The Hope List

>In less than two weeks, I’ll be winging my way to San Francisco to attend RWA’s annual conference, fondly referred to as National. Claire Delacroix once stated that she didn’t understand the nickname as it always made her think of a horse race. Since then, I’ve been unable to lose the imagery of 2000 women stampeding into a city to discuss, learn and party over the romance genre.

Usually at this time, blogs and websites are loaded with travel tips, how-to-pitch articles, conference behavior or some other type of helpful blog related to National (and they’re heading into the backstretch). However, I’m in a selfish mood, so I thought I’d do a hopeful blog as opposed to helpful.

Hope 1 – That I meet an editor who so falls in love with my personality that she absolutely MUST read my latest proposal. Naturally this hope is just that, as we all know that editors don’t buy books on author personality. I mean let’s face it there are some authors out there who make Mean Girls look sweet, so clearly personality isn’t going to get me sold. So I’m going to rely on the luck factor, which given my life in general is something that continues to elude me. But then, I was born on a Thursday and according to that old adage, I’ll work hard for a living. Yes, I had that term coined LONG before Donna Summer made me famous in She Works Hard For The Money. So luck is a long shot here at best. If I were a horse and you bet on me, you MIGHT want to be conservative in the money you put down. Although I could always be that dark horse that surprises people. I sort of hope I’m that kind of a horse (better that than a cow – see
Hope 9)

Hope 2 – That the DH will be understanding. Despite this trip being a surrogate 2nd honeymoon, I can only pray the DH will understand when I say “I’m tired and I have to get up early tomorrow.” Of course, he’s threatened on many occasions to write his own book. It will be called 101 Ways To Say No. I’m sure he’s at 500 by now.

Hope 3 – That the foggy weather clears by midday on all the days we go sightseeing. I told the DH that the sky in San Francisco is unlike any other sky I’ve ever seen. It’s an indescribable color when it’s clear. I really want him to see it, but given the fact that he’s color blind, I guess it won’t matter if it’s foggy.

Hope 4 – That my pacemaker doesn’t set off every alarm in the airport. All I can see in my head is one of those blue light specials on top of the metal detectors spinning around while the Waaannh, Waaannh, siren alerts people all the way down to the boarding ramp that I’ve been pulled over. I mean it’s not like I can unzip my chest, pull the device out, drop it into a gray bin and pick it up along with my laptop once I’m through security. More importantly, I so do not want to be responsible for someone else’s heart attack if I’m stripped search by TSA officials. It won’t be pretty I can assure you.

Hope 5 – That I don’t do something stupid like open my mouth and insert foot. I’m going to try really hard not to do a lot of talking. Okay, okay, you can stop laughing now. Seriously, I always try to say something intelligent and I generally come off sounding like an idiot. I mean Bridget Jones Diary is the funny side of my life. As luck would have it, all I have to do is open my mouth and follow it with my foot for an appetizer. Of course, this means I can generally get through the main course and dessert without too much trouble. *sigh*

Hope 6 – That I find something intelligent to say if I meet an editor who’s read my work. The same goes for librarians and booksellers. I’m not an industry guru, and I can’t talk about how romance has evolved, nor do I have any deep insights as to the female psyche and why she reads romance. I mean I don’t get Austen, so how the hell am I supposed to understand social commentary disguised as romance? I just write and tell a story. My books don’t contain any messages. As much as I despised the Seinfeld show, maybe that’s the story of my life. Much ado about nothing (thank you Shakespeare). *sigh*

Hope 7
– That going to the Sunday’s a Drag Buffet won’t be uncomfortable for the DH. He’s only going to the drag show because I want to go. Some of my best girlfriends have been gay men, and these guys knew exactly how I felt and weren’t afraid to show it. The DH is quite comfortable NOT showing his emotions. So Sunday should be interesting.

Hope 8 – That some famous author will see my badge name and know me because she liked reading one of my books and NOT because of something stupid I said on some blog post or comment. Bad comments are like toilet paper sticking to the bottom of your shoe. Of course, we must again account for the luck factor here. Lucky to meet someone who likes me. Not so lucky if I meet someone who doesn’t like me. Lady Luck has a lot to answer for if you ask me.

Hope 9 – That I’ll be savvy enough not to ask, “What’s a Sarto.” I am so NOT a fashionista, and I prefer comfortable flats over the stilettos the DH would pay big bucks for if he believed for one minute I’d wear them. But then the image of a cow on four-inch stilts just doesn’t work for me. So I’ll enjoy seeing others earning their war blisters as they wobble around on their little stilts while I just relax in my Pagare Menos (that’s Italian for PayLess)

Hope 10 – That I don’t get my hopes up and develop such high expectations for this conference that I wind up having my hopes dashed. When all is said and done, this trip will cost around $2500 (without sightseeing costs). It’s a lot of moolah to be spending for a writer’s conference. Of course if I’d gotten my act together and not waited to buy my airline ticket, it would only be costing me about $1800. But as luck would have it I waited too late to get a good flight out of SFO and so I had to do the red-eye. This then began the domino effect of upping the cost when I convinced the DH to come too. See, I told you Lady Luck has a lot to answer for.

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About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

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