Tuesday, August 05, 2008

RWA Day WhateverTheHeckItWas Plus Every Day Since

My five-and-a-half-year-old laptop was very uncooperative with e-mail the last time I used it, so I stopped trying. Plus, I got busier. And more tired. So that explains the gap in posts.

I'm home now, but way behind, of course, and suddenly SF seems long ago and far away.

Saturday...hmmm...Saturday. I think I got more books at signings. Thought about attending workshops, but didn't. Had lunch with Cathy McDavid, which was great because we caught up on all the stuff that we didn't talk about when others were around because they already knew it. Shipped my two boxes of books and goodies. Spent some time editing in the afternoon. Went out to dinner with friends again before the award ceremony, which was as awesome as always.

Oh, I keep forgetting to mention...I have got to stop listening to people. It's not that they were wrong, just that I know myself and I'm different than the norm. I know, big surprise. Anyway, all the talk was about how cold SF is, and how I would need long sleeves for the duration, and the hotels are always cold, etc. So I listened, though I knew I'm almost never cold in the hotels so I mostly refrained from bringing really thick shirts and sweaters. But I did have a long-sleeved shirt for sightseeing Wednesday, and the only time I wasn't FREAKING HOT (and therefore obnoxiously complaining) was when we were actually on the wharf with the wind in our faces. The hotel was so hot, we had our room AC set at 66, and even 64 the last 24 hours. I couldn't stop sweating and was really unhappy about that.

But did I mention the elevators? They were awesome. Amazingly fast the entire time. I also found the room to be wonderful (really comfy beds) and the service to be efficient and very personable.

Okay, Sunday. Sunday Tracy Madison (who was not responsible for keeping us up late on Tuesday, only an innocent bystander, I swear) let us leave our stuff in her room as we had to check out but not leave until 4, and she stayed until Monday. That gave us a little more time to visit with her and her lovely daughter.

Sunday I spent mostly by myself. Lisa Mondello, my roommate, was meeting cousins she hadn't seen in years. Libby and Cathy invited me to lunch, but they had earlier flights and I really wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge, especially since I missed Alcatraz. So I went off on my own for five hours. In the interest of keeping this blog post shorter than Breaking Dawn (which is apparently only 7 pages shorter than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, according to Number One), let me sum up:

*Took the 30 bus to the 28 bus
*30 bus didn't go to end of line, so got off early
*Hey, I'm really near the crookedest street! I wanna see it up close.
*Hike up Lombard 4 blocks. And by "up" I mean "80 degrees up." Stop every half block to take pictures to disguise windedness.
*See crookedest street up close. Very pretty and kind of cool, but wouldn't want to sit in traffic waiting to go down it.
*Hike back down to 28 bus.
*Take 28 bus to GGB.

I loved the GGB area. It's so different from the rest of the city, with the cliffs and the look of the bay and the vegetation. It was foggy, so the tops of the towers were in the clouds, but the view was still spectacular.

*Walk partway across bridge. Take lots of pictures of self on bridge that all suck and shall not be shared on this blog. Buy souvenirs.
*Take bus back to Ghirardhelli Square.
*Walk around Hyde Pier and The Cannery, eat ice cream, listen to guitarist apparently inspired by August Rush music. He was good. Az Samad. His album Acoustic Gestures is available on iTunes.
*Stand in line for cable car for an hour.

I was absolutely determined to ride a real cable car. I rode the street car on Wednesday, as well as a wheeled cable car-like trolley for the tour, and the bus (the 30 went through Chinatown). But I had to ride a real cable car. It was cool. 120 years old and well cared for. Gleaming wood, signature bell, and unique operation. No cables, though. Kind of weird, unless the rails have cables inside them. I'm too tired to go look that up, and I didn't have time to get off and see the Cable Car Museum, which would have been interesting.

17 hours of travel, no sleep on plane, a little Buffy on the layovers, home with the kids Monday afternoon, shared photos of Holland and SF, got up to date on their activities. Napped, but only for an hour, not nearly helpful.

Number One and I went to see the Mummy movie last night. It wasn't disappointing only because my expectations were low. To wit:

*I've seen what kind of writing the writers had come up with for Smallville two seasons ago. They lived up to that. Plot was fine, but the dialogue didn't match the previous two movies, and either the story itself or the editing was erratic.
*Maria Bello is a wonderful actress, but she is not Rachel Weisz. I'm not saying she's worse than RW, she's just not her. There was no chemistry with Brendan Fraser, she was very stiff and missing the spark and joy of life that Evie is supposed to have.
*The guy playing the son wasn't as geeky and idiotic as I expected, but he wasn't written very sympathetically and I'm sorry, while an American accent isn't out of the question (he has an American father, even if he's been raised in England), he sounded like he came from Brooklyn by way of New Jersey. Or something like that.
*Rick O'Connell was gorgeous and well-acted, but again, poorly written. His exuberance was gone, too. And I sorely missed Oded Fehr.

I wouldn't say my money was wasted. The effects were cool, the acting fine even if not what I was looking for, and I had a good time watching it with my daughter. But it was very definitely a second sequel in the old tradition.

Okay, almost done.

Besides wanting to spend the day with my family, I couldn't face the pile, both literal and digital, that waited for me in my office. Today I spent the morning sleeping (ref. 3 hours sleep over 36 hours, + 17 hours of traveling) and then getting my kids to Camp Nana and running errands. After that, I think it took me 3 hours to get the paper stuff organized, the balky computer working adequately, and my e-mail read. I got some business out of the way, but still have 43 out of the original 198 e-mails to address. (That tally doesn't include the 151 spam messages, and that's all just from four days. Imagine if I hadn't checked the three days before that!)

Some cool things today...

I got my cover for my September release:

I also found out that Renegade was #9 on the Amber Heat Bestseller list for July!

And I got a nice review for Renegade from Book Utopia.

So now we're on the downside of the summer. Even though we passed the halfway mark some time ago, getting ready for Holland and San Francisco was still climbing up to the high points of the season. Now we have doctor and car appointments, soccer practices, school open houses, and tournaments before the start of school on August 25.

And you know what? I'm sad about that.


MaryF said...

I didn't know you knew Lisa! I know her from the AOL series board from a LONG time ago!

How cool you wandered SF all alone. So brave!

Good to know about The Mummy movie. I thought Maria looked a bit stiff in the parts I've seen.

Great cover!

Victoria said...

Yay, you're back!
Can't wait until DC next year!
Your cover is beautiful!!
V. :)

Natalie Damschroder said...

Mary, don't you remember in Atlanta, Lisa had invited me to sit with you guys (the AOL series board) at lunch, and I declined because I didn't want to horn in, and later found out you'd been there and I was mad because I didn't end up finding you the rest of the conference? And then of course you weren't there this year, so I was really bummed again. SOMEday we'll meet, I swear! LOL

Thanks for the comment covers, you guys!

V, I'm only kinda back. Struggling to get caught up. It's not going well. :)

MaryF said...

Hmmm, now that you mention it, I KINDA remember. I wish you'd come. You and Tracy Montoya would get along So Well.

Maybe next year, if the boy's college costs aren't through the roof.

Natalie Damschroder said...

Next year is iffy for me, too, despite being in my backyard. I have to worry about saving up for taxes right now, before I can consider National. :(

Cindy Procter-King said...

Oh, beautiful cover!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous cover Natalie!! ~Mandy

Natalie Damschroder said...

Thanks, Cindy and Mandy!