Monday, July 4, 2011

Anita Mae at RWA In New York

by Anita Mae Draper

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference held in New York City. The flight from Regina, Saskatchewan to Minneapolis, Minnesota was 20 mins late and I was in the back row which meant a mad dash from one gate to the one boarding for New York. By the time I blew in, the waiting area was empty since everyone had boarded except for one small family who followed me on board. To think I almost missed the flight to New York! And this was after Delta changed my flight from a morning one to afternoon.

My first view of the Big Apple was when we broke through the clouds and the first thing I recognized was the Empire State Building.

A few seconds later I caught the long needle-like shape of Roosevelt Island which I'd blogged about a few weeks ago in my post, 19th Century Mission Coffee House and also on my blog with the post, It Can't Be June.

We landed at 9:30 pm at LaGuardia as the sun went down over the city.

By 11 pm I'd reached the Marriott Marquis New York to start the RWA conference. The first person I saw was Missy Tippens and a couple other Seekers from although I can't seem to find those pictures, now.

However, I have lots of pics taken from the 38th floor room I shared with Caroline Godin, Diane Burke, and Patti (PJ) Ausdenmore. Photos like this view of Times Square:

And photos of a part of the Empire State building. I think the trip became real when I saw the tall building I'd once made out of snow for a snow sculpture contest.

The first official meeting I attended was the Faith, Hope and Love (FHL) chapter of the RWA which included a worship session and the Touched By Love contest award ceremony.
A few hours later I saw many friends and discovered new ones at the Author's Literacy Signing for charity. Like FHL Australian member, Abby Gaines.

Wed night I attended the Harlequin Pajama Party where I found Allie Pleiter playing the role of Lady Liberty.

Laura Marie Altom, Winnie Griggs and Margaret Daley do it up in style with spiffed up matching pajama sets.

Camy Tang and I enjoying the party.

Thurs night Dana Corbit, Merrilee Whren and I went out to enjoy the atmosphere of a real Irish pub. The fish and chips were delish.

For Saturday's lunch, I accompanied Rachelle McCalla and Mary Connealy to John's Pizzeria, a restaurant with a huge brick oven housed in an old church.

Tina Radcliffe, Mary Connealy and Janet Dean were some of the 2,000 people dressed in their finest on Friday night for the Rita and Golden Heart Awards Gala.

Earlier in the day I moderated Deeanne Gist's Bottoms Up: A Look at Victorian Women's Clothing From The Inside Out research session. Overheard by an attendee was the comment, "This is the best workshop I've ever attended at RWA."

I agree. I was able to take a small amount of footage of Deeanne's workshop which I'll be posting soon as part of a History post.

This was one of the last images I caught Sat night as my flight took off from LaGuardia with the setting sun in the background. Such a beautiful sight.

If you were at the RWA NYC conference, tell us something about your experience. If you didn't attend, tell us what's the closest you've ever been to New York.


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. In 2005, Anita Mae decided to return to writing and make it a priority in her life. She writes old west stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Her characters are strong because the land demands it. Anita Mae likes to write characters who sit up and notice when that special person God’s chosen just for them walks by. The story is all about the courtship between the two main characters. But it won’t be an easy path. And if they don’t know about God at the beginning of the book, they will by the end. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. She’s currently waiting to hear the phone ring and have someone say they want to buy Emma’s Outlaw. Meanwhile, she’s working on another story and trying to keep her imagination in check. A pathological picture taker, she usually has a photo or two of her western world on her blog at


  1. Wow, Anita! Looks like you had a marvelous time! I hope you saw me waving furiously from the other side of New York State.

    I'm sure you came back from the conference all charged up and ready to write. Looking forward to that history post!

    When we lived in NJ, we would sometimes bus in on Saturday and walk around the city. One of my favorite experiences is when we saw Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall, and then the bus drove past all the decorated Christmas windows.

    Wonderful place to visit. Sounds like you had a blast!

  2. Sounds like you got to hang out with some really cool people. What fun! I've only been to New York City once. Nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

  3. Looks like you had a great time! And I love John's Pizzeria! I never go to New York without stopping there. :)

  4. Loved this, Anita. Made me wish I was there with you, hob-nobbing and taking in the sights. Next year, RWA will be in Anaheim. I've never been to one of their conferences, but with it being withing driving distance, I might have to check it out :+}

  5. Hey Barb, was that you waving? I'd wondered... :D

    Yes, I had a fantastic time. I almost went down to Macy's to window shop, but by that time I was developing blisters and knew I wouldn't be able to buy anything anyway, so stayed near Times Square.

    Yes, I'd better head over to check out open History days. :)

    Thanks, Barb.

    Anita Mae.

  6. Yup, I hear you, Dina. That is one noisy city, although I'd been in the shuttle en route the hotel about 15 mins before I heard my first car horn. Once I reached the Marriott Marquis, however, I heard the horns and sirens all the way up on the 38th floor.

    While down in Times Square, the decibel level was so high, I couldn't imagine the silence of the prairie. Very strange.

    I would like to go back with my family, though.

    Anita Mae.

  7. Hey Anne, that was one beautiful church. I originally added a photo of Mary with the stained glass dome up behind her, but decided to go with the one of Mary and Rachelle. I figured more readers would want to see who the authors are than another old church.

    However, I have enough photos of New York architecture to make a blogpost on that alone.

    I also have a photo of that huge brick pizzeria oven. That was one gorgeous kitchen appliance. LOL

    Anita Mae.

  8. Hey Jen, thanks for saying that. I hovered between creating the post with a focus on the sights of New York or the people at the RWA conference and finally decided on including both. Sort of like a social journal of my stay. :)

    These aren't my only pics, by any means, but the people in these photos are all part of the faith industry.

    I'm looking forward to Anaheim and can't wait for more info from Suzie about our train ride down to it. Knowing you'll be there is something else to look forward to. :)

    Anita Mae.

  9. Anita! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It really makes me wish I could have gone. Next year! I love the pics, and I can't wait to read the history post.

  10. Anita Mae, hanging with you was a total kick. Especially when you accused me of being -B-O-S-S-Y! I love being adored. hahahahahahaha

  11. Suzie, I have no fear you'll make up for it next year. Can't wait. :D

  12. Hey Tina, it was great to spend some time with you as we hadn't crossed paths since Denver 09.

    Yes, you are adored for the fantastic job you do on the Weekend edition of Seekerville and ensuring the Seeker blog runs smoothly. But that alone doesn't mean you're bossy... just efficient.

    And I didn't exactly say you were bossy. I just said I always thought Ruthy was the bossy one. LOL

    Anita Mae.

  13. Hey DeAnna, our newest Inky. I'm sorry I haven't welcomed you before this, but I think they snuck you in when I was away. :D

    I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. Glad to have you on the team.

    And yes, it was a fun trip. And now I'm getting excited for the ACFW conference in St Louis in Sept. Yay!

    Anita Mae.

  14. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Anita Mae! It looks like such fun! One of these days I'm going to make it to New York, and if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere.

  15. Anita, thanks so much for sharing pictures from the conference! It looks like you had oodles of fun, and what an awesome view from your hotel room!
    Glad you're home safe and sound, all enthused and ready to roll!

  16. Hey Lisa, I have no doubt you'll get to New York some day. And since the RWA holds its conference there every 4-6 yrs, I think it's very feasible that you'll make it.
    Whether you're there for that or to see your book published. :)

    Anita Mae.

  17. You're welcome Niki and the rest of you who've said thanks for the photos.

    Yes, we had a wonderful view. I was quite worried at first when I read that one of my roomies, Carolyne Godin, had asked for a 'high' room.

    One of the first things I did when I got to my room at 11 pm that night was to look out the window and all the brilliant lights drew my gaze down to Times Square. I saw some guys unrolling a green carpet and wondered what it was all about. Then the next morning when I looked down, I saw a stage and people gathered around it. I didn't know until later that the stage was in front of the NBC Studios and Alicia Keyes had performed for the morning show.

    From that morning on, I looked out the window the last thing before I went to bed and the first thing in the morning. And even once at 4 am I looked down and saw over 2 dozen people walking around. Amazing... but not for the City That Never Sleeps. :)

    Anita Mae.

  18. This was so much fun getting a peek at your time at the RWA conference!

  19. Sounds like you have a marvelous time in New York and at RWA11!

  20. Great pics, Anita. Does this mean you're headed for LA in 2012?

  21. Hey Carla, perhaps we'll get to meet and share some good times at the ACFW conference in Sept?

    Thanks for dropping in. :)

    Anita Mae.

  22. You got it, Karyn. Can't wait to tell you and the rest of the Sask Rom Writers all about it at the next meeting. :D

    Anita Mae.

  23. Thanks, Patricia. Yes, I certainly am! Gonna take the train down from Seattle with at least one other Inky and really make it a trip of a lifetime. Looking forward to it already. :D

    Hope to see as many on-line friends as I can either there in LA or in St Louis this Sept.

    Anita Mae.

  24. welcome home
    sounds like you had a great trip. New York is way too busy for me, but it is nice to visit in small bits. btw, guppy update @ eharl.

    i hope you got to spread your biz cards around and that they were well received.

  25. Hey Deb, I would've loved to do the town with you in small bits or otherwise. :D

    The biz cards were an enormous hit, thanks to you. Everyone who saw my brand oohed and awhed.

    However, the agent I saw was open to me writing mainstream and contemporary, too so will have to wait and see how that goes. It all depends on which agency I end up with.

    I appreciate the heads' up on a guppy post. Will check it out as soon as I go over to eharl. It will be in the next couple days as I'm working on a post with pics about the pajama party among others. :D

    Thanks for everything, Deb.


  26. I enjoyed seeing your pics, Anita Mae. Meeting you in person at the end of the conference was an unexpected treat.

  27. Anita, New York City is just a totally amazing place. Not sure I'd want to live there unless I were quite wealthy, and something about that place just energizes the blood. So gla d you got to go and experience it. I am really hoping to get to an RWA conference soon, as I moved out of DC the day that the RWA conference started in DC in 2009. Literally the same day, alas.
    Thanks for sharing. Makes me miss going even more than I did last week. Sniff. Sniff. Was there in 2008 for some training.


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