Thursday, 12 July 2012

I Wish I Was There

Roughly, this time last year, I was preparing like so many others are now, to attend the RNA Conference in Caerlorn, Wales. I was deciding on shoes, comfortable clothes for during the day, evening wear, what if it's hot, cold, or raining? How many pens, notepads? Would I need one bottle of wine, or two?

This year the conference is in Penrith, Cumbria, and just with everything going on in my life, I knew I couldn't get my head around going. It's further away, so I knew I'd need to organise childcare - the logistics of getting them to school etc. Would I drive the four hour plus journey, or was it cheaper to train it? And I didn't know where I'd be. (As it is, I'm still in the same house, stuck under the same roof with a certain person). I wasn't sure what my financial situation would be like either, so to remove that stress I decided very early on that I wouldn't go. 

I got to sit next to Sue! *squeals*
Now I am watching on Facebook and Twitter rather enviously, as I read fellow writers are packing and heading off to the conference this weekend. My dear friend Becky Black is going for the first time and it's such a shame I can't make it to meet up with her. 

Last year I met the lovely Sue Moorcroft - and I promise I will read Uphill All The Way soon! I still haven't read half the books that I got there - some bought and some free in my goody bag.

I made friends with Vanessa Savage, who hadn't travelled too far to get to Caerlorn, and we buddied up so that we never had to enter a room on our own. Which when you're a newbie, is quite an important thing, especially on the first day! But it meant that I knew I always had someone to go to dinner/breakfast with and wouldn't be sat on my own. But to be honest, I didn't have to worry. Everyone is just so lovely.
I made so many friends, some I'm fortunate to see in my RNA Chapter meetings (Rachel Brimble, Alison Knight, Lisa Bodenham). 

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Vanessa and me - I don't think we've had wine yet!
So this is a little blog post to all those fabulous romance writers out there, aspiring and published, who are attending this wonderful event.

Remember to pack teabags, coffee (I bought those Kenco 2 in 1 sachets so I didn't have to worry about milk) and some snacks for your room. Oh, and a bottle of wine, so you can congregate somewhere with others and share. It is also important to have a posh frock and shoes - you're a romance novelist after all - for the ball on the Saturday night.

I really hope you don't have to wear your wellies and the sun shines for you all. 

Have fun! Hopefully I'll be joining you all next year. In the meantime, I will sit by my Twitter and Facebook station, and wait patiently for RNA Conference updates.