Thursday, April 24, 2008

fun and craziness

You know, I wasn't entirely sure what the RT convention was going to be like, but I have to say, I had a lot of fun. I hung out with terrific people the entire time, laughed more than I think I've laughed in a year all in one weekend, signed a lot of books, sold out at the author signing after the Mystery Chix breakfast, and generally got to be associated with terrific people in this business. Debby, one of the wonderful readers I met there, took these (sometimes incriminating) photos (and geez, mine is pretty pathetic, but everyone else looks cool, so I'm linking anyway). I think every writer should go to RT at least once, because you just have not lived until you've seen a six-foot-tall woman wearing a rubber dress and spikes, or a male model, dressed as a construction worker, also wearing pink wings and pink ears. If this doesn't spark your imagination, then you are dead and should quit writing.

The only downside to the trip was the hotel, which was under construction. In true Bobbie Faye fashion, I was excited to be getting away from my house because we are having, you guessed, construction done here. There was a lot of roof damage during a recent storm, and we're having to replace all of the soffit and facia boards, and then next is the roof, and I was going to get away from the banging and the sawing and the radio playing music I don't understand. So I arrive in Pittsburgh and get to the hotel all pretty uneventfully, only to discover that they don't have a room for me. I could have booked an overflow room to another hotel (about six or so blocks away), or wait an hour for the room to be "cleaned" and then have a king size room right that at the conference center. Seemed like a no brainer... I picked waiting an hour. At which point, I checked my luggage in with the bell desk, and lugged my computer around with me, (erroneously thinking I'd go sit in the bar), met up with some wonderful friends, including Jackie Kessler (whose books ROCK the paranormal world, go get them), and we walked over to a different bar and hung out. My drink arrived after a while... as did the call to come check in.

The room was rather nice. A little tight on the space, but pretty. And clearly, they had just finished construction on it, which is what they had meant by "cleaning" the room earlier. There were a few items not yet placed in the room, though... like a trash can, hair dryer, soap, refrigerator (though there was a lovely spot for one in the future), pillows... Kinda had to call the front desk. But overall, I thought, no problem. Until 8 a.m. the next morning, when the construction started in the adjoining bedroom. Drilling, sawing (skill saw), hammering, sanding, music playing that I didn't understand. The construction went on from 8 .m. to 8 p.m. every day, even Sunday. They started earlier one day and scared the crap out of me, the noise was so sudden and so loud and I hadn't fully awakened (though I was standing there brushing my teeth), and I probably need to apologize to a bunch of construction workers who saw this woman fly out of her room and stand there with her toothbrush in hand, foam still in her mouth, demanding that they go work on a different wall so I didn't have to kill them while I got dressed. I may have freaked them out a bit. They were very very quiet after that.

Who knew a toothbrush and a little foaming at the mouth could be so effective.

Oh, and on a completely different note, I owe a special thank you to the anonymous person who turned in my lost credit card, which I stupidly dropped. It was gone less than five minutes, and it kept me from having a major snafu for the weekend. So whoever you are, thank you.

I'm going to be getting contests up here soon. And updating a minimum of once a week, and guest-blogging several other places, so it's going to be a very busy few months around here.


Blogger becky said...

Hey Toni --

I saw Shane's post on TLC, looked at Mystery Chix, and linked to your revamped website. Very nice! Congratulations on the new look.

RE: the hotel under construction. I can't believe they didn't let someone from RT know it was going to occur. You'd think they'd know way ahead of least to let the attendees know what to expect. But it sounds like you had a great time anyway.

I read that you are almost finished with a double masters at LSU. How is that going and, if you don't mind saying, what is your focus? I can't imagine finishing a masters along with having two businesses--construction and writing. You must be exhausted! ;-)

Anyhoo, good luck with the blog, and I'll make sure to check in often.

Becky Hutchison

April 24, 2008 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Gillian Layne said...

Sounds like it was so much fun! Those costume parties always look like a blast.

I cannot wait for Family Jewels! :)

April 25, 2008 at 5:07 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Becky... thank you! I'm really glad you like the new look. I think Maddee did an amazing job, considering I was giving her a bunch of wild half-baked ideas. ;)

I'm not sure if RT people knew about that hotel or not... I kinda think they did, and because it was going to be cheaper, kept the conference there. (Or they may have thought it wasn't going to be such an elaborate amount of construction!)

As for the double masters... they are on hold now, indefinitely, because of exactly what you mentioned. And the exhaustion! ;) I really only have about 9 hours left, and I keep thinking that one day I'm going to squeeze it all back in there, but I'm so very lucky with the writing and things are going so well, I have to keep going in that direction for now.

Hope to see ya back here soon. ;)

April 25, 2008 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Gillian, great to see you here! And the costumes really were a complete hoot. I admire anyone with that sort of chutzpah, and creativity.

And thanks for watching for Family Jewels!

April 25, 2008 at 8:18 AM  

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