What’s A Picture Worth?

What’s a picture worth?  1000 words?  $100,000 if it’s blackmail-able?  And what if it’s simply a picture in your mind, because you forgot the camera?

This year’s RWA conference was a combination of all of the above, and each photo seems to speak for itself.  I thought it’d be fun to take a quick jaunt through a few captioned moments 🙂

There’s nothing like starting conference with a bang, or in this case a slurp.  What can I say, my flight was delayed two hours, it was hot when we arrived and, well, I love me a good margarita 🙂  My husband has made this his phone screensaver, btw.  40 oz of tequila yumminess!  

first night margarita

Why yes, I am thirsty

The RWA Conference is so often made up of milestones. We strive for years to get our pink ‘First Sale’ ribbon, to celebrate our achievements with our peers, and one of the major highlights is always an authors’ first Literacy Signing. I’m pretty sure this picture not only captures the awesomeness of that moment, but the incredible (and adorable) support Anna had on her journey toward it.


Anna’s first RWA Literacy signing… say it with me now. Awwwwww

I am in awe of anyone who can rock the selfies, as Susan obviously can!!! After the literacy signing on Weds, we met at a fabulous little restaurant called Maria Mia’s for dinner with PJ. I can’t think of a better way to start conference than with the Bandits and one of our fave Bandita Buddies!

From Susan

Selfies with Style

I love this picture!! And the heroic effort our JoanieT put forth to save a horse at the Thursday night reception… um, not saying she rode that cowboy. Nope, I didn’t say that!


Joanie saved a horse… I mean, saved a cowboy!

Some conference years are marked as much by the photos that are missing as the ones we take – in this case, our missing Banditas. It always feels a little lonely without our entire lairful of gals, and yes… this is my thought without Posh and the others!

Caren's You Know You Want Me

You Know You Want Me

One of my highlights this year was being awarded my 25 book pin at the Harlequin Party. My 25th Harlequin release will be out mid-August and it’s titled A SEAL’s Fantasy, so it was a major thrill to be able to celebrate that. I celebrated with a lot more margaritas (see first photo) and am pretty sure any other photos taken this night would fall into the blackmail category.


25 Books, Babeeeeeee! Yep, I wrote ’em.

Sigh… this is the hardest part of conference, always. I love seeing my friends and getting together with so many awesome and talented writers. It’s like being plugged into the best energy in the world. But then theres that moment… the goodbye one. I cry. No matter how exhausted I am, how sore my feet and how hoarse my voice, I hate to see it end.


I hate goodbyes

There are so many pictures I wanted to get, but didn’t. I have none from RITA night, and nothing with my editor or agent. I have very few with friends and am pretty sure I did some questionable things at some point that I’m crossing my fingers NOBODY got pictures of.

And that, my friends, isn’t quite 1000 words, I hid all blackmail photos, and yes, there are more memories than pictures of this event that will sit comfortably in my heart. I’m so ready to do it again. Next year is New York, and I’m already itching to go.

So how about you? Did you attend the RWA conference? Or have you/will you attend some fun event this summer? Do you take tons of photos to remember it by or are you more the ‘store it in my head’ kind?



  • Amy Conley says:

    Is he coming to Indianaa?

  • Deb says:

    Tawny, congrats on the 25-book pin! That is awesome! And, Awwwww, for Anna on her first literacy signing at RWA. Exciting!
    Joanie, rockin’ the night away with that sexy cowboy; horse left at the hitching post. 😉

    I would love to come to RWA some time; I would be in such awe of everyone, even though I think of all the RBs as friends, I wouldn’t be able to say anything to any of you, I think!

    I am hoping to get to a former student’s book signing on August 15th. He’s written a book of motivational quotes.

    As for photos, as I explained here in the Lair one day last week, my poor daughter doesn’t seem to have photos after age 7. My camera broke, and I got out of the habit of taking pics, and I cannot seem to work a digital camera well. I need to practice, I know.

    I am so glad all of you had fun! Thanks for the recap!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Oh, Deb, I hope you will! There is no way you could be quiet with us for long 🙂 We are way too easy —and I mean that in a good way LOL. If you ever felt shy, though, just cozy up next to Donna! She will draw you right in and make you feel so comfy.

      That is SO awesome about your former student’s book! Congrats to him 🙂 and to you!

      LOL on the pix, I hear you. I have a distinct split between print (boxes and boxes) with child #1, digital with child #2 and nothing for the last few years because we only had a big clunky digital camera so I’d rely on my cellphone, and it takes HORRIBLE pictures. We did just get a new camera right before conference, but i didn’t give myself enough time to learn it. Um, point and click used to be so simple, didn’t it?

      You come hang with the Bandits and I promise, I’ll fill an album of pictures for you, though!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Unless you like funerals, I haven’t done anythjng I’d classify as fun. There were a few slips of laughter, mostly thanks to grand #1. He overheard my conversation with hubby and the preist about playing secular music during the calling hour at church. I was telling the priest about a song and a moment she shared with my youngest brother over Memorial Day weekend when we were all at my brother’s house. My brother has a wicked, kickazz sound system in his basement and he asked our mother if he could play anything for her, she asked if he had any QUEEN ( Which iis the one and only band I knew 100% my mother liked), and of course he did. When the song ‘Someone to Love’ he said she closed her eyes and leaned her head back and had such a look of peace on her face he’d never forget that look. Well grand #2 heard “QUEEN” and said, ” Queen? Cool! Does that mean we can play ‘Another One Bites the Dust at the funeral? ” Yes, by the time this happened we were all pretty tired, and we lost it. I was xriving so I basically bent over the steering wheel, tears streaming down my face, LMAO!! Needless to say, my daughter (mom to grand #2), and husband also lost it. Grand#2 asked his mother if I was crying, and she had to cat h her breath to tell him she was pretty sure I was laughing. Once we could all breath again I had to explain why that song maybe wouldn’t be the best choice at a funeral, even though, basically, it was true. Out of the mouth’s of babes.

    • Cassondra says:

      Aw, Amy, I’m so glad there were moments of laughter in the heartache of losing someone. My whole life I’ve watched the funeral directors (they’ve taken care of our family as long as I can remember) stand there and just watch as our family and the community fills up the funeral home, and pretty soon there is a low roar of conversation and laughter. I mean it gets LOUD in there. And it’s kind of a joyful sound, as we see people you only see at funerals, you know? And I guess some people would think that was awful, but honestly, that makes the hours of a southern visitation bearable. And your mom had great taste in music.

      • Amy Conley says:

        A northern funeral is sooooo different than a southern one, let me tell you. I know just what you mean about the funeral directors taking care of the family for generations too. My in-laws are using the same funeral as my mil’s family has used for years and years. And yep, the roar always occurs.

        • Amy Conley says:

          PS Not only my mother but grand #2. And he’s only seven! We had a rental car and it had Sirrus XM radio so we were listening to the ’80’s channel and grand #2 knew every song snd who sung it. So we switched to yhe ’70’s channel and he still mnew most of the songs and artists. I asked my daughter how far back I’d have to go to stump him and she said the ’50’s or up to the ’90’s!

        • Tawny Weber says:

          I had NO idea there were different styles of funerals. I’ve only attended a few myself, but it’s always the military ones that slay me.

          When we laid my grandfather to rest, I lost it and was bawling in my aunt’s lap-so totally forgot the procedure of the 21 gun salute and didn’t think to warn my then 7 yo… the guns went off, she screamed bloody murder, and my grandmother laughed like crazy.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Oh, Amy! I want to give you really big hugs and laugh right along with you. What a lovely story and really, a great testament to the joy that life is.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Amy, your grandson has the BEST taste in music!!! I’m with him 🙂

  • Helen says:

    Hi Tawny

    Huge congrats on the 25 pin I am reading this book at the moment and WOW I am loving it 🙂

    I have been to a few RWAust conferences and I have such a great time and I never take enough photos but I too will always have the memories and of course I have been to a few reader conventions and had a blast as well.

    Actually the next RWAust converence is in a couple of weeks and I will be there for the book signing and a couple of author events and I am so looking forward to catching up with everyone and I am going to meet Marie Force this time I am so excited.

    Thanks for the photos I loved them

    Have Fun

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Woot, thanks and yay Helen!! I’m so glad you’re loving Dominic’s story! And i’m so jealous you get to see Anna and Christine soon. And that they get to see you!

      I miss them tons and wish we could have whisked all of you here to the RWA conference.

  • Laurie G says:

    No trips this summer . We’re staying close to home. This weekend we’re babysitting the grandchildren. The following weekend we’re returning to my hometown to check on my 90 yo mom who fractured her pelvis in June. The 21-24, my daughter and her family are visiting our house. After that it’s Labor Day weekend!

    My daughter loves to take pictures. I will take a few myself too. I have several photo albums. I must capture the moment.

    Looks like you had a fantastic time at the conference. It’s so nice that you can all get together to share your love of writing and reading! Hope your husband had fun too!
    Congrats on your 25th book!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Oh, ouch Laurie. My sympathies and quick-recovery wishes to your mother!!! I hope she’s well soon.

      It sounds like you’ll have lots of family fun this summer, even without a lot of travel, though 🙂

      I need to start putting some of my photos into albums as you do! I always tell myself I’ll scrapbook my favorites, but, um, what about all the rest. they tend to sit on my hard drive. Or, you know, in my memory because I didn’t get a photo 😀

      Thanks tons on the congrats. My husband had a fabulous time this year, too. I wish he’d thought to take more pix, too, though LOL. He did get quite a few at the Alamo.

  • Cassondra says:

    Tawny, what a great blog! And what good times. Makes me a little melancholy that I wasn’t there. That pic of you with Beth says so much about the best parts of conference. Getting to see people you see ONLY at the con. I miss seeing all the Bandits.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Cassondra, I so wish you’d been there! So much of the conference felt unfinished, if that makes sense. I know it was the missing Bandits and lack of sufficient hugs!

      I sometimes hate that we only see so many of our favorite people at conference–if only because conference is so crazy busy and there is never enough time to sit and simply enjoy those wonderful faces. I have to laugh, though – I shared a lot of hugs with people I haven’t seen since, well, probably last conference–and these are my local chapter-mates.

      I think I might be a hermit *g*

  • catslady says:

    Love all the pics and they are everywhere lol. I use to be the one to take all the pictures starting when I got my first camera as a teenager. I kept it up for maybe 40 years and now I can’t remember when I took one except a few on my cell phone (not a smart phone so not so good). I now leave it up to my grown girls since they have all the fancy gadgets lol. But I sure wish they had digital in my day!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      I do love digital, if only for the instant gratification of it. But like you, my phone takes lousy photos and I’m rarely with a camera. i’m working on that, though 🙂

      My daughter is good with photos, like yours. But mine tends to take most of hers of her dog. Not that I don’t adore my grand puppy, but I don’t have many pics of anything else these days LOL.

  • Susan Sey says:

    Man, Tawny, you have some great pictures! And I’m not just saying that because I desperately want a 40 ounce margarita. (Though I do. Desperately.) It makes me wish I’d taken a picture of the 20 ounce schooner of beer I had at Mama Maria’s. Did we know beer came in schooners? I didn’t. But I sort of fell in love with mine after the first 10 ounces. 🙂

    • Tawny Weber says:

      I could use one, too! I wish we could get together and drink 😉

      LOL on the 20 oz schooner. Apparently my husband found one at the same time I found my margarita… but he had two. I was so glad he didn’t tell me that until after he’d managed to steer me back to the hotel without dropping me in the river. I’m still not sure how he did it if he was anywhere as blurry as I was.

      My dad was a photographer (had one of his photos featured in TV guide way back when… yep, I have the oddest claims to fame LOL) and I never could figure out why, for years, he had no pictures of us kids, none of landscapes or celebrations…they were all of food or drinks. I think I now understand.

    • Joan Kayse says:

      You downed that schooner like a champ! Put your little sailor hat on and went for it.

      What? You didn’t know Susan HAD a sailor hat? Ya learn alot about a person when you share a room 😉

      But now I am desperately wanting tacos from Maria Mia’s

  • flchen1 says:

    Awww…. those were awesome photos, Tawny! Obviously did not go to RWA but love seeing everyone’s memories through the photos they’re sharing! And woohoo!! 25?! Huge congrats–can’t wait for the NEXT 25+ 😉 Most of those should be on my keeper shelf already 😀 Happy celebrating, whether you’re taking loads of pictures or not! And in our family, DH is picture taker! We have lots, which is fun except when the kids are on the verge of rolling their eyes as Dad stops us to take “just one more” 😉

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Fedora that’s so awesome that your hubby is the family photographer 🙂 LOL on the kids and just one more picture.

      I love the idea of 25 more, and hope they are all SEALs LOL

      thank you!

  • What fun – And that Mexican restaurant makes the BEST Margaritas (says she who drank her dinner 🙂 ).

    You know – I have more pics of the sites outside the hotel than inside. I need to remember to take more selfies with friends, agents, editors, fans, etc. I really stink at remembering to break out the camera. But I had so much fun seeing everyone – it’s easy to forget.

    Next way to top off the convention. I can’t wait for next year.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Donna, we did do our share of drinking, didn’t we 😉

      I’d swore that if I had a small enough camera to fit in my badge holder, I’d use it. But I ended up not bringing it with me way too often, and even when I did I kept forgetting to get pictures. I’m seriously disappointed about that.

      Next year, watch out! I’ll be like a paparazzi stalker,

  • What gorgeous pics, Tawny! I’m sobbing into my morning cup of tea because I wasn’t there. I love in particular that one of you in the black dress with your hair all ruffled. You look like a super model. Congratulations on your 25th book! That’s an amazing achievement and every one a winner, baby!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Foanna, I was seriously bummed that you weren’t there. I was even more bummed that the one darned time I did remember to take my camera, which was the RITA awards, I lifted it to my face and prepared to snap a photo as your gorgeous face came on screen… and the battery died. All I could do was whine. a loud, whimpering sort of whine. I was so upset.

      LOL on the hair. Part of the pre-Harlequin party event included hair and makeup for anyone who wanted to participate. So I asked the stylist to give me curls (yes, I’d straightened my usually curly hair for the event, then asked for curls. My husband is still trying to figure that one out.)

      The stylist said she was going to give me Victoria’s Secret hair. I laughed. A lot. Of course I’d had a couple more margaritas by then, but I thought she did a pretty good job 🙂

      Thank you so much for the congrats and the sweet words, btw 🙂

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Congrats, Tawny! Twenty-five books is quite the accomplishment!

    Great photos! I could use one of those margaritas about now. 😉

    I had so much fun hanging out with you and the rest of the Bandits in attendance last week. Sure missed those who were’t there though. 🙁

    I took oodles of photos (been posting them all week at The Romance Dish) but still upset over the fact that I didn’t get one of Anna’s first signing. I trolled the “S” aisles but didn’t see her!

    I have a good photo of you and Beth, and one of you alone, from Rita night. I’ll be posting it tomorrow or Saturday with my blog at the Dish.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hi PJ! Hugs and thank you so much 🙂 It was so wonderful to spend a little time with you this year. And OMG your chocolates. My mouth is still watering, they were so delicious.

      You were seriously rocking that camera. And wow, you have so many awesome photos on the Romance Dish site, I’m having photo envy 😉 I’ll have to look for my face soon *g* Especially as it sounds like you have the only photo of me from the RITA night! I’m a little scared to see it LOL (nope, no drinking that night! But I’d hit exhaustion, big time).

      Anna was way off to my right, as I was sitting facing the auction baskets. I did start giggling after awhile – I had as many people stop to ask me where Anna was as I did ask for a book.

      Hugs and thanks for the congrats 😉

  • Kaelee says:

    Congratulations on the 25 book pin!

    I’d love to go to a RWA book signing. I’d get my husband to come along and take lots of pictures.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hugs and thanks, Kaelee! I hope you can come to a signing soon. We’re in New York next year… any chances of you, your hubby and his camera making it?

  • Mozette says:

    Hey! That event looks like fun!

    But Summer for you, Winter for us! I’m going to attend a great event soon and that’s the 2nd Birthday of the Creative Markets where I’m a retailer… very cool. I’ll be at the undercover markets and enjoying every minute as I have a new line of picture frames and over-sized pegs on offer! I also have a new set-up which I’ll be using… not too bad if you ask me. 😀

    I”m looking forward to the rest of the year, as I’m seriously thinking of getting myself a website for Crafty Pegs to kick along my little hobby business and pull in more money. 😀 It’ll be a free one until I can afford to spend some money on a really good one – through Wix.com 😀

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hey Mozette 🙂

      It was tons of fun. It sounds as if you have a fun winter planned, too! That all sounds so cool, especially the website and beginning to promote your business! Good luck and many congrats 🙂

  • Tawny, love the pics!! I missed being in San Antonio and seeing you all.

    Congratulations on the 25 book milestone, too. Wowza!!

  • Joan Kayse says:


    It was great seeing you all! You looked FABULOUS! As did Beth and Anna (my crunchie’s connection)

    Wonderful milestones with your 25 book award, Anna’s first signing, Susan’s first schooner ride. Oh, and yeah…I didn’t get to…ahem…ride the cowboy. He was too little (young) and I had to throw him back :0