Monday, July 11, 2011

Romantic Novelists' Conference... In Shoes

I'm back! Hope everyone had a great week. I managed to get a lot of editing done, and while I'm not quite finished, it's getting there. Slowly.

But! Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending the Romantic Novelists' Association Conference in Caerleon, Wales. My first conference last year in Greenwich was a blast and I was super keen to get out of the house and drink. (Did I mention I've been editing?) And if you're looking for drink, there's really no better place then a romantic novelists' convention. Compared to many there, I'm a lightweight. I can only aspire to such imbibing greatness.

Apart from drinking wine, the women of the RNA are also famous for shoes. Since, at heart, I'm basically a very shallow and materialistic individual, I thought I would summarise my conference experience in shoes.

Friday morning, I braved the rains and boarded a train from Paddington to Newport Wales wearing the shoes above. Practical for training, and good for puddle-jumping. Lord only knew what I'd encounter in the Welsh wilds. Although the sky cleared around Bristol, as we zipped under the Severn and emerged in Wales, the skies opened yet again and rain poured. No matter -- a nice lunch at a golf course with a friend (who twisted my arm to indulge in a large Pinot) and several attempts to convince the waiter to purchase a Kindle, and the weekend was off to a flying start.


Conference shoes must be high-heeled and ultimately quite uncomfortable, and these high heels certainly filled that role! After checking in and getting settled in my dorm, I scurried over to register, feeling slightly anxious I wouldn't see anyone I knew.

I needn't have worried! Instantly I spotted people I knew from Twitter, Facebook, the last conference... I'd forgotten how lovely and friendly everyone is. It was amazing to see so many friends again and meet some people for the first time. I didn't even feel the pain in my feet! Copious amount of wine were downed that night at the bar and the chatter and laughing continued.

With my feet smarting from the night before, I was only too happy to don this pair of relatively low-heeled shoes for Saturday and Sunday. Despite my slight hangover and zombie-like appearance, Saturday passed in a blur of fantastic sessions and speakers. One of the things I love about the RNA is that no matter how successful and experienced authors are, they always take the time to interact with aspiring writers and those just starting out in their publishing career, like me. Jill Mansell, Elizabeth Chadwick, Katie Fforde and many more were all present and so giving of their time and advice.


Party time! Yes, the time had come to don my lovingly purchased turquoise frock, slide my feet into these killer shoes (in more ways than one) and drink as much wine as I could. It's safe to say a good time was had by all, except my liver, which is still in recovery and sleeping off the effects. The Gala was fabulous and everyone scrubbed up very nicely. I was particularly chuffed to have a lovely late-night conversation with the fabulous and talented Miranda Dickinson and Ruth Saberton, despite the fact that I was practically swaying on my feet and almost slobbered all over them in my delight.

Sunday afternoon rolled around far too quickly and I hopped (well, stumbled) on board the train back to reality. Another fantastic conference, and if you live in the UK -- or even if you don't! -- and you write romantic fiction, you really couldn't do better than to join the RNA. It's one of the best writing moves I've ever made!

A big shout-out to Ruth Long, Jane Lovering, Kate Johnson and many others for making the weekend so fab. Oh yes, and Jan Jones and Roger Sanderson for being organisers extraordinaire.

71 comments:

  1. I love your tale in shoes! This was fabulous! I'm so glad you had a fabulous time! I'm always jealous of those attending conferences. I missed the big RWA conference that just happened in New York City a few weeks ago.

    One of these I'll attend one! Next month I'm going to become a member of the RWA and I can't wait!

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  2. Oh wow, you really packed all those shoes??? haha. Well ... it looks like your wardrobe is going to be full off chatter this week. All the stories they're going to tell each other! ;o)

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  3. Those pink shoes in the top photo? WANT!

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  4. Great conference sum-up. And wonderful shoes! Love them all. Want them :)

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  5. Ah, what a great way to tell us about the conference! Sounds like you had a fabulous time - and needless to say, those shoes are GORGEOUS! And good luck with those edits x

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  6. My feet are way to boring to spend time at your conference. Glad to hear it was wonderful, and such a great way to tell us about it. thanks.

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  7. Love this summary of the conference and LOVE the shoes, especially the last pair. Shoe envy! Glad you (and your shoes) had such a good time.

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  8. Hah! First off, GENIUS way to showcase the conference, and also, I LURVE YOUR SHOES!!

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  9. You have some AWESOME shoes!! Sounds like the conference was a great time too - glad you had fun! :)

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  10. Sounds as though a good time was had by all:-)

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  11. I went for either comfy and sensible or just vaguely sensible but smart this year. I'm afraid the agonies I suffered after last year's conference were still fresh in my mind when packing ...

    Pity. I have some killer heels myself. Have to hand them on to my hardier-toed daughter now, I guess.

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  12. Good to hear you all had a good time at the RNA conference.

    I wonder where the shoe obsession with you ladies started?

    carol

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  13. My overwhelming memory is also of the shoes - mostly because I couldn't hold my head up to see any other part of people! Didn't we just have *the* best time? Glad you made it home safely (after the brief *non-existant train* problem), and hope to see you again soon.

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  14. Love those shoes - the imbibing sounds wonderful!

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  15. Fantastic shoes, Talli!

    It was great saying Hi at the conference. It's a shame that there wasn't time to say more than Hi, but so much to do... so little time...

    Liz X

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  16. Hi Talli .. let alone having to learn to write Romance .. I'd have to learn to walk .. do I really have to wear shoes like those wonderful ones?

    Sounds so much fun though .. glad it was a great time .. welcome back - Hilary

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  17. You know, I've actually given a thought to conference shoes.

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  18. Glad you had such a great time at the conference. I love the shoes! Love all of them but I think the first ones are my fave, those are totally awesome shoes!

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  19. Love your shoes! So glad that you had a great time at the conference. I would love to attend one of those conferences. I am sure you learn alot.

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  20. Sounds like a lot of fun! I especially like your first pair, the pink booties - those are so cute!

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  21. The shoe in the top photo could only look better if it had a foot in it! I'm glad you had a good time...

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  22. Excellent shoe overview, Talli. It was a good conference wasn't it? Even if my shoes weren't as exciting as yours!Gillix

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  23. Shoes! Any excuse to talk about shoes. The pink ones are way cute. Have fun at RNA!

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  24. I don't wear dresses or heels, so this was fun for me to see. My husband yells at me for having about 4 pairs of shoes - sandals, church shoes (which are actually Sketchers), tennis shoes, and work shoes. If I ever go to a conference like this, I'll definitely have to up my inventory. :)
    erica

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  25. Very clever writing your post with photo's of shoes. very intersting to read Talli and lovley to have you back.

    Yvonne.

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  26. Glad you had a good time! Do you mind if I say those shoes all look uncomfortable?

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  27. Glad you and your feet had a great time!!! Yay!!!! Welcome back! Take care
    x

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  28. I think you've got a memoir-in-shoes waiting to be written, your life in various heels :)

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  29. All I could think of when I saw the 1st pair is that they're suede & I hope you managed to keep those out of the rain!

    You have great taste in shoes going by the pics. & it sounds like you had a festive time! :)

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  30. Lovely shoes. I'm afraid I would never be allowed in at one of the conferences. I don't do heels.

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  31. Sounds like you had a BLAST and a glass of wine or barrel.... Ah, but who counts, right? LOL.

    You have awesome collection of shoes. The first ones reminded me of you SO MUCH. I can so see you wearing them. ditching the rain.

    Glad you had THE best weekend.

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  32. You have great taste in shoes, lol...and the conference sounded like loads of fun!

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  33. Holy crap, this is my favorite post I've read all day. I want every pair of these shoes. I am not so sure my SCBWI conference shoes will be nearly as stylish...probably more like Chuck Taylors and flip flops. So glad you are back, Tali!

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  34. That first pair of shoes is quite possibly the most beautiful pair of lace-up shoes I have ever seen.

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  35. Well now, I want to see the dresses that went with these gorgeous shoes, Talli. Oh how I wish I could wear shoes like this. I have one friend who does. Me, I go for comfort every time.
    Karen

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  36. Sounds like a fabulous time! I'd have to wear wide, low heels. My duck-shaped feet just don't fit into dainty, pointy-toed heels very well.

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  37. I love those shoes! All of them! :)

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  38. I've been to Caerleon (though not as a romantic novelist). I wore trainers all week, I think. I am SO boring.

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  39. Love how you used shoes to summarize the conference. Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

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  40. how did you manage to fit all those shoes in one bag? fabulous shoes though, and a great conference summary!
    nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  41. Carol Christie Sadan said...

    Hi Talli. Lovely to catch up with you again at the conference, and as promised instead of lurking I shall comment on your blog.

    Great post. Before I left my husband commented on the weight of my bag. I explained the shoe angle, as I lugged it out the door in highly impractical heels which I'm lucky didn't cause any travel injuries.

    Looking forward to seeing you again at a London RNA meeting, and point taken that I will always ask someone if they're Canadian before American first.

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  42. Love the shoes!! I wish I could wear heels like that, but I've always been secretly afraid of it - partially because I feel too tall. Also, my balance is awful. :)
    Great post, and it sounds like you had a blast! (By the way, did I mention that those shoes are fantastic? Seriously. <3s!)

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  43. Great post! Love the shoes. I have to stick to a good pair of tennis shoes most of the time to keep my feet happy. Glad you had a smashing time.

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  44. You have excellent taste in shoes - I so want the top pair!

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  45. Wow, Talli, you sure were stylin' at the conference. I love all your heels. The last picture is the style I wore to my daughter's wedding. They were actually semi-comfortable. A few drinks later and, you're right, who cares? I love how you did this post using your shoes. So clever.

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  46. Oooo, I love those strappy ones. Ha, I see Jen commented first! She's a big shoe fan too. What a fun way to chronicle your trip.

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  47. Loving those shoes! (I don't like purchasing shoes particularily...but I do love a nice shoe)
    Glad you enjoyed yourself. xx

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  48. Shoes make the character, an acting teacher once told me. And each of yours do tell a story! Love it!

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  49. Wow, Talli, your shoes are so glamorous.

    I'd love to see full photos of your outfits actually, I bet you looked gorgeous in all of them.

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  50. gosh, yummy shoes, Talli. And they all look so clean and sparkly. (must get more shoes...) Glad you had a fab conference, shame I wasn't there, would have been great to catch up again - next year?

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  51. I am so jealous that you could actually walk in all those gorgeous shoes! I feel like a female impersonator if I wear anything higher than a 1/2 inch heel! Glad you had a wonderful time, and I love how your presented it! Julie

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  52. How wonderfully novel to tell your tale in shoes. I think all women love shoes.... at least this Pisces does... Pisces rules the feet. I loved your choices in all the shoes.
    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  53. HOW FUN!! I love those shoes!! And I bet you looked fab too!! I've never heard of RNA, but I must check it out since I write romantic fiction!!

    I'm so glad you had fun. Now, get back to editing;)

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  54. Talli, you have my utmost respect. I like being on terra firma way too much to wear any of those. Besides, I'm so clumsy, there's no telling who or what I'd fall into.

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  55. Very inventive post.
    Love your shoes.

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  56. Lol! I love how you did this post! I am such a shoe lover. I usually plan outfits around my heels.:)

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  57. Every one of these shoes is hot as hell.

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  58. Just four pairs for the whole weekend! Events like this make me jealous I am a reader not a writer!!

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  59. Talli - I had the matching gold insolia's after listening to the advertising claiming they were "comfortable". It's official - I'm a mug!!

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  60. LOVE those first shoes!!!!

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  61. Beautiful shoes! What a creative way to talk about your conference.

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  62. Sounds like a wonderful event! With all those cute shoes, who wouldn't have a great time! :)

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  63. Loved your Shoe-Tale! (That first pair is so gorgeous!) I'm glad to hear you had a great time! :)

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  64. Ah, this is so creative and entertaining! I love the shoes, though I probably couldn't wear most of them with my wide, flat feet. But it's nice to daydream. :) Glad you had fun!

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  65. I'd love to go to a novelists conference, but maybe not the romantic kind. I probably couldn't keep up with the drinking and my shoes would not impress.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  66. I adore your first pair of shoes! I had a pair in black in the '70's just the same!!!

    Not sure I could manage the other pairs nowadays, they are gorgeous though.

    I tried to join the RNA but they were fully booked for 2011, will try again in 2012.

    So glad you had a good time. Loved that you met Miranda Dickinson, I bet you both got on well! :)

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  67. What fandabadozy shoes, Talli - sounds a wonderful weekend. Have only been to the last one at Penrith (2 years ago?) and will definitely be going to next year's, all being well.

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  68. You went to Wales and you DIDN'T take a pair of Wellies with you?! You're mighty brave! Glad you had an awesome time :D

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  69. Fab post about a weekend of shoes- love it. Very SATC.

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Coffee and wine for all!