Conference Crazies

From Mary Jo:

Dscn0635_1 The purple coneflowers and stargazer lilies are blooming behind the house, so it’s time for another national RWA conference.  They are always held at the end of July, which is statistically the hottest time of the year.   As a born northerner who hates heat, I complain bitterly that the conferences always seem to be held in southern locations that are apparently about two miles north of Hades. (In Orlando, it was so hot that my Wenchy roommate and I only left the hotel once, for a midnight walk around the hotel pool).

In fairness, even on RWA’s last trip to the fine northern city of Chicago, the city had a historic heat wave with temperatures that rose to 104 F.  The heat wave lasted exactly as long as the conference, then ended.  It is best not to ponder the implications of this. 

I remember that conference fondly.  It was the year of Chicago’s Cow Parade, so hundreds of artist-decorated fiberglass cows were scattered around the city.  I loved them.  To me, those critters represent the best of urban charm and whimsy, and they inspired other cities to look deep inside and find their inner animal. 

In Cincinnati, there was a Big Pig Gig in honor of the city’s meatpacking past.  I believe Louisville had horses, Toronto went for moose, and Buffalo, naturally, did buffalo.  My hometown of Baltimore chose fish, charming and easy to decorate, but it was a cop-out—this is a crab town, not a fish town.  So last year they repented and flat decorated crabs were everywhere. (If the subject interests you, here is a fun article that elaborates: http://tinyurl.com/rkks6 )

Dscn0636_3 Traditionally, when an RWA national looms, appearance anxiety strikes women who don’t get out often enough.  E-mail loops of writers buzz with panicky questions from newbies about what one should wear.  For RWA, the dress code is professional—anyone asking if she can wear jeans will hear horrified gasps.  This is very different from an sff con, where appearance runs to hippy casual or alien appendages.  For RWA, black is always good since most of the editors and agents are wearing black.  It’s a New York Thing. 

Attendees also discuss humidity—meeting in places like New Orleans tend to make some of us look like dandelions in full fuzzy mode. 

Serious aspiring writers who are close to selling their first book often freak at the prospect of agent and editor appointments, and rehearse pitches for their books.  Old hands assure them that agents and editors are not (usually) writer-eating monsters.  Industry pros are generally quite kind when dealing with desperate writers.      

My personal dress code for writing events is artsy professional and comfortable.  In a pinch, jettison the artsy professional and go for the comfort.  A great boon to me and many of my sister authors is Chico’s, the clothing chain for aging baby boomers who want to look dashing but have lost the taste (and the figures) for wearing tight garments, no matter how fashionable.

A friend said that Chico’s clothing is made of materials that will never rot in a landfill, but their stuff is great for aging baby boomers.  At my last national conference, two years ago in Dallas, I spotted lots of Chico’s outfits.  Usually this consisted of solid color knit top and slacks paired with a great jacket and splashy, fun jewelry.  It’s a good look—and how can you not like a store where you get to try on a size 2 rather than a “large?” <g>

At heart, RWA is a business conference, and writers go to meet with their agents and editors, or perhaps look for new ones.  We go to learn and to see our friends and make new ones.  Maybe we also go to do some research in that particular city, or visit a relative there while being able to deduct the trip.  Several years ago, I gave the keynote address in Washington, DC, and coined one of my better phrases if I do say so: “An RWA conference is 2000 introverts pretending to be extroverts.”

Borangebooks At the end, we head home wrecked, overfull of talk and information (and maybe appetizers as well), carrying a ton of new books—and most of the time, we go home happy.  We’ve just been able to spend a few days with Our Own Kind—and isn’t that something just about everyone enjoys?

Mary Jo, who really needs at least one new jacket per national conference…

63 thoughts on “Conference Crazies”

  1. Mary Jo, I hope you don’t mind, but I copied your comments on dress code, etc. (with attribution and credit) over on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog, which is full of people obsessing over what to wear to RWA or should they just suicide now because they didn’t lose that extra fifteen pounds.
    I should have waited to ask you, I know. But lives are at stake. Some people may even be giving up chocolate…

    Reply
  2. Mary Jo, I hope you don’t mind, but I copied your comments on dress code, etc. (with attribution and credit) over on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog, which is full of people obsessing over what to wear to RWA or should they just suicide now because they didn’t lose that extra fifteen pounds.
    I should have waited to ask you, I know. But lives are at stake. Some people may even be giving up chocolate…

    Reply
  3. Mary Jo, I hope you don’t mind, but I copied your comments on dress code, etc. (with attribution and credit) over on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog, which is full of people obsessing over what to wear to RWA or should they just suicide now because they didn’t lose that extra fifteen pounds.
    I should have waited to ask you, I know. But lives are at stake. Some people may even be giving up chocolate…

    Reply
  4. Hi MJ!
    Love your post. Especially the part about introverts pretending to be extroverts. LOL! I must admit, I was wondering what it must look like, sound like, when a large group of people who (in my mind) predominantly live in their own world decided come out an play in this one. I’m seeing lots of little snuggly groups of murmuring, well dressed people hoping the activity, planned by the extroverted host, will go away. 🙂
    The Baltimore fish… I remember driving down Charles Street and seeing them. Some dressed in ‘jewels’, some in splashes of brightly colored paint. But I never knew why they were there. Well, now I know. Thanks!
    Fun and travel mercies to you and all of the Word Wenches as you enjoy Atlanta and your introverted, turned extroverted, friends.
    Nina
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  5. Hi MJ!
    Love your post. Especially the part about introverts pretending to be extroverts. LOL! I must admit, I was wondering what it must look like, sound like, when a large group of people who (in my mind) predominantly live in their own world decided come out an play in this one. I’m seeing lots of little snuggly groups of murmuring, well dressed people hoping the activity, planned by the extroverted host, will go away. 🙂
    The Baltimore fish… I remember driving down Charles Street and seeing them. Some dressed in ‘jewels’, some in splashes of brightly colored paint. But I never knew why they were there. Well, now I know. Thanks!
    Fun and travel mercies to you and all of the Word Wenches as you enjoy Atlanta and your introverted, turned extroverted, friends.
    Nina
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  6. Hi MJ!
    Love your post. Especially the part about introverts pretending to be extroverts. LOL! I must admit, I was wondering what it must look like, sound like, when a large group of people who (in my mind) predominantly live in their own world decided come out an play in this one. I’m seeing lots of little snuggly groups of murmuring, well dressed people hoping the activity, planned by the extroverted host, will go away. 🙂
    The Baltimore fish… I remember driving down Charles Street and seeing them. Some dressed in ‘jewels’, some in splashes of brightly colored paint. But I never knew why they were there. Well, now I know. Thanks!
    Fun and travel mercies to you and all of the Word Wenches as you enjoy Atlanta and your introverted, turned extroverted, friends.
    Nina
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  7. >>meeting in places like New Orleans tend to make some of us look like dandelions in full fuzzy mode.
    Oh yeah, that’s me at most of the RWA conferences, where hot and humid is tradition…my hair reverts to its wild state, though it can end up looking more like a bad home perm than a natural thang.
    But this time I’ll be here, not there — so have a great time, Traveling Wenches! Those of us who are staying in Wenchland plan to par-tay!!
    ~Susan/Sarah

    Reply
  8. >>meeting in places like New Orleans tend to make some of us look like dandelions in full fuzzy mode.
    Oh yeah, that’s me at most of the RWA conferences, where hot and humid is tradition…my hair reverts to its wild state, though it can end up looking more like a bad home perm than a natural thang.
    But this time I’ll be here, not there — so have a great time, Traveling Wenches! Those of us who are staying in Wenchland plan to par-tay!!
    ~Susan/Sarah

    Reply
  9. >>meeting in places like New Orleans tend to make some of us look like dandelions in full fuzzy mode.
    Oh yeah, that’s me at most of the RWA conferences, where hot and humid is tradition…my hair reverts to its wild state, though it can end up looking more like a bad home perm than a natural thang.
    But this time I’ll be here, not there — so have a great time, Traveling Wenches! Those of us who are staying in Wenchland plan to par-tay!!
    ~Susan/Sarah

    Reply
  10. Thank God for Chico’s. You can have a pulled-together look that is comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle. And I LOVE being a size 2 again. 😉

    Reply
  11. Thank God for Chico’s. You can have a pulled-together look that is comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle. And I LOVE being a size 2 again. 😉

    Reply
  12. Thank God for Chico’s. You can have a pulled-together look that is comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle. And I LOVE being a size 2 again. 😉

    Reply
  13. My town’s inner-animal. A mule! Bucks County has the Delaware canal and the mule barge. Mule barges used to pull coal on the Delaware Canal from the mining sites in Lehigh County to tidewater in Lower Bucks County. Now we have the mule trail! Painted fiberglass mules are posted a various landmarks along the Delaware Canal. People come from all around to drive, walk, hike the mule trail and spot the painted mules. It’s quaint, actually.
    I love Chico’s, but alas I’ll be wearing suits… new and in a larger size. :o(

    Reply
  14. My town’s inner-animal. A mule! Bucks County has the Delaware canal and the mule barge. Mule barges used to pull coal on the Delaware Canal from the mining sites in Lehigh County to tidewater in Lower Bucks County. Now we have the mule trail! Painted fiberglass mules are posted a various landmarks along the Delaware Canal. People come from all around to drive, walk, hike the mule trail and spot the painted mules. It’s quaint, actually.
    I love Chico’s, but alas I’ll be wearing suits… new and in a larger size. :o(

    Reply
  15. My town’s inner-animal. A mule! Bucks County has the Delaware canal and the mule barge. Mule barges used to pull coal on the Delaware Canal from the mining sites in Lehigh County to tidewater in Lower Bucks County. Now we have the mule trail! Painted fiberglass mules are posted a various landmarks along the Delaware Canal. People come from all around to drive, walk, hike the mule trail and spot the painted mules. It’s quaint, actually.
    I love Chico’s, but alas I’ll be wearing suits… new and in a larger size. :o(

    Reply
  16. I must have the strangest curly hair on the planet. It LOVES humidity. Give me a humid climate and I get curls. Give me a dry one and I get frizz. *GRIN*
    Reno was my first RWA conference. What folks wore seemed to run the full gambit. I saw women in sweat suits (!), full-on business suits, jeans and blazers (which looks great if you’re tall and lean; sadly I’m not), etc. I wore my regular office clothes (business casual a la Banana Republic) and felt overdressed most of the time. This year I’m toning it down to what I think of as “weekend dressy”: a skirt or capris, a button-down top or a nice knit pullover, a denim blazer or a linen one, and great shoes (Fluevog all the way, baby!). Comfy, nice, clean, relaxed.

    Reply
  17. I must have the strangest curly hair on the planet. It LOVES humidity. Give me a humid climate and I get curls. Give me a dry one and I get frizz. *GRIN*
    Reno was my first RWA conference. What folks wore seemed to run the full gambit. I saw women in sweat suits (!), full-on business suits, jeans and blazers (which looks great if you’re tall and lean; sadly I’m not), etc. I wore my regular office clothes (business casual a la Banana Republic) and felt overdressed most of the time. This year I’m toning it down to what I think of as “weekend dressy”: a skirt or capris, a button-down top or a nice knit pullover, a denim blazer or a linen one, and great shoes (Fluevog all the way, baby!). Comfy, nice, clean, relaxed.

    Reply
  18. I must have the strangest curly hair on the planet. It LOVES humidity. Give me a humid climate and I get curls. Give me a dry one and I get frizz. *GRIN*
    Reno was my first RWA conference. What folks wore seemed to run the full gambit. I saw women in sweat suits (!), full-on business suits, jeans and blazers (which looks great if you’re tall and lean; sadly I’m not), etc. I wore my regular office clothes (business casual a la Banana Republic) and felt overdressed most of the time. This year I’m toning it down to what I think of as “weekend dressy”: a skirt or capris, a button-down top or a nice knit pullover, a denim blazer or a linen one, and great shoes (Fluevog all the way, baby!). Comfy, nice, clean, relaxed.

    Reply
  19. Seattle has done Pigs on Parade, though our true totem animal has to be the salmon. One year I saw a pig painted as a killer whale–a porca.
    This will be my first National, and, yes, I’m one of those people obsessing over what to wear, though the rational part of me knows that no one else will pay that much attention as long as I’m not slopping around in ratty jeans or swanning around to workshops in sequins! Anyway, I’m bringing mostly khakis and short-sleeved sweaters or knit pullovers. I may regret it, but I’ve ignored all the advice about bringing a sweater or blazer, because I’m a cold-loving freak who likes to bask in hyper-airconditioned rooms.

    Reply
  20. Seattle has done Pigs on Parade, though our true totem animal has to be the salmon. One year I saw a pig painted as a killer whale–a porca.
    This will be my first National, and, yes, I’m one of those people obsessing over what to wear, though the rational part of me knows that no one else will pay that much attention as long as I’m not slopping around in ratty jeans or swanning around to workshops in sequins! Anyway, I’m bringing mostly khakis and short-sleeved sweaters or knit pullovers. I may regret it, but I’ve ignored all the advice about bringing a sweater or blazer, because I’m a cold-loving freak who likes to bask in hyper-airconditioned rooms.

    Reply
  21. Seattle has done Pigs on Parade, though our true totem animal has to be the salmon. One year I saw a pig painted as a killer whale–a porca.
    This will be my first National, and, yes, I’m one of those people obsessing over what to wear, though the rational part of me knows that no one else will pay that much attention as long as I’m not slopping around in ratty jeans or swanning around to workshops in sequins! Anyway, I’m bringing mostly khakis and short-sleeved sweaters or knit pullovers. I may regret it, but I’ve ignored all the advice about bringing a sweater or blazer, because I’m a cold-loving freak who likes to bask in hyper-airconditioned rooms.

    Reply
  22. As a Leo, I love obsessing about clothes, but as a writer who never dresses up, I have come to detest pantyhose with a passion. So I spend my RWA obsession figuring out how I can to go to dinners with my editors and parties with the bigwigs without wearing pantyhose. Chicos has been a lifesaver! And these lovely sparkly mules they sell in all the stores these days. Shoes, not animals.

    Reply
  23. As a Leo, I love obsessing about clothes, but as a writer who never dresses up, I have come to detest pantyhose with a passion. So I spend my RWA obsession figuring out how I can to go to dinners with my editors and parties with the bigwigs without wearing pantyhose. Chicos has been a lifesaver! And these lovely sparkly mules they sell in all the stores these days. Shoes, not animals.

    Reply
  24. As a Leo, I love obsessing about clothes, but as a writer who never dresses up, I have come to detest pantyhose with a passion. So I spend my RWA obsession figuring out how I can to go to dinners with my editors and parties with the bigwigs without wearing pantyhose. Chicos has been a lifesaver! And these lovely sparkly mules they sell in all the stores these days. Shoes, not animals.

    Reply
  25. So let me get this straight… I can blame my clothes eccentricities on being a Leo? Cool.
    I do the same thing. I have two closets (one cedar for storage) full of great clothes (none of which fit me presently). I also have a lovely collection of Chanel, LaPraire and Yves St. Laurent make-up, which I wear only occasionally (like at the RWA or on holiday). Co-workers almost never see me dressed-up or made-up. So what do I need all those clothes, make-up and jewelry for? What’s that all about? ‘Cause I’m a Leo?

    Reply
  26. So let me get this straight… I can blame my clothes eccentricities on being a Leo? Cool.
    I do the same thing. I have two closets (one cedar for storage) full of great clothes (none of which fit me presently). I also have a lovely collection of Chanel, LaPraire and Yves St. Laurent make-up, which I wear only occasionally (like at the RWA or on holiday). Co-workers almost never see me dressed-up or made-up. So what do I need all those clothes, make-up and jewelry for? What’s that all about? ‘Cause I’m a Leo?

    Reply
  27. So let me get this straight… I can blame my clothes eccentricities on being a Leo? Cool.
    I do the same thing. I have two closets (one cedar for storage) full of great clothes (none of which fit me presently). I also have a lovely collection of Chanel, LaPraire and Yves St. Laurent make-up, which I wear only occasionally (like at the RWA or on holiday). Co-workers almost never see me dressed-up or made-up. So what do I need all those clothes, make-up and jewelry for? What’s that all about? ‘Cause I’m a Leo?

    Reply
  28. I remember Mary Jo saying she was in a room full of introverts pretending to be extraverts–I quote it all the time…only I finish it by saying I was all the way in the back murmuring, “No, I’m really an extravert.”
    It was National that taught me I really am an extravert–all those people, all that stuff going on: it’s like drugs for me, the kind that get you all wound up and fizzy. I get a massive charge from all that activity. (Which is generally followed by a massive collapse, but that’s another story.)
    I’m generally wearing soft pants and soft cardigans and whatever shoes appeal at the moment. If it’s good enough for the day gig (which is in an office), it’s good enough for RWA National. (Though I’m with Pat and pantyhose–thank you, but no.)

    Reply
  29. I remember Mary Jo saying she was in a room full of introverts pretending to be extraverts–I quote it all the time…only I finish it by saying I was all the way in the back murmuring, “No, I’m really an extravert.”
    It was National that taught me I really am an extravert–all those people, all that stuff going on: it’s like drugs for me, the kind that get you all wound up and fizzy. I get a massive charge from all that activity. (Which is generally followed by a massive collapse, but that’s another story.)
    I’m generally wearing soft pants and soft cardigans and whatever shoes appeal at the moment. If it’s good enough for the day gig (which is in an office), it’s good enough for RWA National. (Though I’m with Pat and pantyhose–thank you, but no.)

    Reply
  30. I remember Mary Jo saying she was in a room full of introverts pretending to be extraverts–I quote it all the time…only I finish it by saying I was all the way in the back murmuring, “No, I’m really an extravert.”
    It was National that taught me I really am an extravert–all those people, all that stuff going on: it’s like drugs for me, the kind that get you all wound up and fizzy. I get a massive charge from all that activity. (Which is generally followed by a massive collapse, but that’s another story.)
    I’m generally wearing soft pants and soft cardigans and whatever shoes appeal at the moment. If it’s good enough for the day gig (which is in an office), it’s good enough for RWA National. (Though I’m with Pat and pantyhose–thank you, but no.)

    Reply
  31. From Mary Jo:
    >> I hope you don’t mind, but I copied your comments on dress code, etc. (with attribution and credit) over on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog, which is full of people obsessing over what to wear to RWA or should they just suicide now << No problem, Tal--I always support lifesaving activities. Though somewhat tongue in cheek, it’s good advice, I think. Conferences are stressful, so it’s good to be comfortable and to feel good about one’s appearance. It’s hard to sell yourself when your feet hurt.
    http://www.cowparade.com/ Great site, Laura! I get such a kick out of this, and I’d love to see the Delaware Canal mules.
    Tonda, I agree that tall, lean women can look great in jeans and blazers, but I don’t waste much thought on the impossible. 🙂
    >>our true totem animal has to be the salmon. One year I saw a pig painted as a killer whale–a porca.>>
    LOL! They should do the salmon. Baltimore did fish because they’re less fragile than a crab form, but I wasn’t really satisfied until they did the crabs. We all know our totems.
    >>So let me get this straight… I can blame my clothes eccentricities on being a Leo? Cool.<< Pretty much yes. 🙂 BTW, I should have mentioned that on a visit to Sedona several months, they had Javelinas On Parade. Javelinas are those cute little wild pigs (peccaries, actually, and the form chosen was a mother and baby. Delightful! Mary Jo, waiting for shrimp or rattlesnakes to parade

    Reply
  32. From Mary Jo:
    >> I hope you don’t mind, but I copied your comments on dress code, etc. (with attribution and credit) over on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog, which is full of people obsessing over what to wear to RWA or should they just suicide now << No problem, Tal--I always support lifesaving activities. Though somewhat tongue in cheek, it’s good advice, I think. Conferences are stressful, so it’s good to be comfortable and to feel good about one’s appearance. It’s hard to sell yourself when your feet hurt.
    http://www.cowparade.com/ Great site, Laura! I get such a kick out of this, and I’d love to see the Delaware Canal mules.
    Tonda, I agree that tall, lean women can look great in jeans and blazers, but I don’t waste much thought on the impossible. 🙂
    >>our true totem animal has to be the salmon. One year I saw a pig painted as a killer whale–a porca.>>
    LOL! They should do the salmon. Baltimore did fish because they’re less fragile than a crab form, but I wasn’t really satisfied until they did the crabs. We all know our totems.
    >>So let me get this straight… I can blame my clothes eccentricities on being a Leo? Cool.<< Pretty much yes. 🙂 BTW, I should have mentioned that on a visit to Sedona several months, they had Javelinas On Parade. Javelinas are those cute little wild pigs (peccaries, actually, and the form chosen was a mother and baby. Delightful! Mary Jo, waiting for shrimp or rattlesnakes to parade

    Reply
  33. From Mary Jo:
    >> I hope you don’t mind, but I copied your comments on dress code, etc. (with attribution and credit) over on the HE WROTE, SHE WROTE blog, which is full of people obsessing over what to wear to RWA or should they just suicide now << No problem, Tal--I always support lifesaving activities. Though somewhat tongue in cheek, it’s good advice, I think. Conferences are stressful, so it’s good to be comfortable and to feel good about one’s appearance. It’s hard to sell yourself when your feet hurt.
    http://www.cowparade.com/ Great site, Laura! I get such a kick out of this, and I’d love to see the Delaware Canal mules.
    Tonda, I agree that tall, lean women can look great in jeans and blazers, but I don’t waste much thought on the impossible. 🙂
    >>our true totem animal has to be the salmon. One year I saw a pig painted as a killer whale–a porca.>>
    LOL! They should do the salmon. Baltimore did fish because they’re less fragile than a crab form, but I wasn’t really satisfied until they did the crabs. We all know our totems.
    >>So let me get this straight… I can blame my clothes eccentricities on being a Leo? Cool.<< Pretty much yes. 🙂 BTW, I should have mentioned that on a visit to Sedona several months, they had Javelinas On Parade. Javelinas are those cute little wild pigs (peccaries, actually, and the form chosen was a mother and baby. Delightful! Mary Jo, waiting for shrimp or rattlesnakes to parade

    Reply
  34. I won’t be going to National, so I have no clothing angst. But were I going, the one thing I would not take is a jacket or blazer. I heat up too easily and anything long-sleeved is not only too hot, but too confining and uncomfortable.
    I’m one of those odd ducks who loves pantyhose. I am far more comfortable and cooler in a light dress or jumper with pantyhose. The only thing is, I have to remember to groom my legs. Being self-employed, I seldom shave my legs, and it just looks so tacky to have black wires sticking out of your pantyhose.
    Slacks are too hot and I hate anything tight around my waist. Besides, a stylish, loose-fitting dress hides a wealth of physical imperfections. And now, I’m one of those older women I used to make fun of–the ones who carry a fan in their purse. Mine’s battery-operated and puts on a flashing light show, which I could sit and watch for hours. When I’m old and in a nursing home all they’ll have to do is give me one of those fans and I’ll sit in the corner happy and drooling for hours.
    It’s interesting that we dress up at romance conferences, but at sff conferences it’s a lot more casual. Because romance writers are still fighting the battle to be taken seriously as writers, I think dressing up is important for our public image. It is hoped that if we look professional, we’ll be treated like professionals. Sff writers don’t seem to have that worry, so they don’t need to dress up.
    Sherrie

    Reply
  35. I won’t be going to National, so I have no clothing angst. But were I going, the one thing I would not take is a jacket or blazer. I heat up too easily and anything long-sleeved is not only too hot, but too confining and uncomfortable.
    I’m one of those odd ducks who loves pantyhose. I am far more comfortable and cooler in a light dress or jumper with pantyhose. The only thing is, I have to remember to groom my legs. Being self-employed, I seldom shave my legs, and it just looks so tacky to have black wires sticking out of your pantyhose.
    Slacks are too hot and I hate anything tight around my waist. Besides, a stylish, loose-fitting dress hides a wealth of physical imperfections. And now, I’m one of those older women I used to make fun of–the ones who carry a fan in their purse. Mine’s battery-operated and puts on a flashing light show, which I could sit and watch for hours. When I’m old and in a nursing home all they’ll have to do is give me one of those fans and I’ll sit in the corner happy and drooling for hours.
    It’s interesting that we dress up at romance conferences, but at sff conferences it’s a lot more casual. Because romance writers are still fighting the battle to be taken seriously as writers, I think dressing up is important for our public image. It is hoped that if we look professional, we’ll be treated like professionals. Sff writers don’t seem to have that worry, so they don’t need to dress up.
    Sherrie

    Reply
  36. I won’t be going to National, so I have no clothing angst. But were I going, the one thing I would not take is a jacket or blazer. I heat up too easily and anything long-sleeved is not only too hot, but too confining and uncomfortable.
    I’m one of those odd ducks who loves pantyhose. I am far more comfortable and cooler in a light dress or jumper with pantyhose. The only thing is, I have to remember to groom my legs. Being self-employed, I seldom shave my legs, and it just looks so tacky to have black wires sticking out of your pantyhose.
    Slacks are too hot and I hate anything tight around my waist. Besides, a stylish, loose-fitting dress hides a wealth of physical imperfections. And now, I’m one of those older women I used to make fun of–the ones who carry a fan in their purse. Mine’s battery-operated and puts on a flashing light show, which I could sit and watch for hours. When I’m old and in a nursing home all they’ll have to do is give me one of those fans and I’ll sit in the corner happy and drooling for hours.
    It’s interesting that we dress up at romance conferences, but at sff conferences it’s a lot more casual. Because romance writers are still fighting the battle to be taken seriously as writers, I think dressing up is important for our public image. It is hoped that if we look professional, we’ll be treated like professionals. Sff writers don’t seem to have that worry, so they don’t need to dress up.
    Sherrie

    Reply
  37. I hope you all enjoy the conference. I live near Atlanta and it can definitely get hot and humid here…plus there is a slight (and I stress slight because our weather changes frequently) chance of rain next week! However, temps are supposed to be cooler…only in the 80s.
    Hugs!

    Reply
  38. I hope you all enjoy the conference. I live near Atlanta and it can definitely get hot and humid here…plus there is a slight (and I stress slight because our weather changes frequently) chance of rain next week! However, temps are supposed to be cooler…only in the 80s.
    Hugs!

    Reply
  39. I hope you all enjoy the conference. I live near Atlanta and it can definitely get hot and humid here…plus there is a slight (and I stress slight because our weather changes frequently) chance of rain next week! However, temps are supposed to be cooler…only in the 80s.
    Hugs!

    Reply
  40. Fretting? About clothes and appearance? Moi?
    I do wear jeans if I want to, though. I rarely do, but I don’t do “thou shalt not” well. I do wear comfortable clunky sandals often. I never, ever suffer in the cause.
    But I have just been to one of my very rare hairdresser trips. “That big summer conference?” she asked. She actually knows me by now. It’s only taken about 6 years of c twice-a-year visits. LOL!
    Perhaps one day I’ll blog about my hairdresser phobia. ::shudder::
    Here in Victoria, we had orcas last year. This year it’s bears. I think they’re supposed to be Spirit Bears, the white ones, as they start out white.
    We have fun with flower beds, too. The city gardeners sometimes do flower creations on the beds at road junctions and such. I saw a birthday cake yesterday. There was a Volkeswagon one year.
    Jennifer, if you’re near Atlanta, will we see you on Wednesday?
    Everyone, if you’re in a hot place, take it easy and drink lots and lots and lots of fluid.
    Jo, water glass to hand, bracing for a threatened 34 C (94F) which may not be blistering for some of you, but it’s record breaking hot here.

    Reply
  41. Fretting? About clothes and appearance? Moi?
    I do wear jeans if I want to, though. I rarely do, but I don’t do “thou shalt not” well. I do wear comfortable clunky sandals often. I never, ever suffer in the cause.
    But I have just been to one of my very rare hairdresser trips. “That big summer conference?” she asked. She actually knows me by now. It’s only taken about 6 years of c twice-a-year visits. LOL!
    Perhaps one day I’ll blog about my hairdresser phobia. ::shudder::
    Here in Victoria, we had orcas last year. This year it’s bears. I think they’re supposed to be Spirit Bears, the white ones, as they start out white.
    We have fun with flower beds, too. The city gardeners sometimes do flower creations on the beds at road junctions and such. I saw a birthday cake yesterday. There was a Volkeswagon one year.
    Jennifer, if you’re near Atlanta, will we see you on Wednesday?
    Everyone, if you’re in a hot place, take it easy and drink lots and lots and lots of fluid.
    Jo, water glass to hand, bracing for a threatened 34 C (94F) which may not be blistering for some of you, but it’s record breaking hot here.

    Reply
  42. Fretting? About clothes and appearance? Moi?
    I do wear jeans if I want to, though. I rarely do, but I don’t do “thou shalt not” well. I do wear comfortable clunky sandals often. I never, ever suffer in the cause.
    But I have just been to one of my very rare hairdresser trips. “That big summer conference?” she asked. She actually knows me by now. It’s only taken about 6 years of c twice-a-year visits. LOL!
    Perhaps one day I’ll blog about my hairdresser phobia. ::shudder::
    Here in Victoria, we had orcas last year. This year it’s bears. I think they’re supposed to be Spirit Bears, the white ones, as they start out white.
    We have fun with flower beds, too. The city gardeners sometimes do flower creations on the beds at road junctions and such. I saw a birthday cake yesterday. There was a Volkeswagon one year.
    Jennifer, if you’re near Atlanta, will we see you on Wednesday?
    Everyone, if you’re in a hot place, take it easy and drink lots and lots and lots of fluid.
    Jo, water glass to hand, bracing for a threatened 34 C (94F) which may not be blistering for some of you, but it’s record breaking hot here.

    Reply
  43. Jo, since you and I live in the same neck of the woods, we are also preparing for another hot day today. It got to 98 degrees at my place yesterday, and I slept all night with a fan on my body.
    Yesterday I had to erect shade for my veggie garden, because the dirt was so hot it was wilting the tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. The garden looked funny with upturned laundry baskets covering the low plants and wooden clothes-drying racks draped in blankets straddling the taller plants, but at least they survived. My tomato plants have sunburned leaves!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  44. Jo, since you and I live in the same neck of the woods, we are also preparing for another hot day today. It got to 98 degrees at my place yesterday, and I slept all night with a fan on my body.
    Yesterday I had to erect shade for my veggie garden, because the dirt was so hot it was wilting the tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. The garden looked funny with upturned laundry baskets covering the low plants and wooden clothes-drying racks draped in blankets straddling the taller plants, but at least they survived. My tomato plants have sunburned leaves!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  45. Jo, since you and I live in the same neck of the woods, we are also preparing for another hot day today. It got to 98 degrees at my place yesterday, and I slept all night with a fan on my body.
    Yesterday I had to erect shade for my veggie garden, because the dirt was so hot it was wilting the tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. The garden looked funny with upturned laundry baskets covering the low plants and wooden clothes-drying racks draped in blankets straddling the taller plants, but at least they survived. My tomato plants have sunburned leaves!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  46. “I slept all night with a fan on my body.”
    Erm … that’s supposed to be “I slept all night with a fan BLOWING on my body.” Fan, as in a thing with a propeller, not fan as in a person. How mortifying.
    On second thought … naw, it’s too hot.
    Sherrie

    Reply
  47. “I slept all night with a fan on my body.”
    Erm … that’s supposed to be “I slept all night with a fan BLOWING on my body.” Fan, as in a thing with a propeller, not fan as in a person. How mortifying.
    On second thought … naw, it’s too hot.
    Sherrie

    Reply
  48. “I slept all night with a fan on my body.”
    Erm … that’s supposed to be “I slept all night with a fan BLOWING on my body.” Fan, as in a thing with a propeller, not fan as in a person. How mortifying.
    On second thought … naw, it’s too hot.
    Sherrie

    Reply
  49. Currently 112 here, and we haven’t hit the high for the day yet.
    Just saw a message from a friend on another list who just got a job as head baker for food services at McMurdo Base in Antarctica. Now THAT’s a job I could love!

    Reply
  50. Currently 112 here, and we haven’t hit the high for the day yet.
    Just saw a message from a friend on another list who just got a job as head baker for food services at McMurdo Base in Antarctica. Now THAT’s a job I could love!

    Reply
  51. Currently 112 here, and we haven’t hit the high for the day yet.
    Just saw a message from a friend on another list who just got a job as head baker for food services at McMurdo Base in Antarctica. Now THAT’s a job I could love!

    Reply

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