What did I take away from San Francisco?

Author: Jax Cassidy // Category: , , , ,
Well, I discovered that the RWA national conference turned into a sort of mini vacation and left me craving for a bit of adventure...

Day One
My flight was cancelled a few hours before departure. I was delayed in Dallas and managed to grab a standby spot through a much earlier flight than scheduled and arrived an hour early to San Fran. Everything worked out but didn't help me shy away from a shopping spree at the airpoirt. Arrived at the Mosser Hotel which was conveniently right across the street from the Marriott where the conference was held this year. The boutique hotel was cozy and possessed enough charm to make my stay nice. I had two drinks at the bar with some of my fellow authors and then headed straight to an agency party where I pigged out on Italian food and drank waaaaaay too many glasses of Chianti! If this was the beginning of what the week had in store for me, I was in trouble.

Day Two
What did I do to pass the time until the Literacy signing? I went out and got inked at lunchtime, of course! Here you can see a lotus blossom I designed in honor of my first release and has hidden Kanji text within the image that means "heart"...

This is Kanji text meaning
"soul"... put them together and it means
"Heart & Soul"... Clever, eh? LOL

The Literacy signing was a huge success and I sold quite a few books, met many amazing people and even experienced a really enthusiastic reader. She was so wonderful that it touched my heart. It's nice to meet readers who really enjoy my stories. Makes all the sacrifice and hard work worthwhile. I was still glowing from the support and praise I received and it made me want to get back to work on my next few projects.

When evening came, I met up with a friend of mine from days at the LA architectural firm. Turned out he got transferred for a few months to San Fran and when we met up, I bumped into two more of my fellow workmates who happened to be walking by and we all had a big reunion drinkfest. We closed the bar and it proved how small this world really is!

Day Three
I can say this conference had a totally different vibe from past years. The energy was strange to say the least and I am guilty of wandering off on sightseeing excursions instead of workshops. I spent hours in the mall and walking down the MarketPlace, to the open market where wonderful trinkets were sold, and finally to managed to be back on time for the Diva Dinner. Yes, it was a mad house at Buca Di Beppo and although the food and company was fun...the management really screwed up based on what we had worked out with them. Needless to say, we learned a lot about what to avoid next year. We are definitely going more private!

I wound up at another agency party and had a great time running around with my pal Gemma Halliday. She had on these spectacular stilettos that were black satin with straps that gathered at the top of her foot by a large circular diamond piece with decorative designs. LOVED THEM! You'd have to see them for yourself! We had a few drinks and dessert and made it back to the hotel. Already worn out by this time!

Day Four
More sightseeing, lots of eating and shopping, and then off to the Harlequin party..which is always OFF THE HOOK! I danced so much my feet hurt on top of all the hurt from my walking! Afterwards we went to karaoke in the heart of the city. We found a cute little place called the Mints where we crammed in as many Divas as possible. Quite entertaining but we left without my beloved black empire waist cardigan sweater with flared three quarter sleeves... sniff sniff. If anyone found it, please return to owner! I'm still mourning the loss of it. By this time, I was soooo ready to leave San Fran. Notice a pattern here, I played conference hooky for the most part....

Day Five
I had a nice breakfast at Mel's Diner and met up with Gemma who told me she had a concussion for slipping in the bathtub in her hotel. Yikes! She was coherent enough but I made sure she would stay awake! Afterwards, I hiked about 13 blocks through the seedy part of San Fran just to take a peek at the new "green" building constructed in the center of all the not so pretty buildings. It was an amazing architecture with very interesting glass and steel and oversized windows. This particular building was showcased in Dwell magazine so I had to see it for myself. Of course, I took a cab from there through Little Saigon, Nob Hill, to Chinatown. I wish I could say I totally explored the area but by the time I got there and browsed through a handful of shops, I was dead tired. I think I went back to the room and totally crashed. Woke up just in time to get ready for the awards ceremony. It's always nice to see everyone beautifully dressed. I couldn't help admiring some of the gowns. This event is the night most of us look forward to because we have hauled our dresses halfway across the US to look pretty. :) I wasn't disappointed so it was worth the hauling.

Day Six
The breakfast with the Divas is always exciting. We gossiped, caught up on news and spent just enough time to make up for all the time I went MIA on them. By this last day, we were extremely exhausted and ready for our own beds. I know I could have made more of an effort to attended the workshops and spotlights but I can say the real reason I love conferences is because of the literacy signing, seeing my friends, and just taking everything at my own pace. I think if the vibe wasn't so stressful this time around, I would have participated more, but maybe with all that's going on in the world it was hard to really settle. Everyone appeared more intense and on edge so perhaps in feeling those emotions, I needed time away from the actual event. Okay, it was a pretty expensive price to pay for a mini vacation but I learned a lot in other areas of my life.

Frankly, I did have a great time and I won't complain because I was able to enjoy taking things at my own pace. I'm sure I have missed a few facts but all in all I can't believe how jam packed my schedule!

Would I do this all over again if I had the chance? Heck yeah!

6 Responses to "What did I take away from San Francisco?"

Abi Says :
11:30 AM

I'm so glad you're back! You were missed. Love the ink. NGTCC was a blast and I even won a door prize. Next year I'll be in DC for sure.


Michelle (MG) Says :
3:15 PM

I wasn't even at conference last year and I could tell the vibe was different at conference this year. It didn't feel at all what I read described last year. Still it was good. And overwhelming and... all sorts of things. I'm just glad I met you and all the Divas in "real" life.

Robin Says :
1:50 PM

It sounds like you had an awesome time - just what *you* needed! I love the ink too! I'm bummed I didn't get to see more of you, but the quick hello was great! I think you need to plan a little excursion to LA so we can catch up more. ;) Miss ya!

Dara Edmondson Says :
4:27 PM

Glad you had such a good time - even if it was mostly through socializing and non-conference events;-)

Kelly Gay Says :
5:19 PM

Love, love, love the tats!! NICE. :) Makes me want to go get one. I've heard from others that the atmosphere was different this year than other years . . . weird. But anywayz, sounds like you had a good "vacation" and got to socialize a bunch!!

Katie Reus Says :
5:54 PM

Love the tattoo! Glad you had a good time :) Hope I see you soon!

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