...well, I'm not actually leaving today, but I will be on my way to New York, New York pretty soon for the RWA National Conference. The last time I was in Manhattan it was in the summer of 2003 for my very first RWA conference.
A lot has happened since then ;).
I knew very few people in the publishing world eight years ago -- mostly just a handful of Chicago-North RWA members that I'd chatted with a dozen times or so in the nine months leading up to the conference. I'd completed just two manuscripts at that time -- my first (so dreadful it can't be saved!) women's fiction book and my first (eventually, after a lot of revision, not too bad) contemporary romance novel. It would be almost 4 years before I'd win the Golden Heart and another year beyond that before I'd finally sell a book. Back in 2003, I hadn't even thought of the premise for According to Jane yet...
Sometimes I get too caught up in the trials and tribulations of the present day. I'm overwhelmed by the challenges with the current WIP or with the proposal I recently finished (and, yes, those are two different projects -- publishing has such long, long timelines), the ever-shifting changes in the industry, print sales and ebook sales and upcoming bookseller orders and advertisements and reviews... Sometimes I can't see the forest OR the trees -- just lots and lots of leaves with details I know I'm supposed to pay attention to right now.
But, sometimes, like this week, I'm reminded of how many steps I've actually taken on this thousand-mile journey. Too often, I'm focused on looking ahead -- at all the perilous hiking yet to come. Today, though, I'm taking a moment to glance over my shoulder and sneak a peek at the path I've already walked. To say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who's been walking with me over these past several years.
Next week, I will wake up for several consecutive days in "the city that doesn't sleep" (and, depending on the reception my temperamental cell phone gets at the hotel, it may also be "the city with severely limited Internet access"), but I will be back. And I will bring stories and pictures to share with you. Until then, hugs of gratitude to you all...
What will you be doing next week?
p.s. I just saw an absolutely lovely review author Joan Reeves put up on her Sling Words blog today for On Any Given Sundae -- thanks so much, Joan!!