I’ve lost track of how many RWA national conferences I’ve been to now (6 maybe? 7?), but this was my second one in New York. The first trip was a rollercoaster adventure of me and my anxiety battling it out in order to see all the sights: Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Museum of Natural History, Rockefeller Plaza, Times Square, everything I could cram into a few days including a trip to yarn and quilt stores. This time, I only had a day and a half so the list was shorter: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, Wicked, and the New York Public Library (BOOK NERD ALERT! Also, it was close and free.)
So on Tuesday, I started with a taxi ride to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On the way, I decided to never do that again until all my affairs were in order and I was ready to pass on to the other side. I spent five hours and still feel like a barely saw the museum. I listened to the posh museum director tell stories about selected pieces and got the most amazing plot bunny for a story I could never write. Masterpieces literally close enough to touch. I can’t really even describe it. These enormous beautiful tapestries and paintings I’d seen in textbooks. I stood in front of Rodin’s Burghers of Calais for a very long time because I couldn’t even believe I was there. Here are some pictures:
I knew it would take me a while to make it back to the hotel, so I left in the early afternoon and started walking the two miles back through Central Park. It was almost everything I imagined it would be. There were street performers dancing and singers. There was some sort of film crew filming something. The trees. The Mall. People walking dogs. And it was about a thousand degrees so there Cheryl was, just hoofing through and sweating like it’s my job. But every fourth bench, I’d sit down and think “I’m in Central Park.” I only took one picture because the heat was killing brain cells. Here it is:
So I make it out of the park and I’m walking. I’m walking and sweating. I’m walking and sweating and thinking of air conditioning and ice cubes and water. A tall drink of water.
Until I made it to 52nd Street. Which was barricaded as far as the eye could see. And there were police cars and police and crowds lining the street.
Because the president was in town.
Between me and the air conditioning.
And it would have been so cool to see, but I was melting. Not that it mattered! Here’s a picture I managed to get of the police that raced up and down the street.
Eventually the president in a limo with flags flying and an entourage of media in SUVs behind came through. This was exciting, but I really got excited when I got across the street because the hotel was near. After I solidified into a person-shaped mass again, I got my nice clothes on and went to see Wicked. I love Broadway. I really do. The show was amazing and so much fun.
The next day, I walked to the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and took the tour. Also, I bought some things. If you’d like a chance to win a “What are you reading now?” tote (photo in the top right corner) and books, make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter by August 15! CLICK THIS LINK
Here’s a few photos from the library:
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS (this is coming to a close. Really. I promise!)
The literacy signing raised almost $50,000 dollars. Me? I had nice conversations with Brenda Harlen and Kathleen Harrington and my Avon editor Chelsey Emmelhainz and Harlequin Senior Editor Victoria Curran…and I looked like a total pro doing it.
Meeting up with all the Heartwarming authors and editors there over dinner.
Pitching to new agents and editors is always an education.
Having a chance to chat with friends I’ve never met before like Avon author Jennifer Seasons (who shares my love for the show Psych and has the best bad luck in the world).
And the Harlequin party was at the Waldorf Astoria. Yes, that Waldorf Astoria. I had a dress I liked and there were full-on paparazzi moments (with Kate James and a piano, no less. It was total Fabulous Baker Boys and she was Michelle Pfeiffer. and I was all “Please let’s not get kicked out of this joint.” Debbie Downer. I own it.)
Sitting down with Dana Grimaldi who is so smart and makes my Heartwarming books so much better. Here’s a photo of me with Dana and Jennifer Snow.
If you like books and giveaways (of course, you do!), you should 1. Sign up for the newsletter. 2. Get over to http://www.facebook.com/CherylHarperRomance because I have another book/tote giveaway going and I have a few more planned so stay tuned!