Things I Imagine Are Happening At RWA Nationals (From A Perspective Of Neurosis, Envy, And Also Ignorance, Unless Twitter Counts)

  • There is a champagne fountain in every room, and one entire hotel tv channel devoted to nothing but period pieces with elaborate costumes.
  • The air is filled with compliments on how marvelous everybody looks—because obviously everybody has gone to some trouble to look unbelievably splendid.
  • You get a RITA! And you get a RITA! And you get a RITA! …
  • Every author whose books you've loved are hanging out and talking about how much they hated your debut novella and how it's a relief you aren't here so they can finally all say how much they dislike you both personally and professionally.
  • Every author whose books you've loved are hanging out and talking about how there's just something missing—like maybe there's some magical future friend they have yet to meet but who will fill the missing gaps of the imaginary friendship circle and make life a wonderful adventure rich in laughter and warmth and shoe shopping.
  • Bacchanals, orgies, and general debauchery.

Black and white photographic image from an ancient Greek red-figure vase: several ladies in drapey clothing with loose hair cavort generally about, with the bearded limbless figure of Dionysus in the center.

  • Your Dream Agent is signing somebody else whose squidshifter/sexbot/lady engineer steampunk space opera menage erotic romance is not nearly as brilliantly written as yours.
  • Impromptu dance-fights break out between publisher parties: Ellora's Cave does the samba, Harlequin approximates a Lindy Hop, Samhain dances like Molly Ringwald in that scene where everybody gets high in the Breakfast Club, Avon waltzes with great sweeping passion, and Penguin does a jazzy sort of modern dance choreography that's really way too hip for the crowd to comprehend.
  • The Pulitzer Committee happens by and decides the industry is so vibrant and lively that they're instituting a whole new award just for romance.
  • The cast of True Blood is offered up as a sacrifice for success in the coming romance year.
  • Nobody ever feels hungover, overwhelmed, jet lagged, or intimidated.
  • Everyone goes home happier, energized, and excited to get back to work.