Friday, August 08, 2008

I wish it were just a hangover…

Wow. Even though it’s been almost a week since conference, I’m still recovering. Mostly because, as a couple other KF ladies have mentioned, I had a rather eventful and painful Saturday. But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

Had planned on driving up to San Francisco to meet my awesome friend Jax Cassidy for dinner and dancing. But, her flight was delayed, I didn’t have a hotel room for the night, and she had another event come up to go to. So, I ended up at Mr. Big’s house that night instead. (Trust me, there are worse places to be. ;) )

Drove up to SF. Had panned to be there at noon to sit with Jax while she got a tattoo. Arrived in the city at 11:30, found the hotel, circled the block of one-way streets to unload my luggage, then circled the block again to get to the parking garage, then walked back through cross-at-your-own-risk traffic to the hotel. Once I was finally checked in my room (shared with my awesome roomie Crystal Jordan – who doesn’t snore. Yay!) with all my luggage, it was 1:00pm. Oops. Jax got tattooed by herself. Instead, I went to The Golden Network retreat where I MC’ed and moderated an editor/agent panel and speed dating event. (By the end of the afternoon, everyone was way tired of hearing my whistle, followed by “Switch seats, daters!”.) From there I high-tailed it to the literacy signing where I, along with 200 other authors, signed tons of books, the proceeds from which all went to local literacy programs. Sweet deal for the readers, sweet deal for the community. Afterwards I was off to drinks with the Sunday Café Writers, then to the OCC Book Buyer’s Best Awards ceremony. (Where Undercover in High Heels came in third place. Woohoo!)
Then I fell into bed in near coma.

Woke up bright and early for a lovely breakfast with my agent, Nephele Tempest at the Four Seasons. A great way to take a moment to breathe for the marathon day I had planned. (Thanks, Nephele!!) After breakfast it was to the bar to visit with my Romance Divas, then out for a fab lunch with Christie, Leslie, the Dorchester editing/publicity/sales crew, and the Barnes and Noble romance buyer who was such a lovely guy that we all laughed, ate, and had way too much fun. After lunch I rushed off to the PAN retreat, then off to dinner with my editor extraordinaire, Leah Hultenschmidt. (Seeing a theme here? Food, food, and more food!) The my marathon really started. First the National Reader’s Choice Awards (Undercover made the finals!), then rushing to The Golden Network Dessert Reception where I played the guru agent Maha Rishi in a very groovy Summer of Love skit. (I thank Leah for the pics.) After MC’ing that event, I met my amazing critique partner, Eden Bradley, at the KOD’s Death by Chocolate party just in time for Undercover to be announced as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Awards. (yay!) From there, I grabbed Jax and headed off to my final stop for the evening, the Knight Agency party at the First Crush wine bar. (Excellent wine, by the way!)
Then I fell into bed in a near coma.

Woke up bright and early for a pitch appointment with a lovely editor who didn’t even mind that I was suffering from need-more-coffee brain. From there I had a day filled with workshops and spotlights and luncheons (oh my!). Finally had a moment to change into my fab (even if I do say so myself) leopard print outfit before the Dorchester dinner. As always, it was the highlight of my conference. Leslie and Christie had me laughing until I cried. Had a wonderful time chatting with Elizabeth Naughton, JoMarie DeGioia, Farrah Rachon, Trish Albright, and so many more Dorchester divas. But the winner of the night…? Leslie’s awesome Ferragamo heels. I covet those heels.
After the dinner it was back to the bar for drinks with Leslie’s very cool husband, Mr. Assassin (gals, I see where she gets her inspiration), then out to karaoke and dancing with the Romance Divas.
After which I fell into bed in a near coma.

Woke up super bright and early to give our Hybrid Hype workshop. But (here’s the fun part…) as I stepped into the bathtub to shower myself awake, the tub was much slipperier than I anticipated. Both feet flew out from under me, my head collided with the side of the tub. Ouch. Pretty colors. Stars. Concussion. Ouch! Somehow, I managed to shower, dress, even throw a little make-up on and stumble down to the workshop. Where the lovely Mia Rose quite possibly saved my life by having a skinny vanilla latte waiting for me. Mia, I love you, girl!
Luckily the fabulous Christina Cross is not only a friend of mine but also a nurse. She told me what to look for as far as concussion symptoms and suggested I get to a doctor as soon as possible. So, I spent the rest of the day dizzy, with a headache, and asking my friends to call 911 if I started slurring my words or forgetting my name. I’m sure I went to some wonderful workshops, but I have no idea what they were about. By that evening, the headache had turned into a monster of a thing, but I had promised all my friends I was wearing my high school prom dress to the RITA awards and, by golly, I was going to. So, my mom drove up and we glammed and went anyway. (The title of my next book may very well be Concussion in High Heels.) Mom followed me back home where I finally collapsed into bed in a near coma… being sure someone woke me every two hours to makes sure I wasn’t slipping into an actual coma.

A week later after visiting the doctor, the dentist and the chiropractor, I’m happy to say the world has almost stopped spinning and the headache is only mildly annoying still. Turns out, not only did I give myself a great whack on the head, some lovely purple bruises on my arms and legs, whiplash (Seriously. I know, I thought you could only get that in a car accident, too.) and a crooked spine, but, as my dentist informed me this week, I also knocked a filling loose. Yes, I actually hit my head hard enough to knock a filling loose. Only me.

And people wonder where I get the inspiration for my klutzy heroine.

~Trigger Happy (and slightly dizzy) Halliday

P.S. I’ve been arrested! The fiction police have finally caught up to me and charged me with the murders of several secondary characters. (They all deserved it, I swear!) Help bail me out and win a signed copy of Alibi in High Heels!


Terri Osburn said...

Oh my. I had no idea! I think I saw you Saturday at some point, but I didn't know you were in so much pain. And I didn't get to see you all gussied up Saturday night either.

My goodness, between all the food, the constant movement and the concussion, you should get some kind of conference survival award!

Now, how do we bail you out? LOL!

Dru said...

I'm glad you are okay after the doctor's visit. Despite the pain, sounds like you had a good time.

Keri Ford said...

Geez, Gemma! You need to request a padded room next year! Glad you're feeling better and from what I can tell of the pic, you looked fab in your prom dress!

Terrio, to bail gemma out, go here:

Click on the donate button and donate however much is comfortable for you. One person randomly drawn will win the book at the end of the month! Proceeds will go towards scholarships to help send writers to conferences.

Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks for the link, Keri! Yeah, what she said. ;) Romantic Inks does a great job fundraising to send writers to conferences. This is the latest fun way to participate in their efforts.


Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks for the good thoughts, ladies! I'm feeling a lot better today, so hopefully this will be short-lived. You know, 'cause it's not like I have a book to write or anything.

Though, I had to laugh when the doc asked me, "Have you been under any stress lately?" Ha! Me? Noooooo. Of course not. ;)


Anonymous said...

Yikes! I'm glad it wasn't any worse, but still. I've never heard of anyone knocking a filling loose like that before!

Crystal Jordan said...

*hugs* Gemma! You're teh awesome, too! I'm so glad you don't snore either. Hooray!

Anonymous said...

HaHaHa... I just jumped over after I got the anniversary invite... Gemma you are hilarious.
Talk about a busy, painful week... and arrested on top of it all!
*help, I've slipped and I can't find my heels!*
Like I've said before, despite the help of the latte, you were surprisingly coherent for the workshop.