This past Saturday, the Playfriends participated in the 15th annual Romance Readers Luncheon, hostessed by our home RWA chapter, Heart of Dixie. We've each contributed in large ways to this chapter event over the past 10 years, with those contributions changing over time. We've gone from some of us organizing this event, to serving as frantic Girl Friday's the day of, introducing speakers, creating raffle baskets, to finally hostessing tables of our own as published authors. This year Smarty Pants created the anniversary video celebrating both the luncheon's 15th anniversary and our 25th anniversary as a chapter. Many of the returning attendees recognize us and have celebrated awards, first sales, and even babies with us through the years. Its one of the busiest, most rewarding events for ourselves and our chapter.
This year was no exception.
In addition to reconnecting with readers from all over the South, we also got to reconnect with each other, as lots of travel, drama, and just plain work have eliminated the opportunity to simply hang out together, enjoying each other's company. And there's nothing like blowing up 150 balloons with helium to create some interesting bonding moments! So I came away refreshed, even though Friday and Saturday each had To Do lists miles long.
But this weekend meant even more to me, for this was the first year my daughter was old enough to attend the luncheon with me. (She's on the left in the picture below, with Awesome Niece on the right.)
I was excited for her to see what the Luncheon was all about, rather than just that weekend in May where Mommy disappears for 2 days. She was excited to be a part of the fun, and meet some authors that she'd heard about but had never seen in person. She even won a raffle basket! We sat at debut YA author CJ Redwine's table, and Drama Queen couldn't talk enough about how cool she was and how much she looked forward to reading her upcoming book, Defiance!
So even though I'm glad to have the work of the luncheon behind me for another year, I treasure the wonderful memories I now have of connecting with my daughter, my chapter sisters, excited luncheon attendees, and my dear Playfriends and Mavens. (But I totally took a nap on Sunday.) :)