On the Road Again.

I’m spending today doing last minute laundry, packing my suitcase and packing up all my swag as I prepare to leave for the Romancing the Capital conference in Ottawa. I generally go to one or two conferences a year, but this time, instead of having to have all my swag shipped to the hotel or to a very generous street team member who volunteers to bring it with them and then sort it all out at the last minute once I arrive, I have been able to have it delivered directly to my home. Yet here I am, the day before I leave, still sorting and bagging my swag, while wondering if I’ve brought too much or too little. (Although from seeing some of the photos of the dozens of boxes other authors or bringing, or the posts where another author has said she is bringing 100 pounds worth of swag–I think I’m likely to be on the ‘too little’ side. Though have you ever bought a book based upon swag you’ve received?)

Best part of this trip? I can just load all my swag in the back of my Jeep and hit the road without worrying about facing the customs agents at the border.

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I’m scheduled to have a conference room to myself where I’m holding a Romance Pictionary game first thing Friday morning at nine — a lead off event (talk about making me nervous!), then I’m part of a Clockbusters–Guess the Title game with ENALR’s Amy Ruttan Friday at 4 p.m., and something totally new for me, am going to be taking part in the Speed Dating event on Saturday at 11.  Akk! Talking to strangers face-to-face and having to sound interesting? For this introvert, talk about nerve wracking. But if you’re there, don’t let that stop you from coming up to me to say hi. (Look for the lady wearing the white cowboy hat with red and white ribbons.)

Then there’s the Saturday afternoon book signing. Since all of my books with Carina are digital-only, attending the signing on Saturday means I only have four print books to sell/sign. But that’s okay. I love it when people come up to me just to chat too. Hopefully one or more of my postcards will make them interested in my stories and they’ll become regular readers.

Unfortunately I won’t have an opportunity to wander around downtown Ottawa — although this time of year there won’t be any flowers out — they won’t appear until next month. No visit to the National Art Gallery, or to stop off and lay last year’s poppy pin at the Cenotaph to honor the soldier who was gunned down there last fall, and sadly no visits to the Byward Market. Though I am trying to schedule a quick visit to a wool store that is about 20 minutes from my hotel.  Ah well, there’s always next year…

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