The “I’m Not Going to California for Nat’ls” Blog

Bitter?  No.  Sad, depressed, grumpy I’m at work?  Probably.  Face it, RWA Nat’ls ROCK. When you walk in the door, they give you a bag with books.

(That’s me right after I got my books last year and my friend, the most awesome Laura Bradford, who just released a new Amish cozy mystery series – Hearse and Buggy)

In my opinion, that ranks right up with a restaurant that gives you a loaf of hot bread right out of the oven the moment you walk in the door.  Those kind of places get me.

And that’s how I felt at the conference.  I was with 2000 people who understood me when I said, “The voices said…” Or “I was going to kill him off after the dinner, but it felt too staged.”  Try having that conversation at the family reunion.  You’ll have cousin Ed ducking under the table.


Getting ready for the trip is an event all on its own.  I plan out all my workshops, my agent/editor pitches, and my book signings (where I get MORE free books.) Last year, I had a highlighted daily schedule with clothing options for each day all planned.

So, what’s a girl to do when heaven is just outside her financial reach?  I’m going to spend my evening finishing my project.  While the rest of you are partying, riding the teacups at Disney, and networking, I’ll be polishing my words.

I’m also going to finally finish my Plot and Structure workbook (James Scott Bell).  Just me and Mr. Bell, a private study session. (At least in this writer’s mind.)

And since my husband is planning a fishing trip, I’m adding in some research stops for my weekend, including traipsing through two cemeteries where more Union and Confederate soldiers are buried in close proximity than any other place in the United States.  Along with some famous beer barons.

Finally, I’m buying me a nice bottle of wine and watching as many romantic comedies as I can muster.

So, you going to Nationals? If not, what are your plans for the week?

Anyone want to watch Sleepless in Seattle with me?


  1. I feel your pain, Lynn. Not going either. In some ways, I wish I was. The camaraderie is fantastic. Alas, my budget won’t stretch. So, I’ll be working on the final book in the Switched series. I’m on the downhill slide to the end. Yay! Enjoy your week. Hope it’s productive.

    • Hi Diane – sorry I’m late to the party. Looks like you guys had a good time though. Work has been busy and I’m stealing a few minutes of break to check in. Good luck on the Switched book!

  2. Last year, someone hosted an online conference for writers not going to Nationals. I’m going to search the web and see if I can find it this year.

    • Chris – ti’s Romance Diva’s I’m signed up! See you there.

  3. Lynn, you described my feelings to a tee. Instead of attending RWA this weekend, I am hosting 15 thespians from Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Co. They will be performing Antony and Cleopatra at a local art center. Not a bad alternative.

    • That sounds like so much fun. I think I missed our Shakespeare in the park here.

  4. Love this post! You have a great voice, Lynn, and I’m sure it permeates all of your writing. Can’t wait to see more!

    I attended the Chicago RWA conference, so I wasn’t planning on Nationals, but I can sympathize. I’m going to be missing a trip our local RWA chapter is taking this fall to celebrate our anniversary. It sounds like an awesome time, staying in cabins, guest speaker, time to write, and a ghost tour (I love ghost tours!). They even included karaoke for me, and now I can’t go! Like you said, there is only so much money to go around, so I have to miss out this time. The worst part will be when everyone returns and has this common bond and stories to tell and I’ll feel left out. *sniff*.

    Oh, well, I’ve had some great opportunities–like the Chicago RWA Conference and the Antioch Writers’ Workshop–and I’m sure there’ll be more to come, so I’ll just look forward to those.

    Hope you have a good week and that your muse will inspire you! -mj

    • Mary -I wanted to go to Chicago too. 😦 Too bad about you missing your retreat. I think I’m going to a private retreat in October in Columbus.

  5. I’m not going to RWA nationals this year, so I feel your pain. Even though I’m attending a different writers’ conference in August, when so many of my chapter-mates raised their hands saying they were headed to nationals this week…my heart was kind of sad.

    So, I’m hoping to stock that little “I wish I had decided to go” feeling away and use it to motivate myself to make sure I can attend next year.

    As for what I’m doing instead of the conference – writing, writing, a little editing, and planning for the release of my first book. I really can’t complain, even if I wish I was about to get on an airplane today.

    • Molly – it is a little sad (tear drop.) But there’s next year. And Atlanta will be a blast. Write hard!

  6. Like you, Lynn, I wish. From Ontario, nationals are a long way unfortunately, although quite a few Toronto chapter members are attending.
    I was able to attend the Atlanta Moonlight & Magnolias conference last October which was great fun. There’s nothing better than talking stories all day long.
    I’ve never been to a national conference, so next year is the year. It would be so wonderful to meet fellow Crimson romance authors.
    Enjoy your wine and romance!

    • Sharon, I’ve heard M&M is a terrific conference. I hope we’ll have a big group for Atlanta!

  7. I would have loved to go to Nationals this year, but I couldn’t rationalize the expense. This year I’m on twitter and am going vicariously via my friends’ tweets. 🙂

    Mostly though, I’m going to work on a follow up book to Creatures of the Moon this week.

    • Rationalizing the money makes it hard – but I don’t feel bad about not going, I think it was the right decision for me. I’m hooked up on twitter with my lala group as well.

  8. I live in California, Anaheim is about 4 hrs away. I can’t go – I have a book launching and a book tour to massage. I wish I could go since I’ve never been and Nationals is right in my own back yard, so to speak. There’s nothing I would love more than to meet all the wonderful people I’ve interacted with on Facebook, chatrooms, and blogs like yours.

    • Oh, Sheri, that’s painful. My sister lives in the Santa Barbara area. Good luck with your book tour and launch!

  9. I had a wonderful time last year but will sit out this year and catch up on reading some of those free books from last year. I hope that I’ll be in Atlanta next year. Maybe Crimson Romance will even have a book signing.

    • Lola, I have books from 2010 I haven’t read yet. Maybe that’s what I should do this week. Work wouldn’t mind, right? Atlanta 2013 – new mantra.

  10. I know how you feel Lynn. I wanted to go, but due to work and family conflicts I was unable to attend. I really wanted to go since I’m finally a published author. Instead I decided this year to go to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference here in Denver. It’s a large conference with lot’s of networking opportunities, but I know it won’t have the same feel as RWA. Hopefully next year we can all go to RWA and meet.

    • Diane, I’ve hear great things about Rocky Mt. And it’s one of the conferences on my must do list – that and the Seattle one.

  11. Could be worse. My crit partner was going to fly from New Zealand to go to Nationals in NYC last year, but then a volcano erupted that would have required her changing her flight to a more expensive one going THE OTHER WAY around the planet, so she never did make it. What do you suppose the odds are of not being able to get there due to a volcano?

    • Mary – your CP wins. That’s the best reason not to be able to go. But who can you blame when its a natural disaster. UGH.

  12. Sorry you guys aren’t going to the big shindig. But staying put with your hero and his true love sounds just as good. And you all agree, right? So happy Nationals but also happy musing to all!! Fun reading, Lynn. Thanks.

    • Thanks Pam. And the universe has answered my what shall I do question. My other editor sent me galleys to work through this week.

  13. Lynn – great article! Like you, I am missing RWA also – but can’t wait for Atlanta next year. My plans this week are to catch up on work at my day job – so I can spend the weekend writing. Wahoo!

    • So excited about Atlanta next year! Thanks for stopping in. I’m heading to my WIP right now…

  14. Next year, Lynn. Next year…

    • It seems so far away… tucking away money as we speak. LOL

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