RWA12 Part II, or Six Degrees of Abigail Sharpe and the Quest for a Cupcake
Yeah, I know, the conference was over a month ago. I’m a busy woman.
It humors me how folks in different geographical parts of the country can find each other in one hotel in Anaheim. It started when I sent an email about meeting for dinner to my Lalalas (an online writing/support/everything under the sun group) and chapter members who were going to California, plus my conference roommate (and Golden Heart 2010 sister (and a 2102 finalist)) Alison and Arlene, a woman whose blog I’ve been following since she won our chapter contest in 2011. (On a side note, that was good year for her. On the same day she placed FIRST in the Beacon, she finaled in the Golden Heart.) As far as I knew, none of the women who weren’t part of the same group knew each other.
First I get an email from chaptermate Lena Diaz, who says she can’t come because she’s meeting other Avon Impulse authors for dinner. Then I get one from KC Klein, commenting on Lena’s email, that she’s going to the same thing.
THEN I realize that Alison, who’s coming from Arizona, is driving in with Arlene. Also from Arizona. And I find out two of my 2010 Golden Heart sisters have the hotel room next to mine (Jacqui being one of them).
I worked the registration desk Tuesday, and finally met, face to face, so many of my wonderful online Lalalas. I wasn’t part of the group the last time I went to a conference, and meeting them was a big highlight of my day. Wendy LalalaCapra (also a 2012 finalist, so she knows Alison) and I have the same agent, and we took a picture to tweet to her.
Still at the registration desk, I see a woman walking toward me who I *thought* was someone I knew. Keep in mind, I hadn’t seen this woman in two years, so all I had to go on was memories and online pictures. I greeted her like an old friend, and she greeted me the same way. It wasn’t her.
The her in question was Christie Craig, who needed help getting an RWA Honor Badge. Then it seemed everywhere I went during the conference, Christie was there, too. But she was way cool and fun to hang out with, so it was all good. Not to mention, sometime later I find out Alison (my conference roommate) usually rooms with Christie. Maybe I should be calling this blog post Six Degrees of Alison Delaine.
Hanging out in the lobby before dinner, I see Arlene talking to someone I don’t know. Arlene had just met her as well, and we invited her to dinner. Turns out, Debra Jess lives in Florida, though not too close to me. Still – 50 states to be from, and she’s from mine.
Dinner was a nice mix of old friends and new, online friends, and connected friends.
Afterward, I was determined to get a cupcake. Because I was in California, and all the great cupcake places are in California, right? Melanie (whom I had just met, but is the sister to Valerie Bowman, a chaptermate (and Golden Heart sisters with Arlene – see? All these connections)) took out her tablet and found the nearest one. Electronically, it didn’t look too far away.
So six of us started walking: Debra, Melanie, Alison, Arlene, Valerie, and me. And walking. And walking. And then? We walked some more.
Our location dot kept getting closer and closer to the Cupcake Store (yes – that’s its real name), and yet we kept walking and walking and walking. (In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve segued from Six Degrees to Cupcakes.) Melanie kept insisting it was close, and by the time I was ready to call it quits, we had already walked so far that I couldn’t give up. I must conquer the California Cupcake!
But there was dissension in our ranks. Melanie wanted to go forward, but Arlene (who had her smart phone) said we should turn. Melanie was confident in her directions, so we kept going forward. Only Arlene was right.
We finally, FINALLY made it to the shop, and I about died. Instead of my pictured lavish shop with a bright storefront and many intricate cupcakes on display, it was a little kiosk in the middle of Downtown Disney, quiet and unassuming, surrounded by bigger restaurants and lights and noise. I chose my chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. Only I didn’t want it after being all hot and sweaty, so I decided to put it in my fridge. Because I was going to have a damn cupcake.
Melanie, feeling she needed to redeem herself after leading us the wrong way, paid for all our cupcakes. Which was awesome, even though she didn’t need to do that. She also paid for our cab ride home, and my feet are still thanking her.
And folks, this was only the first night.