Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Travelling Tuesday - Where's Wylie/ Packing For Nationals?

This Tuesday at The Pink Heart Society after the chaos of last Tuesday, our very own Trish Wylie brings you a report of her travels so far as she approaches the Romance Writer's Of America National Conference in Dallas which we'll be covering right here at The Pink Heart Society from TOMORROW!!!

Phew! Made it! And believe me when I tell you there were a couple of times last week when I doubted I'd ever be able to say those words....

And yet here I am - an entire ocean away from home - and but one step away from making it to Dallas and my very first RWA Conference!!!! Excited? - me? - you betcha! But maybe I should just let you know a little about how the trip has gone so far in case you haven't been reading my blog...

I left Ireland last Thursday with my travelling companion Sean the Leprechaun (on kind loan from his good friend Kate Walker I should add...) Sean is accompanying me on all the sight-seeing trips and he'll be meeting people at the RWA and helping with a few interviews as well as appearing as a special guest at my table for the Literacy signing... He's jolly excited about the whole thing so far by the way... We flew from Dublin via Shannon to NEW YORK first and can I just say that this country is HOT - I mean seriously - HOT. Face of the sun hot. And although I feel that by the time we hit Washington and the 97 degrees I had begun to adjust a little - Sean hasn't been faring so well and has taken to hiding in the shade of my handbag. He mumbled something about his beard catching fire but to be honest I wasn't really listening.

New York is everything you expect it to be and then some. It's loud and huge and humid and steamy and full to the brim with people and honking fire engines and sirens and tourists with cameras and street entertainers and yelling construction workers and it just doesn't care if you think that's all too much. And there's something so incredibly sexy about that kind of confidence in ones own attraction - I mean what one of us doesn't love a hero with that kind of arrogant self-confidence when it's so fully justified??? Except that a city is always a *she* isn't it. Well I fell for New York I have to say and I think it has every reason to be so self confident - the sights are amazing, the people are fabulous, the food - well - there's no way I'm losing any weight on this trip... And there are so many different memories from my time there that it's gonna take lots of re-capping and a lot more blogging both here and on my Blog in order to tell it all. Maybe I'll do some more when I go there again on my way back??? In the meantime you can see that Sean thoroughly enjoyed the open top bus trip and was very happy when he was able to point out Ellis Island on the way out there by boat.
It was kinda special going there - I live not far from the Ulster American Folk Park at home where you can walk through Irish houses and cottages and then through a mock-up of the steerage deck of a ship before you come out the other side and visit houses similar to the immigrants ones in the States - so to go to Ellis Island and walk in the footsteps of so many of the Irish that came here by steerage was humbling - and unforgettable - and kinda rounded out the stuff I'd learnt in the Park if that makes sense...

Now I should maybe point out for the traveller in you at this point that all of this visit barring the RWA portion was booked online and unseen so to speak. I booked most of the hotels through Expedia and was a tad nervous about some of the negative reviews on there. But coming as I do from the romance writing community I should have known that all reviews are subjective, right??? My friend said that people are less likely to write something good than they are something bad and I have to agree with her - though we are a step ahead of that in the romance writing community I feel. However when it comes to hotel reviews my friend was bang on - as both hotels so far have been not even ball-park close to ANY of the bad reviews they received online!!! When I go home I'm gonna break the mould and post GOOD REVIEWS for both. So there! But just remember if you go to book online the reviewing is subjective rule - okay? And another helpful tip - when travelling from International to Internal Flights remember to carry a rucksack in your luggage.... My internal flights will allow MORE than my international flight did - but ONLY if it's in TWO BAGS. In one bag I had an excess weight charge! (thankyou stuff for conference!!!!)

Which brings me neatly to packing stuff for the conference itself...

This was a tough trip to pack for. I mean I knew it would be hot - so that ruled out a tonne of sweaters and heavy shoes (though Dallas was *only* 89 degrees today as opposed to the 97 I'm now used to so I might feel the chill...) - but I also knew I'd have posh *do's* to go to; meaning posh clothes. And then there was the list the RWA put in their magazine - erm, black suit??? IN THAT HEAT!!! Oh surely you jest! - so I ignored the list and packed a *capsule wardrobe* - a what?? I hear you cry? - a capsule wardrobe is, in theory, a set of clothes that all mix and match to make up several different outfits. Clever I thought. So I have my capsule wardrobe - I have my comfy shoes - I have my posh do outfit/s - I have my sun stuff like creams and after suns and the like in case I get to actually leave the hotel. But then as an author you also get to pack bookmarks and business cards and treats for your signing table and oooh - I dunno - a few books that people might not be able to get hold of (like Modern Extras for instance). And then if you plan on doing live Blogs from there you also pack your laptop and charger and data pen thingie and all the leads to go with your digital camera... Can we see where the excess weight issues might kick in here gang????

So if you went to the RWA Nationals - what would YOU PACK???

Remember starting tomorrow we will be having a *virtual week* at the Nationals here at The Pink Heart Society so let's do this right and let's have you all *pack* for the conference and tell us what clothes you've brought - what essentials from home - what you couldn't do without... And remember first thing tomorrow to check in and have a look see what talks you'd attend and who you'd like to meet up with and visit us for our reports throughout the day.... It'll be a bit different from normal PHS posts in that there may be many posts through the day so keep popping back folks!!!

And I'll be back next week to tell you about Washington and Dallas itself.... and you can have a look at some of my Blogs about the trip so far over at my own Blog...
So let's all travel virtually this Tuesday to Dallas! Whose coming???

Trish hits us with double releases this month - The Return Of The Rebel (which is a follow up to Breathless!) in Modern Extra - and Bride Of The Emerald Isle (the book she'll be signing at the RWA Nationals this week!) in Romance...

The Return Of The Rebel is available from Amazon UK or from Mills & Boon ! And Bride Of The Emerald Isle is available from Eharlequin or Amazon in the USA & Canada and Mills & Boon or Amazon UK in the UK.
AND you can also buy it as an E-Book here!!! For more info visit her Website or her Blog.


  1. I'm coming! I'm coming! Virtually that is...


  2. I'm glad you liked NYC :-)) I now live in the burbs outside it as it is a little intense on a 24/7 basis but I still think it's the coolest place on earth. (Not cool in a temperature sense, though, it's in the 90's here now....).

    And don't worry about hot weather at the conference. American hotels are usually air-conditioned to a level just barely above freezing, so you'll wish you had a down parka with you ;-)


  3. Okay then, *virtually* I'm going and since my *virtual* PHS diet worked wonderfully my clothes are all clingy and in a UK size 10. Ha!

    I've travelled with you before so I know I don't need to bring any books with me to read because you'll bring me a stack. :) And then I'll pick up some more at the conference.

  4. Welcome back Trish! I'm glad that you made it safely to NY after all the hassles before you left. And Sid and I are ahppy to see that our friend Sean is with you and enjoying himself (that smile says it all).

    I'll be travelling along with you to the conference (Sid says he'd prefer to stay at home) in the hope that I'll get to 'see' many of my friends from past conferences as you meet up with some of them.

    One piece of advice - seasoned RWA attendees usually mail their free books back home on the last day of the Conf - you might pick up more than you brought!

    Enjoy Dallas - and if you meet up with a lovely lady called Jodi Thomas (she should be at the Harlequin parties) please say Hello from me - and the BM - we met her at RNA UK.

    Love the reports - lookig forward to the next one



  5. Happy traveling, Trish! Hope to see you at RWA. I'm leaving today, and I'll second what they said about hotel air conditioning. It is FREEZING inside the hotels sometimes.

  6. You know, Trish, I would soooooo love to see a picture of you taking a picture of Sean. What are people making of a Leprechaun in their midst????

    Posting books home is a good idea!