finally, an update....

sorry for the lack of updates, folks, but the internet connections in some of the hotels we’ve stayed at has been somewhat unreliable (or too darned expensive) to use.

Basically, we’ve been having a blast here in America. We arrived in LA 2 weeks ago, and did the whole tourist thing–Disneyland, Universal studios, the Hollywood tour (including the Chinese Theatre, the walk of fame, and the Sony Studios), Seaworld, and of course, shopping.

Last Saturday we headed across to Orlando, and RT’s three day early bird tour. The tours usually take us through the less well known tourist spots, and this year they did the same. Sights we saw included a tour through the Harry P Leu gardens (stunning), a boat ride through Winter Gardens (the Toorak of Orlando, from what I can gather), the Charles Hosmer Morse museum (which houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of tiffany, including Tiffany jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass windows, lamps, and the chapel interior he designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.) The next day we visited the Orange County History museum (which currently has the Jim Henson exhibit), the Lakeridge winery (sorry, your so-called sweet wines tastes like vinegar compared to the aussie stuff!) and the Ocoee bookstore (where we were greeted by the mayor!). The last day took us to Fort Christmas, the American Police Hall of Fame, and finally on an airboat ride through alligator invested waters (and where I tasted alligator tail. Which tastes a little like chicken)

Which lead on to Wednesday and the first day of the conference. And we skipped it in favour of Disneyworld. We did the whole park hopper thing, but after 13 hours and not many rides (the wait times for most were over an hour), we only managed to get around the Magical Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, and Hollywoodland. Epcot will have to wait until another day.

Thursday was the start of RT for me, and it’s been a blast catching up with everyone and doing all the great panels (although we skipped the fairy ball on Thursday night to go see Cirque Du Soleil in Downtown Disney).

But the most amazing moment came on Friday, when we trundled along to the RT book review awards ceremony. I’d been nominated in two sections (for Destiny kills in best contemporary Paranormal as well as a career achievement award in the urban fantasy section). Given the quality of the other nominees, I really didn’t expect to win. And seeing they usually word winners up beforehand and I’d heard nothing, I figured I was pretty safe from the speech making. Even when Rosemary (from Rosemary’s Romance Books) congratulated me the day before, I didn’t twig, figuring she was just congratulating me on the nominations. So, there’s Kasey and I, sitting next to Miriam (who was almost didn’t make it–so glad she did!) in the main hall. We pick up the program and check it out, and after a moment, I lean across to Miriam and say, quite intelligently, “Um, that’s my name!”

That’s right, I’ve won a career achievement award! And I have a shiny, pretty trophy to prove it! Woohoo! :D Of course, I didn’t have a speech prepared, so I had to wing it. And while I thanked just about everyone I should have, I forgot the most important people of all–all you out there. Without all of you buying and reading my books I wouldn’t have a career, so I just want to say THANK YOU!!!

Miriam took some pics, but the little Acer I have with me is being a pain to use, so I’ll post them when I get back home. Till the next post, take care everyone.