More people recognize me when I'm smiling
It's the freakiest thing. All I have to do is squint at my phone and my own chapter mates will pass me by without realizing who I am. But as soon as I smile at one person, five more appear.

The first timer ribbons and speaker ribbons colours look the same to me
I told a few speakers on Tuesday that they should really attend the First Timer's Orientation Session, including Winnie Griggs, the fabulous author running the session. Colour me embarrassed. She was very appreciative of me recommending the session, though!

Stay out of the pitch appointment bull pen as long as you can
This is what messed me up at my first National -- hanging out with so many nervous, stressed-out writers made me jumpier than a Cirque de Soleil member. This time I checked in 15 minutes prior and kept smiling, which, of course, led to me connecting with a lot of great people and took my mind off my nerves.

It's National, not Nationals
I have to thank Ali Cunliffe for correcting me on this one early in the week. I had no idea I'd been saying it wrong. Of course, that's the least embarrassing wrong thing I've said this week. ;)

Read nametags
Oh. Mah. Gawd. At least five times I ended up chatting up some "first timer" people who definitely have been here many times before. I thank everyone for being so nice to the girl from Toronto.

Don't hug people in a dark ballroom unless they hug you first
This kind of goes along with reading nametags. Even if you think you know them, you may not. 'Nuff said.

Taking breaks works
During my first National (in San Francisco) I attended every workshop I could and went out for lunches and dinners and drinks, oh my! This time around, I took time out for quiet times and I'm having a way better time.

The Marriot Marquis Times Square details:

The elevators
Even though I watched a video of how the elevators work at the hotel, it's still a surreal experience not having buttons to push while you zoom up 30 floors in a glass-enclosed bubble. These pods of terror triggered a lot of fears and created some new ones for me. Playing elevator bingo by checking off the letter of each elevator I took helped a little for a day or two, but not much. Le sigh. I'll get over it one day.

The room's toilets
You might describe them as "the flush heard 'round the world". And I thought the elevators were scary!

Well, that's all I have to say for now. I've got to get myself all prettied up for the awards as we cheer on Eve Silver, who's up for the RITA in the Paranormal category. Go Eve, go!

Labels: ,