Back to the conference.
One thing I thoroughly appreciated was the hotel shuttle. I loved Surrey, but having to try to coordinate flights so you can share the very expensive cab ride is a pain. The bus driver even loaded my luggage for me. I was thrilled.
Kari Lynn Dell was my roommate and she also made the cupcake run. I told the bakery to do the buy three get one free deal they had advertised on their site. The lady said their dozen price worked out the same. I did the math and it doesn’t so I just asked for the special. Kari arrived and they had three dozen boxed up instead of the four. Plus, several of the flavors we requested weren’t in there. Having said that, the cupcakes we got were beautiful and delicious. I’m not sure what we would have done with another dozen anyway, so it was all good.
I checked into the hotel and they told me Kari had already checked in. Luckily, I had given the clerks her information so she could registered even if I was late, which I was.
Kari was just as I expected she would be. She’s a beautiful, slender cowgirl with a lovely voice. I love to listen to her speak.
Several of us came in the night before the conference started so we could unwind and rest a bit before the classes started. Miss Janet was there, as well as most of the presenters.
We had an appointment to have dinner with Rachelle Gardner at a nice, quiet little place. Julie Butcher-Fedynich had some Coke coupons we could use there. Unfortunately, they would only allow us to use one so it messed her up since she had already printed them out for that café.
Dinner was very nice and Rachelle is just as sweet as I expected. Anyone who gets her for an agent is just doubly blessed. I think she’s a very talented, knowledgeable and professional agent. To get her sweet personality in the package is unbelievable. We had hoped she might be able to come up to the retreat for a day also, but she had other appointments.
There have been several of us who bemoaned the fact she doesn’t rep what we write. Meeting her in person only confirmed that regret.
We went back to the hotel with a minimum of getting lost. Of course, we weren’t in Beth Shope’s car with the possessed GPS.
Several of us brought homemade cookies or treats in addition to the cupcakes. We set up the party in a conversational area beside the bar. The bar tender was a real sweetie and found us stacks of plates for the treats and silverware. The cupcakes were large so we cut many of them in quarters.
I’ve decided the best way to break the ice at a conference is to have a cupcake party. People wander by, and you invite them to stop and eat cookies and cupcakes with you. Who could resist that?
The fun thing about it is agents, authors and editors can just relax and have fun without worrying about people pitching to them of hacking off a pound of flesh. A lot of us talked about writing, of course, but it was as friends and just regular people, not stalkers trying to get something from someone.
That’s one thing that bothered me about Surrey. It’s a larger conference so you have more people, of course. Invariably, you have people there who are trying to curry favor with ‘stars.” Poor Diana Gabaldon had a very odd pair chasing her at Surrey.
There was the gnome, with the very practiced nonchalant attitude. He constantly interrupted conversations, speakers in classes and students. Diana stopped me in the hall going into the banquet room and asked about Will. We were just visiting when the gnome came up, leaned against a table, crossed his legs and put a hand on his hip. The only things missing in his intellectual pose were horn-rimmed glasses and a pipe, but the hotel was non-smoking. So, while we were visiting the gnome just broke in, “So, Diana, what do you think the future of publishing is?”
I excused myself and left. Poor Diana was gracious and generous to a fault with her time. She really is a lovely lady
The other end of the spectrum was the giant who looked exactly like the actor who plays Raymond’s brother in Everyone Loves Raymond. He divided his time between trying to be Diana’s son’s new best friend and Diana’s best friend.
I didn’t see any of that at RMFW, but I may have missed it. From the people I did talk to, they said it was very relaxed there.
I’m convinced it was the cupcakes. I’m telling you, people. Cupcakes are the magic ingredient to a fun conference.
I’d like to take a moment here to comment on the hotel. The staff was absolutely wonderful, especially the bar staff who were all very sweet even though a lot of us were drinking water, tea and coffee. They constantly came over to check on us and did everything they could to help. I don’t think I’ve ever had better service. We asked if they would like some of the food and they said they couldn’t take any. We accidentally left some on the tables each night. I know. It’s terrible to leave messes behind for the staff to take care of.
I was very impressed with the hotel, but I missed the mandarin mint toiletries in the rooms. So, if you plan to stay in Denver, you can consider this a complete endorsement of the Renaissance staff.