The Authors After Dark Convention in Philadelphia this past weekend was my first. My first I hope of many to come. I learned a lot during this convention, some good things and some bad things. I had the honor of meeting many of my fellow twitterlings who I have been following the past year, and got to meet some new ones (that I now follow). I listened to some amazing authors share their insight of the business and their love of writing. And I got to hear some awesome bloggers lay it out there as to why they review/blog. All in all, even in the midst of some crazy, mixed up goings on, I had the time of my life. So on to what #AADPhilly Taught me.
I learned, that even 224 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, that the spirit of the American Will still resides heavily within the walls of Independence Hall. As I stood along the railing, listening to the tour guide give a speech he’s repeated hundreds of times, I glanced around the room and to the Rising Sun chair and felt the spirit of our forefathers in that room. Their voices rang loud and clear, their resolve unshaken to make a better way of life. As I snapped picture after picture, not wanting to miss the opportunity to capture a piece of history, tears welled up in my eyes and a lump caught in my throat. I stood within the same room as a group of men who decided to sign their death warrants by placing their names at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence. And I realized in that moment, that late starting dinners and re-located panels were such a minute issue in the grand scheme of things. Because of these men, I had the freedom to attend a panel on Erotic Romance and Vampires. I was able to meet with other women (& men) who have a passion for all things romance and because of them, I myself am able to write what I want to write without censorship.
I learned that most authors are great, down to earth people. I also learned that without a moments notice I can go all #FanGirl. Who knew I had that within me. I had the honor/privilege of meeting one of my favorite authors, Lara Adrian, who is just a sweetheart. So, not only does she write great books, but is a really nice person. She even indulged me in taking a picture with @OohPerry. I also got a chance to meet Larissa Ione, who although a self-proclaimed shy person, was very personable and friendly. Can’t wait to start reading her books.
I learned that no matter what life throws at us, we just have to roll with the punches or we miss the really, really great times in our lives. Did things go wrong at #AADPhilly? Hell yes! Were those in charge not as helpful or friendly as they should/could have been? Hell Yes! Did it deter me from meeting some kick ass people or having a great time? Hell No! Did it stop me from laughing so hard tears ran down my cheeks and I couldn’t stop saying, “Now that shit is funny?” Hell NO. Life, i.e. events, are never what we plan them to be. So unless you want to miss the fun train, let the crap slide past you and grab onto the good things. I always tell my kids to find the good in everything and focus on that. Complaining only makes you focus on the negative and miss out on the positive. I learned to always find the beauty in the ugly!
I leaned that good friends are few and far between and when we think that someone is making a difference in our life, we are truly making a difference in theirs. I met two amazing women, who I wish I could have had more time to spend with them. Jeanie and Ida came out on Saturday to have lunch with Melissa, Char, and I and wow what an impact those two had on my life. I find myself still smiling as I remember the short time we spent together. It’s not the length of time in which you know a person, but the depth that is shared. There aren’t many people who have touched my heart the way these two special ladies have.
I leaned that sometimes I have to trust that others can see my visions as clear as I can (or even better at times). It’s been 12 years since I’ve had my last tattoo. Each one has meant something special. I decided before I even left for Philly I wanted a new tat. One that would symbolize my career within the past year. When I scheduled the appointment w/Voodoo I had ever intention of him being the one to do my tat (no offense to Face). Upon hearing that Face would be doing it, I grew nervous to the point I almost didn’t do it. Am I ever glad I did! Face saw my vision and exceeded my expectations! This tat symbolizes me seeing my dream as a published author come true (the eye) and my two first books being published (2 butterflies). Looking back, I’m not sure that Voodoo would have felt or seen the vision I had for such a special tattoo. Face is an amazing tattoo artist and I’m honored he inked me.
I went to Philly with the intention of learning about the industry but walked away with greater lessons than I could ever hope for. So, that is what #AADPhilly taught me and am I ever glad I learned!
More pics from #AADPhilly will be posted later!