Thursday, September 27, 2007

Afterglow

Maven Lacey KayeI dreamed of the RITA ceremony last night. Mostly because I realized as I was falling asleep that today was going to be Thursday and I needed to get my post up, but also partly because I'm getting excited about writing again and the RITA/Golden Heart ceremony is such an unforgettable event that I may as well dream of little golden statues all night long.

(But really, where does Thursday go? It gets sandwiched between Wednesday, which I spend the first half of the week looking forward to, and Friday, which is, well, Friday. When Wednesday finally rolls around, I train my eye on the prize. Thursday...meh.)

So Erica touched on the RITA ceremony back on Monday's post. Mostly, I just wanted to wax about it for a minute because I think all romance writers should experience it once in their writing careers (and by waxing I hope to convince you to get off your duff and go). You should experience being there, I mean. Sure -- getting a RITA would be grand -- but by definition, most of us will never have one to grace our office shelves. So it's the ceremony to which I refer, and I have to say: wow.

Every year it's a little different, with a different theme and, of course, it's in a different place. That's good. Keeps you on your toes. But some constants remain from year to year.

You will want to look pretty

Sure, you don't have to. It's probably not your night, and it's the last day of a very long weekend. Or actually, it's not because you still have to get up early the next day and drag yourself to the airport, then go home and greet your children and husband and waggy-tailed dog. But this is one of those cases where everyone else will be dressed up, and you wouldn't want to be the one little lemming that refuses to jump off the cliff, would you? No. (Can you imagine being that lemming? The one who goes "Hey, guys? I'm not so sure about this idea. I think I'm going to head over to that rock over there. You come get me when you're done. Guys? Guys?"

You will want to remember to go

Heh. Seems funny -- now. Just wait until it really is the last thing on your agenda before packing up and going home. Two years in a row now, I've been late. I've gotten ready in the very last 15 minutes possible and rushed downstairs, only to get crappy seats. So don't get carried away relaxing in your room the night of. Go have dinner! (They don't feed you.) Have a few drinks! (Trust me, it will improve the cut segments.) Don't rush your makeup! (See #1 above.)

You will want to bring your glasses, and maybe a Kleenex or two.

Obviously, you want to be able to see. But don't discount what you will hear. Everyone's touching story of triumph, and the mega-long list of people they will want to thank. If you don't get teary at least once during the ceremony, then you're either a cold-hearted you-know-what or you weren't listening.

You will wish with your very soul all the way down to your toes that it is YOU up on that stage!

Do I need to explain this one? The downside here is that you can't even enter unless you a) have a complete manuscript (so what are you waiting for!) b) the money to enter (I'm a little broke right now myself) and c) actually, you know, enter.

And then I suppose you have to d) draw the right judges for e) your story that rocks hard-core.

Just that.

Do not pass up the opportunity to hob-nob with your favorite authors, editors, and agents at the afterparty!

When people win prizes during a fabulous low-lit ceremony and tears are shed between friends, publishers and critique partners, everyone wins. Take advantage of the good cheer and thrill to talk one last time to the contacts you made during the week. And then hit the bar, or go out on the town. The party doesn't end until you get on your plane!

So. Have you been? Are you going to San Francisco? Did you eat up all the links on romancenovel.tv? (Navigate to the RWA 2007 tab.) Do you have pictures of yourself or the afterparty online? Share!

2 comments:

Lenora Bell said...

Oh Lacey, you made me long to experience it. I can't wait for San Francisco.

Writer & Cat said...

Not going to San Fran, but I've been to 2. I see no shame in enjoying a dress up occasion one day a year, although I know some folks feel uncomfortable or rebellious about the perceived "dress code" at the conference itself and at the awards ceremony. Whatev! I have a vintage dress collection and I'm not afraid to use it!

Jody W.

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