Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten Worst Things About the RT Booklovers' Convention

Among all of the RT recaps out there, I thought I'd put voice to the dark side of the romance convention. 
Be warned: this gets real!

  1. Packing! Between professional looks for the presentations, business casual for panels, workout clothes (that I used once), and costumes and formals for the evening events, I have to pick out no less than fourteen complete outfits, including shoes and accessories...then get it all into my suitcase(s). Lots of sweat and heartbreaking shoe decisions involved. My red Fidji's still aren't speaking to me.
    Oh, and I also brought a dress and a corset along for TA.
  2. Getting To Your Room: This year we were in Narnia. Seriously. We hauled our incredibly heavy bags around the fourth floor for about 20 minutes before we found we needed to pass through fire doors to a staircase, then through another door to the random back hallway with our room. The upside was that if the zombie apocalypse happened while in Dallas, they wouldn't have been able to find us. Last year, we had crazy elevators without floor buttons--you had to punch it in before you got on and trust the machine...no changing your mind!
    Yay! We finally found it!
  3. Trying to keep your swag and books straight: It seems like every time you leave your room people are giving you stuff. Then you need to either haul it around or dodge the zombies on the way to Narnia with it and put it in piles. Eventually the piles blend together with stuff you brought, usually on top of the one thing you have only a few minutes between events to find. Multiply times ten for every roommate you have.
    Chris Rice practically forced his books on us.
  4. Missing people: And I don't mean missing your kids or partner or barista or pets. I mean, not seeing your absolute favorite author/blogger/model/editor you didn't realize was at RT until you're surfing social media at the airport going home and see that they were hanging around all the same places you were all week.
    Who knew when I used to read her books as a teen that I'd ever take a selfie with Mary Balogh? Not that I knew what a selfie was back then. Or a cell phone for that matter.
  5. Choosing between conflicting events: Murphy's Law comes into effect here. That's why the developers of the RT mobile app gave each other secret, evil high fives when they added the function that says, "This amazing panel conflicts with another equally amazing event. Are you sure you want to schedule? Maybe you should just go cry in the corner."
    At least the evening events like the Wild West Steampunk night didn't have conflicts.
  6. Keeping your stomach happy: You either have zero time to eat or you fill up on a delicious meal that then expands in your stomach like Gorilla Glue, causing you to rub it, cursing silently as you field questions from nosy strangers in the elevator about when you're due.
    Yes, I had the tempura green beans at Five Sixty, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant in the "big ball", four times. Don't judge me. They were that good.
  7. Which books? All the books! Every year I wince as I try to lift my bags, hoping I don't have to do the airport luggage walk of shame for being overweight. I practice at home on the scale so I know about how much upper forties feels like. And I say to myself as I kneel in front of the airline check-in counter to shove a pair of shoes, three books and that weirdly heavy wool pencil skirt into my carry-on, "I'm not going to pick up any books next time. Maybe two, tops." Yeah, right.
    Ariel enabled my Mary Calmes addiction this year even though Mary herself wasn't there.
  8. Breaking the gravitational pull. There is a world out there beyond the hotel walls, but it can be hella difficult to actually leave and go experience it. I was proud to have gotten out three times this year--once for an off-site reception for ARe, once for breakfast with Amber Kell and her husband, and once to go out with friends who live in Dallas. Full disclosure: last year in NOLA was a little different, and I imagine Las Vegas will be too.
    Actually went far enough away on Saturday night to need Uber to get back.
  9. Saying goodbye: I know that if I actually did live in a small town somewhere with all of my fellow con-goers that they'd drive me crazy in less than a fortnight. But that doesn't stop me from being emotional and hugging every single person I see in the last 36 hours before I leave. It's a special hell, though, to say goodbye to my "con wife", TA. We have a process for it, including tandem packing, sharing a ride to the airport even if our flights are half a day apart, and sad selfies to punctuate an album full of smiling pictures.
    Airport farewell.
  10. Waiting for next year: Thank you, RT people and Las Vegas hotel people and whoever had a hand in moving RT to April next year, thus knocking a month off the wait time. Happy to say that there are only 328 days until I have to start this list of the worst things about RT all over again. See you in Vegas, baby!
    Watch out, Sin City! RT is coming!


  1. Great fun, Devon. See you next time. : )

  2. Awesome to catch up with you, Tara. :) See you in October, if not before.


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