *Gulp* By myself?
Ok, I can do this. Where’s my big girl panties made of armor?

So if you see me, be kind to the introvert and know even if you tell me your name I may forget it because names and me do not get along. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s only because I’m probably pushing down the fight or flee impulses running through my system and your name didn’t take precedence over wanting to survive.

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