Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finally! A Conference Report...Of Sorts

Dear Readers, forgive my prolonged absence! Mrs. Wells has monopolized the lapdog [LapTOP. LapTOP!! How many times? ~Ed.] day and night, racing towards her deadline. Today, I asked if I could use this ingenious machine to tell you all my news and she turned to look at me with a glazed yet harried expression in her eyes, her fingertips glued to the keys.

Mrs. Wells's coiffure, I am sad to report, rather resembles a bird's nest. Her children are fortunate if they are shod and fed. Her husband looks like a sad canine hungering for crumbs of attention at his mistress's table. A sadly undernourished one, I'm afraid. If only I'd thought to bring my French cook!

I coaxed Mrs. Wells to rest, in the gentle way adults do to small children when they're frightened, but to no avail. Mrs. Wells remained frozen in place. Finally, I discovered she was asleep with her eyes open. I gave her a tiny shove and she fell sideways out of her chair and onto the carpet with a dull thud. She is now dozing quite peacefully on the floor. A gentle snore rises now and then as I type.

Well! San Francisco was quite an experience. I was previously acquainted with many of the Banditas, those brazen temptresses who are as sirens to my dear Lyle. I must hope that like Odysseus, he will stop his ears and lash himself to the mast to escape the lure that is the Bandita and rush to my side. [This foray into the realm of fantasy is most entertaining to your readers, no doubt, but it will not move me, madam. While the Banditas' beauty and intelligence is legendary, it is their chains, not their charms that hold me. ~Ed.]

I must say, I found myself quite at home at the historical conference, where I attended various lectures and gave the audience the benefit of my experience. Except in the lecture on costume, where a number of rude individuals poked and prodded at my gown and then requested me to strip so they could examine my undergarments! When one of them had the temerity to ask if I wore drawers or went without, I departed from that session with more haste than tact!!

The evening brought a very select and genteel soiree, unlike the rowdy and vulgar Bandita party conducted abovestairs. I did attend the Bandit Bash, as it was so elegantly called, for I had hoped to find Lyle there, but he was nowhere to be seen. [A mercy for which I thank Providence daily. Two rooms full of rowdy romance writers. Haven't they tortured me enough?~Ed.]

The rest of the conference passed in a whirl of parties and new faces. I do not believe I have seen so many women speak so loudly all at once in my life, except perhaps at one of Lady Durham's petticoat parties. But brash vulgarity has much to recommend it, when carried out all in good spirits and fun.

I think, perhaps I shall attend next year, too. But next time I shall devise a strict itinerary. Any suggestions for events not to be missed?


jo robertson said...

Dear Lady Kate,

What a whirlwind of licentious activity you describe! It is a wonder you were able to retain your drawers, dear lady, and as you recounted your actions, I greatly feared for your reputation.

Apparently this Mrs. Wells, talented epistolarian though she may be, has a brash host of friends who cannot be beneficial to your virtuous character. I have previously heard of this rowdy group of females, of their raucous laughter and nefarious activities. These Banditas have little in the way of moral rectitude to recommend them.

Hopefully, you have learned a proper lesson and intend to steer a clear course towards sobriety and probity in the future.

Lady Robertson, the Great Guardian of Virtue

jo robertson said...

Hee, hee, Christine, what a great post. I do so love Lady Kate and equally adore the Editor.

Lady Kate said...

My dear Lady Robertson, you wrong me! Indeed, 'twas not I who caroused with those Dark Hunters until the early hours and I swear that reports of me dancing on tables and swinging from a chandelier after the RITA awards were grossly exaggerated.

And if anyone has so-called photographic evidence, please contact me, we can discuss it over a hundred dollar bill and a nice cup of tea.

Cassondra said...

Jo Robertson said:

Lady Robertson, the Great Guardian of Virtue

Snork. Right.

That's how she got SEVEN children--all that virtue. And that's why her husband's nickname is "Dr. Big."


Lady Kate, don't be fooled by any claimes of "virtue" of any sort on the part of any Banditas. As long as you're here, you might as well know the truth.

And BTW, I don't remember serving you at the punchbowl, but I do hope you got a piece of the wedding cake at the Bash!

Lady Kate said...

Lady Robertson, I'm afraid Mrs. Wells continues to be indisposed. Dribbling into the pile of her Persian rug would be a more accurate description, but still... I shall pass on your kind words to her.

Great Guardian of Virtue, indeed!

Lady Kate said...

Oh, Miss Cassondra, indeed yes! I did eat quite a substantial amount of that divine dessert! In fact, I confess that after everyone had left the Bash, I hitched up my skirts and dived down the...er...trash (?) chute after the remains.

The strangest thing...I cannot fit into my gowns at present.

SEVEN children you say? Oh, I feel faint!

Now, where did I put that Tim Tam?

Cassondra said...

Lady Kate said:

The strangest thing...I cannot fit into my gowns at present.

Hmmmm. Indeed?

And pray, how is Lyle dealing with this difficulty of your having no gowns that fit?

We may actually NEED someone to defend your virtue.


Lady Kate said...

Do you know, Miss Cassondra, I have borrowed a very dashing outfit from Mrs. Wells. Ah, the freedom of trousers! And I think my legs appear quite fetching in these bucket boots.

But sadly, Lyle and I are still parted by cruel necessity, so he won't seem my legs...or how fetching my decolletage looks in this open-necked ruffled shirt...or...

Very well, ma'am. You've made your point! And let me say, the freedom of trousers only extends so far...~Ed.

Joan said...

Ah, Lady Kate,

It is with great distress that I missed making your acquaintance somewhere betwixt and between the two rooms of rowdy party attendees. I thought at one point I caught sight of you as a shield slid down the stairwell. Alas, it was the Duchesse of Snork and her golden fowl.

However, I did spend some time with Ms. Wells. The poor thing could not stop weeping.

Ad infinitum,

Empress Joanie T

Anonymous said...

Dear, sweet, innocent Lady Kate, when you return next year, perhaps we can coax Ms. Wells and that rather growly editor of yours to let you spend some time enjoying the nightlife in Washington DC? I do worry, Madame, that while your editor has a very large...er...vocabulary, we don't want you to miss an opportunity to meet some other gentlemen with equally large...um...words at their disposal.

What do you say? It's all in the name of research, of course. We romance writers are very committed to our research. Sometimes our editors even encourage us to take research trips.

What do you think, Lyle? ;-)

Tawny said...

ROFL... Ahh, Lady Kate. You had a lovely conference experience, hmm? I'm sorry I missed you at the bash - I arrived just in time to scarf down cake and hear stories of how fabulous it all was :-)

Now be nice to that sweet author there on the floor and toss a blanket over her. She's on deadline and can't afford to catch cold.

Trish Milburn said...

Mrs. Wells, I hope you were not injured in your snoozing fall to the floor. :)

Great post.

PJ said...

My dear Lady Kate, I am at this very moment reading of your adventures and I must say, I do admire your style.

Alas, I was unable to make the journey to the faraway city known as San Francisco but, as you are no doubt aware, these Banditas of which you speak have carried tales of the unparalleled revelry that occurred in said city...many, many tales. I believe some may even have photographic evidence. I greatly anticipate making your acquaintance when we all make the journey to my country's capitol in the new year.

Try stuffing a Tim Tam in poor Mrs. Wells' mouth. I've heard they are quite efficient for stemming carpet drool.

Nancy said...

Lady Kate--one can only admire our composure in such trying circumstances. Be kind to Mrs. Wells. Aerial travel proved a sore trial to her on her recent trip, with long delays on one leg of her journey.

BTW, just a hint for next year's bandita bash--look out for AC and her crop.

Christine Wells said...

Now, now, Joanie T. What did we say about some things remaining 'in the Lair', hmm?

Lyle said...

we don't want you to miss an opportunity to meet some other gentlemen with equally large...um...words at their disposal...snip...What do you think, Lyle?

:Low, animal growl:

Christine Wells said...

Tawny, Trish, PJ, Nancy, I'm overwhelmed by your concern for this poor overworked author:)

Tim Tams definitely welcome to stem sleep drool! btw.

Lady Kate said...

Miss PJ, you are too kind! I am anxious to meet you also, if only to implore your silence about THAT BOOK! I do not wish my reputation to precede me in Washington DC!! Though from Miss Kirsten's description, it sounds like a fascinating place...

Beth said...

Lady Kate, I am so upset I didn't get to see you in San Francisco! Like Tawny, I was late to the Bandit Bash and missed you :-( (although I did get to eat a big corner piece of cake).

Speaking of cake...Christine, I'm pretty sure cake makes a better drool stop than Tim Tams. Should I attempt to send one over to you?

Helen said...

Lady Kate I so wish I could have been there to enjoy all the fun and meet you personally although not long now and I will get to know you and Lyle very well and I am really looking forward to hearing about all of your adventures and the big question do you wear drawers or not LOL

Have Fun

jo robertson said...

Dear Lady Kate & Lyle,

Yes, I'm afraid I found it necessary to wield my riding crop rather copiously at said Bandit Bash. Mostly to keep it from the hands of other, less trustworthy Banditas who had nefarious purposes for it in mind. No doubt it will be much the same next year in Washington DC.

At least one can hope...


Christine Wells said...

Beth, cake sounds great! Yes, let me eat cake...

Lady Kate said...

My dear Helen, I trust you don't think Mrs. Wells would have the infernal bad taste to disclose the state of my undress in THAT BOOK!? Surely, even in this day and age there are limits.

Miss Cindy--do you ride? Or is the crop merely an affectation? You sound like rather a sinister character, either way.

Caren Crane said...

My dearest Lady Kate,

I believe you were misinformed as to the nature of the Bandits' Bash. Why, there were lovely refreshments and a delicious punch (none of that horrid ratafia for the Banditas!).

We even had a lovely wedding cake, which Donna wore on her clothing. Um...by accident, of course.

Admittedly, there were many romance writers crammed into a small space. Some neighboring rooms at the inn may have lodged a complaint, but the Banditas were careful to observe "quiet hours" and closed down the party at 10 pm. You will agree that is quite early - barely past dinner!

I do hope you will not miss the Bash at next year's conference. Another must-see event is the Literacy autographing. The Banditas and many other splendid authors will be signing books for readers.

There is sure to be another soiree by the Beau Monde as well. Do come to Washington, DC, Lady Kate. We Americans are quite civilized these days!

Please do give us an update on Ms. Wells. I'm disturbed that you left her lying on the floor. It's quite beyond the pale!

Anna Campbell said...

Lady Kate, are you sure Mrs. Wells hasn't been poisoned with laudanum as happens in all the best Minerva Press novels? I think we need to check upon her welfare! Yes, the Banditas are a pulchritudinous sample of feminine glory, are they not? And you fitted right in, my lady! I do wish you'd brought Lyle, though. I wouldn't mind inspecting HIS underwear! Oops! Evil twin made me say that! As they say in all the best Minerva Press novels!