There’s No Place Like Home

There truly is no place like home.  And you know what makes you really appreciate home?  A vacation!

And yes, while home is where the heart is, it cannot be denied that vacation is where the restaurant food, hotel beds and far-away friends are.

And I just spent a week in the company of my beloved writer friends.  We laughed, we ate, we brainstormed & plotted, we dressed up, we dressed down & we hung out.  And it was so good for my soul.

More happened than I can possibly recap for you, but here are a handful of snapshots that’ll give you an idea.



There were these lovely hanging stars in the main conference hotel.  I found them strangely fascinating.  They were sort of a theme, actually.  I discovered different versions of them all over the place.  Is there an explanation for this?  Is is a San Antonio thing?  Or was it just a theme for the decor?  Either way, they were beautiful.





The talented & amazing Joan Kayse opened her heart–and her room–to me this week, graciously sharing her bed and her roommate with me.  (Hi, Lisa!  Hi, Karen!  I’m wearing pants!)  This is us lounging around in bed with snacks & a mere sampling of the free books we were showered with.  (insert big, happy sigh here)  Free.  Books.  I *love* RWA’s national conference!











Speaking of books, here’s a small sampling of the Romance Bandits who participated in Read for Life Literacy signing, giving away their books to raise money for literacy.  I couldn’t get photos of Tawny, Beth or Anna Sugden–I ran out of time–but I was proud to be among them all!













Then there was the eating & the drinking.  I love food–and I especially love food I don’t cook or clean up, so eating out all week would have been a joy in & of itself.  But the food in San Antonio came with friends!  There was dinner with my Romance Bandits & PJ Ausdenmore from the Romance Dish…







…Drinks in the bar with thehilarious Susan Gee Heino…








And breakfast meetings over bacon.  (Mmmmm, bacon.)








We wrapped things up with our version of the Oscars, the Golden Heart/Rita awards, where I was shocked & amazed at the line I had to stand in.  Evidently, other people also wanted to watch the proceedings.  Who could’ve known?



All too soon it was time head home.  I’m missing my writing friends something terrible but I’m using all that emotion to fuel the next story.  I’ve managed to hack my way to the end of Chapter One, & I think–I hope–I’m on the right path.  But if I’m not, I know who’ll steer me back to it.  I just spent all last week basking in their friendship, & advice is only an email away.

So tell me, what’s been the highlight of YOUR summer so far?



Posted in , , , ,



  • Amy Conley says:

    Hopefully one of these days I’ll make it to a RWA.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Amy, if you come to an RWA conference, you may get to meet the GR in person. He isn’t always at breakfast (for obvious reasons) but he often shows up at the bar. I’m just saying…

    • Susan Sey says:

      If you do, Amy, you absolutely MUST let us know so we can find you in the crush! Or, hey, you can find us! The GR always causes a commotion so we’re not hard to find. Either way, come be part of our tribe!

  • Jane says:

    Hello Susan,
    I’ve been seeing so many pics from RWA this past week. I’ve haven’t gone anywhere this summer and nothing exciting has happened yet, but luckily summer isn’t over yet.

  • Lisa says:

    So you don’t honor Pants Free Monday at your house? How confining!

    • Susan Sey says:

      Oh, we do Pants Free Every Day around here. 🙂 And we enjoyed a lot of pants-free time at RWA, too. So much so that I thought my roomies would appreciate the idea that–even though I was at home–I was, in fact, wearing pants. It was unusual enough that I felt it worth mentioning.

      • Joan Kayse says:

        Pants Free is …er, freeing indeed but since I leave my indows all open around my home, I refrain.

        Now tops? That’s a different thing all togethe 😀

  • Helen says:

    Hi Susan

    Thank you for the photos I love looking at them it is winter over here and my highlight was the birth of my newst grandson 2 weeks ago 🙂

    But in saying that RWA Australia is on here in Sydney in two weeks and I have an afternoon tea with Cherry Adair then the great book signing and then a reader get together with the wonderful Marie Force and I am really looking forward to it

    Have Fun

    • Susan Sey says:

      Wow, Helen, your summer sounds fantastic so far! And you still have RWAus to look forward to?? I’m jealous! Enjoy the conference, & snuggle that grandbaby for me. I dearly love a fresh baby….

  • flchen1 says:

    That looks SO fun, Susan! I’m not sure I could handle the crowds, but I’d love to meet all of you Banditas one of these days! As for summer highlights? It’s flying by fast! The kids are enjoying camp, and we’re looking forward to some family time!!

    • Susan Sey says:

      The crowds definitely take some getting used to, Fedora, but San Antonio actually was really good that way. I don’t know if it was that we were spread out across two hotels, or that San Antonio wasn’t a massive city but it felt very roomy & spacious most of the time. I rarely felt too crowded or jostled, & there was only one instance where the elevator situation was just untenable. I actually hoofed it down 20 floors using the fire stairs. I didn’t even set an alarm off, so I felt it was win/win all the way around. 🙂

      • Joan Kayse says:

        It may have been crowded that one night in the bed. After seeing my morning hair, I had to apologize to Susan for evidently tossing and turning like a whirling dervish….

  • Caren Crane says:

    Umm…summer has been pretty slow. The highlight so far was an exceptional night spent listening to a great Geezer Rock cover band in Matthews, NC at Bean Town. My younger sister’s high school friend, Eric, is in the band (the Coconut Groove Band) and they were amazing. My sister, BIL and mom stayed until after 1 am to catch all three sets. They were still going when we left!

    That was a really fun night. Made me dig out my Steely Dan and Elton John CDs, too. Good times!

    Still…no RWA conference. No Smoov. No Joanie. No Banditas at all. Looking forward to the NRWI next month, where at least I’ll see Donna and Jeanne. And hopefully Bandita Shannon! Shannon, I e-mailed you info last week, so I hope you will come out!

    • Susan Sey says:

      We missed you like crazy, Posh. It was brutal. I’m already looking forward to next year (RT, though, right?) so I can get my Posh fix…

    • Joan Kayse says:

      More than once, Mo and I held up our fist in homage saying “As God is my witness” in a suitable NC accent.

      Then, Mr Fantastic exploded

    • Shannon says:

      Yes, I got your email. So nice! And those two emails have survived the installation of Outlook 2013, the removal of one anti-spam program, the installation of another, etc on the new computer. My next step getting to NRWI is to hook up the printer to the new computer and print out your email and a google map. I can do this in say a week…

  • Laurie G says:

    Oh the conference looks like so much fun!

    The highlight of my summer was a trip home for my mom’s 90th Birthday party (June 14th weekend). I saw lots of family, neighbors and friends. Unfortunately that night my mom fell and fractured her pelvis. I went back to care for her for 2 weeks. My sister is with her now. She’s doing well, walking with a cane and driving again.

    • Susan Sey says:

      Oh, geez, Laurie. That sounds really trying for the entire family. I’m so glad everything seems to be mending properly, & I hope something delightful & lucky happens for you in August just to balance it all out!

  • Joan Kayse says:

    Oh, the conundrum of settled and at home or laughing, eating, planning, eating, plotting, eating, Mayan piping (Oh, Danny boy) and well…eating.

    I miss my duckling SO bad!!!!!! Really peeps, Susan’s humor and unique analysis of “stuff” is enthralling enough on the blog. In real life? Priceless.

    • Susan Sey says:

      Joan’s just putting a good spin on it, folks. I have a terrible habit of starting conversations with, “So, I have this theory…” and then holding forth on some insanity for many minutes. Joan was wise & patient & in touch with reality for the both of us. 🙂

      I miss her tremendously.

  • catslady says:

    No real highlights this year and the weather has been strange but enjoy seeing all the pics and hearing the stories – looks like a blast and that fun was had by all!

    • Susan Sey says:

      You know, that’s kind of how I felt about the conference in general, catslady. It was a great experience but there was no one particular workshop or event that just rocked my world. It was mostly the company & the away time.

      Which was so wonderful & desperately needed, so I’m not complaining. But some vacations are just mind-blowing, & some just restore your heart a little. This conference was more like the second option.

  • Becke says:

    I didn’t even notice those star! Holy smokes, I guess I never looked up. I love the dress up night at conference. It’s like going to the prom all over again. This year I talked the dh into buying a purple shirt and tie to match my gown. Great fun.

    The highlight for me is always hooking up with old friends and meeting new ones.

    • Susan Sey says:

      I’m with you, Becke! I dearly love the excuse to buy a new dress, & I hope to one day have some reason to insist that Mr. Sey accompany me to my conference. It would be like going to the prom with him! I wonder if I could talk him into buying me a corsage…

  • Shannon says:

    The highlight of my summer is definitely is NOT my new computer. No conferences.

    It’s been some small things. Time by the pool. A visit to an heiress’ home (wonderful china) and seeing her Cartier jewelry collection. Seeing Jersey Boys and having those songs on my mind for a week. At work, becoming a co-author on something that is going to get high-level attention; now to get it done in the next week.

    • Susan Sey says:

      Hey, it sounds like you have a bunch of interesting things cooking! Color me interested in that co-author project that’s going to get loads of attention…fill us in on the details when you can!

      And I’ve been dying to see Jersey Boys. It’s good, huh? (longing sigh…)

  • Deb says:

    Loved the blog and photos today, Susan! Thanks for sharing! I would love to attend the conference some time. Maybe it will come to Minneapolis some time (only 4 hours from me), and great for you.
    Those star decorations are Moravian stars, but I have only seen them at Christmas time, so don’t know why they might have been hanging in summer.
    Hmm, highlight of my summer….well, my sisters and I have been trying to have lunch with my mother on Tuesdays (day she is available), but also had lunch with both Mother and Dad last Friday.
    I had cataract surgeries on both eyes, right eye in June, left eye in July. Long story short, yes, I’m young for that cataract surgery (and, yes, I wanted to kiss my optometrist for saying that) due to meds I was on as a kid and affected my eyesight years later.

    • Susan Sey says:

      Wouldn’t a Mpls conference be wonderful?? We can dream about that one, can’t we?

      And hugs on the cataract surgery! Both my in-laws are scheduled for that soon, & I just heard about a baby (a baby!) born with congenital cataracts! Had to have surgery on both eyes, the poor, tiny thing. Sounds like he’s going to be just fine but how scary! Glad to hear that yours were caught early, & I hope you’re recovering nicely!

  • Susan, thanks for the update and all the photos! Looks like y’all had a great time.

    The highlights of my summer were our family trip to NYC and my visit to DC and Jeanne’s family and seeing the Air & Space Museum with the boy.