I've been debating how to go about this, not because it's difficult by any means, but because of the vast information that came out of this. It was crazy. I'll say that right off. It was overwhelming and go-go-go, and OMGAGENTS/EDITORS!, but in a nutshell, it was an experience that I wouldn't have turned away. It was great and near the end, did not want to leave.
We drove down on the tuesday (July 14). We being Kendal Corbit, Dayna Hart and moi. Kendal and I began our journey tuesday morning at around 9am. Leaving hedgie with her husband, we packed up the car and headed out to pick up Dayna (stopping first to grab breakfast at Tim Hortons). It was a two hour drive or so when we got to Dayna's home and met her adorable children and husband.
After one small detour (ok we took the wrong road and got briefly lost a moment) we were on our way and soon arrived at the border. This was the second time crossing the border for me, and my first experience hadn't left a dazzling impression, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Would they make us get out of the car? Would they take us separately and interrogate us about where we are going? Would they go through our bags? They did none of this. Nothing but ask us where we were going, for how long, etc. I felt relieved, even moreso when we crossed the bridge and was off through the interstates of New York, stopping in Pennsylvania at Arby's for lunch.
The drive had an amazing view of the hills and trees. All the way down. It was quite scenic and surprising but then again, we didn't go through the cities. It was nice and with TomTom directing us, we made it to Washington DC in one piece around 9pm. I'd like to say something eventful happened, but really, it was a smooth drive in which our discussions went all over from grammar to our pitches to what we expected would come out of the conference.
So we get to the Marriot Hotel. It's huge. Dayna meets up with Crystal and Kendal and I head up to our room. Our room 5-066. We expect to be coming into a double. But oh no, double doors. So we step inside and see a sitting area, plus a bar. This doesn't include the bedroom that is a bit off to the side with doors to close so that those in the sitting room don't bother those in the bedroom. It's huge. Apparently they double booked and our other roomie, Chrissy, managed to get them to upgrade us to a suite for the same price as a double.
The room, was awesome. Granted we didn't spend a whole lot of time in there except to sleep, but all in all, it was a room that made the whole trip just a bit more comfy. Hungry, Chrissy, Kendal and I went down to check out one of the small restaurants (Harry's Pub I believe). There, we are eating when all of a sudden a group of women approach and one of the women stops, looks at us, and asks "do I know you?"
At this point, I'm floundering. Um... maybe? The woman looks familiar but unsure, I go with a quizzical look and a "I think so? Not sure." Oh yeah, I'm so great with my words. I'm not a writer or anything... really. (add sarcasm) pffffffft.
Good thing her brain was working because she then asks if I am on the Divas (Romance Divas if you don't know). Um... yes! That woman was Diva Lisa or Eden Bradley for those who've read her books and although she looked familiar, I have a thing where if I'm not sure, I get this stupid quizzical look and don't say anything with fear that I'll put my foot in my mouth. Although I know I look just as stupid. Really.
With her was Christina Cross and Vivienne Westlake and another whose name, I apologize, escapes me. After dinner we all went to the bar, where we met other divas such as Jax and Kristen and Kat...etc.
That first night I didn't stay there. I went to a friend, Kai,'s house where I met her dogs December and Robin. Take into account that by the time we got there, it was about 1am. Suffice it to say, I still hadn't prepared my pitch. A pitch I was supposed to deliver on friday. More on that later.