He who talks more is sooner exhausted. Lao Tzu
That must explain why I am completely trashed this Monday afternoon—much talking and dancing and costume changes and friend making and parties—many parties at the Historical Romance Retreat at the Mission Inn last week. I learned that there are right hand quills and left and quills, and that the side of the swam you take them from matters. I remembered how to Charleston, but forgot how to waltz. I almost one a scavenger hunt that included finding the oldest bell, President Taft’s gigantic chair, Anne Rice, and two parrots. I laughed myself silly during Virginia Heath’s oh-so-serious lecture on the history of medicine. I decided that “the bee’s knees” is a much tastier cocktail than “blood and sand,” but decided that I am much too old to hide under tables if if the cops are raiding the speakeasy. Some of my favorite pictures are at the bottom.
I also discovered that historical romance authors—and readers—are some of the nicest people you can hope to meet, as if I didn’t already know that. Big kudos to Renee Bernard and her staff for the miracle they pulled off in that event. Massive amounts of preparation and thoughtful planning gave us all, authors and readers, a smooth running experience that was also more fun tan probably ought to be legal.
I need to also say kind words about the American Airlines ground staff at Ontario (California) and Phoenix airports for their professionalism, kind words, and patience on what had to be a horrific day for them with the Phoenix airport closed for over five hours and the resulting backup/rescheduling mess. Whoever left that vehicle at Terminal 4 (and they know who they are) is an evil person! It resulted in a very very long day for this weary traveler whose every generous daughter had to pick her up close to midnight. That part? No fun.
Lest you think I slacked off completely, I can report pages and pages filled in the little notebook I carried. I actually worked on airplanes this time, if not so much in the crowded terminals. I have been making notes on my next series and writing little backstory vignettes as an exercise to get the characters embedded deep in my heart so they will begin to tell me their stories. If I didn’t know it before, talking with readers last week made it clear how much people love my characters, and I dare not treat them with anything other than utter respect.
Which characters get their happily-ever-after next? What is the series? I’m not yet ready to say. I will make an announcement and post some bits and bobs for my Fellow Travelers group on Facebook sometime the first week in October. Eventually with refinement, you’ll see more about it here.
In addition to piles of laundry, unpacking, swag and “stuff” to sort and save, and so on, I owe Susana Ellis memes for my story in Follow Your Star Home, the Bluestocking Belles 2018 anthology that went up for pre-sale the day before I left, I have a story for the NEXT anthology due in just over a week, and I’m coming up on History Imagined. Busy Busy.
But first more coffee.