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Monday, July 28, 2008

I Left My (Chocolate) Heart...

...in San Francisco. 25 years ago. (Because the last time I was there I was, um...younger. :-) But I'm going back. Oh, so soon. And I will reclaim it.

I suspect it's still roaming around Ghiradelli Square, awaiting my return. It's invariably accompanied by a large, chocolate-covered ice cream sundae. "You've missed me, Marilyn," it's murmuring, the voice of decadent temptation. "C'mon. Taste the luuuuvvv."

So, yes. Like the nearly 2,000 members of RWA who'll be in attendance, I'm looking forward to this year's National Conference. An exciting perk (aside from it taking place in my Chocolate Mecca) is that I'll get to present this year's Golden Heart Award for "Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements"--the category my manuscript According To Jane won last year--and I'll get to watch someone else stumble up to the microphone in a semi-mute state of shock, sputtering words she'll have no recollection of 10 minutes later. You just can't buy fun like that!

I'll get to see friends and acquaintances from prior conferences and online loops. I'll get to cheer on my roomie Simone Elkeles (who's up for a RITA in the YA category)--whoo-hoo! I'll get to catch up with my lovely agent and finally meet my wonderful editor. And, oh, there'll be cocktail parties and late-night chats and interesting workshops and loads of books/dessert receptions/enthusiastic writers/adventure. And, for me, there'll also be vitamin C tablets (to ward off the colds I always seem to catch post-conference), a fully charged iPod (for when I need a musical break) and stern self-warnings not to let my circuits get so overloaded that I reach for too many chocolate treats as energy pick-me-ups (because I do that...every year).

Gotta love the thrill of an event that has so many people excited about romance and reading. I look forward to being there. To seeing warm, familiar faces. To meeting new ones. To anticipating reuniting with friends who won't be at this conference but will be in D.C. next year (we'll miss you folks this week!). And to all the smooth milk/dark/white chocolate that awaits. Heart-shaped and otherwise.

13 comments:

L.A. Mitchell said...

ooohhh...I'm SO wishing I could be there. Next year in D.C. Have a chocolate martini for me. We'll miss you!

Pam said...

Ditto and Amen!!!

Simone Elkeles said...

Hi roomie! I'm SO excited to get to be your roommate at the conference, so we can do our late night chats. I am so excited that you're presenting this year, how cool! Thanks for being such an amazing friend!

Marilyn Brant said...

L.A.~If you absolutely INSIST...I will FIND a way to drink a chocolate martini or two... Just for you, my friend. (Next year we're gonna get silly at that bar in D.C. :)

Pam~I'm so glad I'll finally get to meet you in person--see you soon!!

Simone~Love ya, babe. You know I'll be cheering you on Sat. night!

Eliza said...

I am SO EXCITED! If I hadn't spent all day tromping around the city I would be jumping up and down. I promise to be a good seat mate on the plane.

See you Wednesday!

Nadine said...

I love the Nationals too... another one of those amazing side effects of the writing life. Plus I've gotten to see so much more of the States this way than I might have had otherwise! And the atmosphere at the conference is so charged with positive energy... I always come back inspired to write and write and write some more. See you in a couple of days!!!

Brett said...

Sounds like you're going to have a magnificent time! Have a See's chocolate for me, Marilyn. I LOVE THEM! Although I'm not terribly picky about chocolates, so if you think about me while you're eating a Ghiradelli or drinking a chocolate martini, that will be good enough for me. ;)

Marilyn Brant said...

Eliza~Less than 24hrs. now--yay!

Nadine~Hey! Can't wait to see you again!! I'll find you at the Lit Signing, if not before :).

Brett~I'll hunt down some See's Chocolate to try, in your honor. No hardship there!!

Leshia Stolt said...

Hi, Marilyn! I'm oh-so-jealous of all of you who are attending this year. Soak up some of that conference energy up for me, k? I'll be in Indiana changing dirty diapers if you need someone to bring you back down to earth. ;)

Marilyn Brant said...

We'll miss you, Leshia! But that baby stage goes by far too fast...I know you've got gurgles and sticky kisses, too, which are priceless. :)

Sandra Ferguson said...

Have a wonderful time . . . I'm with LA, I wish I was there. I'm trying to not be too envious. Especially of all that lovely cool weather while we're baking here in Texas.

Can't wait to hear about all your adventures.

Have a wonderful time.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Am finally catching up on blogs, post-conference. Good thing everyone was at the conference so I didn't miss too much! Anyway, I LOVED meeting you in SF! Hope you have a safe drive home.

Marilyn Brant said...

Sandra~thanks! It was a great trip but it's "home sweet home" for a reason :).

Caryn~LOVED meeting you in SF, too!!! Thanks to you and Pam for keeping me laughing all through that luncheon...