I met so many awesome people and learned so many important things and had such a great time that this post could be REALLY long if I wanted it to. But it's a Friday and I know you all have more important places to be so I'm just going to stick with some of the highlights:
This is me, looking a tad frumpy and plain next to the absolutely adorable Stephanie Perkins at the Wine and Cheeser. I was also lucky enough to have lunch with Stephanie one of the days and I can now say for a certainty that she's one of my favorite people. She's just as sweet and adorable as she is on Twitter and her blog, and I can't wait to watch her take the world by storm when Anna and the French Kiss finally comes out.
Also at the Wine and Cheeser, I got to meet the hilarious Kiersten White:
Who is about to take over the world with her debut novel, Paranormalcy. I've been cyberstalking her blog and Twitter for a WHILE now (and she lives close to me so you can bet I've even considered real stalking too. Kidding. Sort of.) and we kept running into each other at the various break out sessions so she probably thought I was stalking her at the conference--which is only partially true. ;)
I also got to hang out with Kim Derting--my incredible agent-in-law--who I've had the pleasure of meeting once before, but got to really spend time with this time. We had drinks and appetizers one night, and I even got to dance with her at the Heart and Souls Gala. But something odd happened with this picture--it's like the camera moved or something--so the whole world looks slightly skewed, like you've stepped through the looking glass....
Speaking of Agent-in-laws, I also got to meet Amber Lough, and have lunch with her, and she's even more cute and sweet than she is in this picture:
And here's me with Daisy Whitney, Suzanne Young, and Stephanie Perkins, who are all dressed WAY cuter than me. I swear I had no idea people would get so dressed up at the Wine and Cheeser. Mental note for next year...
Moving on to the Heart and Soul gala, here's me with my awesomesauce CP Sara McClung--who I finally got to meet!!!!--and fellow WriteOnCon planner Casey McCormick. The color was red--in case you can't tell--and you can't really see it in this picture, but I even had on heart shaped earrings and necklaces. Arthur Levine actually complimented me on my outfit in the elevator on my way down to the party. Yeah, that was pretty cool! :)
And here's Casey McCormick, me, Kim Derting, Sara McClung, and Carolina Valdez-Miller trying to keep warm at the Gala. Southern California seems to have forgotten that it's supposed to be warm at the end of July.
Also, a mini bloggers reunion of sorts. This is me, Sara McClung, Casey McCormick, Carolina Valdez-Miller, Heather Trese, and Jessica Kim. SOOOO cool to finally meet everyone in person. :)
I got to dance to the Black Eyed Peas with Kim, Shelley Johannes-Wells, Lisa Schroeder, Stephanie Perkins, Suzanne Young, and Kiersten White and then we all hung out with a ton more people at the fire pits in the X Bar afterward. So. Much. Fun.
And I FINALLY got to meet Bree Despain and personally thank her for helping shove me in the Query Pool with the rest of the #hitsend mafia. I think I'll owe her forever.
She's soooooooo sweet, and you can bet her name will be in my acknowledgements section one of these days. We even ran into her the next night at a restaurant (I swear I wasn't stalking her) and she was nice enough to come over and say hi. Her kids are absolutely adorable. :)
And I also got to meet Jay Asher--yet another one of my awesome Agent-in-laws (my agent-in-laws were EVERYWHERE at SCBWI. It was crazy!)
I don't have a picture of him in his costume at the Gala, so I'll just tell you that a blonde wig and cupid wings were involved. It was quite the eye catcher. :)
I really could keep going--I met so many amazing people, both published and non, and so many bloggers and Twitter friends. Just because I didn't mention you doesn't mean I've forgotten--but I think that's enough to give you guys a taste without boring you to tears. And if I HAD to boil it down to one favorite thing, I guess I'd have to pick meeting my CP Sara:
She is SUCH a huge support to me--and such a huge help with my draft--so it was awesome to finally hear her voice and hug her and thank her for putting up with me. Best part--we're still speaking, and we're still CPs. I always worry that these online friendships will crash and burn once you meet in person, but that was not my experience at all. Every single person I met was even better in real life than I could have hoped for, and it was so amazing to get to meet everyone.
So it was a crazy, chaotic few days, and I'm still recovering (and doing laundry) but I'm so glad I went. Sure, there was plenty of Shannon Shame (stories I will sadly NOT be sharing in the public arena, but some of you got to experience first hand the kind of predicaments I stumble into) and it was more than a little exhausting. But if you ever have a chance to attend SCBWI LA I highly recommend it. And let me know if you do. Hopefully we'll be able to meet up next year. :)
Oh, and if you see yourself in any of these pictures, don't worry, I will be emailing you copies. I'm just a little behind on emailing, thanks to WriteOnCon.