I didn’t get to go to National this year, which sucks. I love the conference, the schmoozing, the laughter and seeing old friends. I have wonderful memories of RWA conferences but none so wonderful as the Reno con in ’05. That’s where I got married.
We didn’t want anything fancy, didn’t care about anything but getting hitched with family and friends to witness the unbelievable. I was 50 (good god) and I’d never been married, had never wanted to be. So this was something of a surprise. We picked Reno because my husband’s sister lived there, and we picked the conference hotel chapel because most of the people I cared about in the world would be there as well.
That day is mostly a blur to me. I do know that I sobbed my way through the entire ceremony. Not wept prettily, wiping a delicate tear. No. I sobbed so hard I could barely speak. Could not stop. So not cool.
I also remember all the people who were there to celebrate with us. Blaze babes, of course. Writing friends from before I was published or they were published. My amazing editor Birgit Davis-Todd and sometimes editor and friend Brenda Chin. We had a great cake. Jill Shalvis and Debbi Rawlins busted their butts getting the suite ready for the small party. I desperately wanted to take off my shoes.
Even though I never changed my name, that day I wanted everyone to call me Mrs. Wendelken. I was married. To my first, best and last love. At an RWA conference. So fun.
I have a lot of memories from that day, but this picture, which hangs in our living room, is one of my favorites. It was from the folks at Harlequin, and there couldn’t have been a more wonderful, personal, meaningful gift.
If you click on the picture, you can read the fabulous cover copy.
I hope all of you who went to the conference had a great time, and for those of you who couldn’t go, I hope you read something wonderful. And saw Harry Potter, which rocked.