Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reality Bites

I have been slowly coming down from the mental high I've been on since the 2007 RWA National Conference. However, on yesterday, I was plummeted back to Earth in a very "in your face" way. Being jarred out of bed at 6:00 a.m. because of a house fire tends to do that to a girl.

I know I promised more pictures from Dallas. And they're coming, I promise. But when your place catches fire, things tend to be put into perspective. I'm still trying to decide if that's a good thing or not. I'm currently leaning toward the NOT category.

The fire was actually in a separate storage/ rec room that's about 10 feet from the main house, so we are extremely lucky it was caught in time. Still, a lot was lost.

This futon was the perfect place to relax on a Sunday afternoon and watch the bevy of football games provided by NFL Sunday Ticket. It's no longer the ideal place to cheer on my New Orleans Saints.

If you look closely, you'll find a bright spot here. My Tony Little exercise machine was toasted. Great reason not to exercise! Okay, that was really bad. I'll still find a way to exercise. (Jennie, if you read this, please don't call or text. I promise I'll be ready for the Disney Half-Marathon!)

Thankfully, this cabinet no longer held DVDs. Unfortunately, those shopping bags still held a ton of Christmas decorations. :(

Of course, I am so incredibly thankful that no one was hurt in the fire, and for the most part, most of the things lost should be covered by insurance. However, I nearly fell into a fit of tears yesterday when I realized my treasured John Grisham hardback collection, including a Wynnwood Press first edition of A Time to Kill, was lost.

I know, I know. It's just a "thing". It shouldn't be important. But for a bookworm like me, it is important. And, of course, I feel like a whiny child for saying so.

But still...

Have you ever felt guilty for losing a material possession?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dallas Pic Spam

There were just so many great photo ops, and it wouldn't be fair to keep all these shots to myself. So, what better way to keep the memories alive than to spam them all over my blog.

Prepare yourself for MAJOR pic spam!

The day before the book sigining, I held a party for all the wonderful ladies who came to Dallas to cheer me on at my first RWA book signing. Back in the early days of planning, I thought there would be about 15 or so people. I think we topped off at about 50!

In addition to feasting on gumbo, jambalaya, King Cake, and pralines at my New Orleans-themed party, I also signed copies of Deliver Me!

My party was supposed to be "alcohol free" but there's no such thing when my girls get together. They come prepared. Can you blame them? What's a Hurricane without the alcohol?

Here's a fantastic group shot of a bunch of "Rochonettes" at the RWA Literacy Book Signing. The Rochonettes is the official Farrah Rochon Fan Club. So many great looking gals in one shot should be illegal.

The Rochonettes were a sight to behold at the RWA signing. I had no doubt they would turn heads.

Julia Quinn is a huge favorite among the girls. The one drawback of signing at the RWA conference is the fact that I could not go around to all my favorite authors. Would I give up my place at the table for it? Nah.

After the book signing, a very special New York Times Best-selling author held a private party for all of us. I actually danced (though you won't see those pictures here).

Even though black seemed to be the color of the evening, the ladies in red were looking pretty hot!

For any of you out there who are tired of pictures, I'll have to apologize, because I'm not done yet. There's more to come!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Doing it Rochonette Style!

Over the past week and a half, I've had the time of my life in the great city of Dallas, Texas. Experiencing the Romance Writers of America's National Conference for the first time as a published author was even better than I had anticipated. What made it even better is the fact that I had a plethora of friends who flew in from around the country and around the world to celebrate my first sale at RWA.

To kick off the RWA Conference there is a huge book signing. Over 450 authors join in to help fight literacy. I've attended nearly a half dozen of these, and have dreamed of the day when I could actually sign my own book at the signing. Believe it or not, I've always felt a bit of trepidation over the signing. You see, I've walked up and down that room trying my hardest to avoid contact with those authors who had no one at their table. I did not want to find myself in the same situation.

I had nothing to worry about.

The great group of women I am so proud to call my very dear friends came through for me in a HUGE way. The Rochonettes, as we call ourselves, were the talk of the signing (well, except for Sherrilyn Kenyon's lovely swan hat). I was never without a person at my table. In fact, I had a fairly deep line at one point. Cool, yes? The ladies in red made a huge splash.

Here are just a few scenes from the RWA Literacy Signing.

A picture of my tiny little spot at the table. Beautiful, isn't it?

Here's Cheryl! She was just one of the many women who helped me to celebrate at RWA.

My fellow Louisiana Girls!

My bestest cousin in the world, Dana! I bunked out at Dana's crib for five days before joining everyone at the conference. She would be a great window shopping buddy, if she understood the concept of window shopping. I'll just give Citibank Dana's number when they come a'callin.

Don't worry. There are LOTS more pictures to come. There is just no way I can fill you in on the mega love and support I had over the past week.

How about you? Have you ever had family members or friends come through for you in a really big way?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bugging out in the great state of Texas!

Okay, so I know I went MIA last week, but I had very good reason. I've been working like a crazy woman to get ready for my first Romance Writers of America National Conference as a published author.

I arrived in the beautiful city of Dallas, Texas last week and have been visiting with my baby brother and his family and hitting every shopping mall there is to see. And believe me, there are a plenty out here. There's also IKEA. I love IKEA!

However, I have to continually remind myself that shopping is not my top priority while here in Dallas. The creative energy force that is the RWA Conference is my top priority. This one is shaping up to be the best yet!

This is my sixth conference, overall, but it's my first chance to wear one of those pretty hot pink PAN (Published Author Network) ribbons on my chest, and sign books at the RWA Literacy Book Signing. To say I am super-duper, over-the-moon excited is a MAJOR understatement. I'm lucky enough to have over 60+ friends and family members who will attend the book signing this coming Wednesday. Expect plenty of pictures.

I'm hoping to blog about the national conference as it happens, but that's only if I'm able to get the wireless to work on my laptop. *keeping fingers crossed* Whether or not I'm able to blog this week or not, you better believe I'll have tons to say about this conference in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!