Girls Write Out
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Orlando...Life is so random! And so is this post.

Well, when I got there I still had my concussion, so I really didn't "wake up" until Saturday, when Mel Hodde (part of Hannah Alexander's writing team with his wife Cheryl) used his osteopath skills and snapped my head back in order.

Unfortunately for me, but moreso for the audience, I spoke on Friday morning. At least I think I did. I remember having a conversation about how Dyson vacuums are the bomb, and that's about it.

Orlando has no coffee, which is something like hades to me -- then you add in the sweat factor and let's just say I'm on the right (left) coast. I had a stimulating conversation with an Israeli software programmer, told him I wrote a book on how they were geeks and he laughed. It's very hard to offend people here. I need that.

Stephanie Whitson made me the most GORGEOUS pillow case out of a darling handbag material, with my trademark lime green as lining. I adore it!

Dave Coble schlepped his wife's stuff up to the room, and then he schlepped my stuff because he just doesn't look right without carrying something. : ) I had the best meal with them and the Hodde's at this great restaurant called Bogard's. We shared deep fried dill pickles in wasabi. YUM!

My agent knew I'd be tired after my signing and got me a key to her room to rest. That was cool! I was sitting with my new editor from Tyndale at the Peabody Hotel and this Disney voice says, "Ladies and Gentleman, please direct your attention to..." And these six little ducks come waddling in a line and jump in the fountain for the day.

I saw Fireworks from my room at Sea World. Oh and I didn't bring my DVD player because my Mac Air is lighter without it. Normally, I watch Bridget Jones's Diary on the way out to a conference, and the way back. People on the plane don't know I've seen it 8 bajillion times. Since I didn't bring it, I worked and when I got to the hotel, "Bridget Jones's Edge of Reason" was on, and I saw it from the beginning. The night before my signing, the BBC (Colin Firth) version of "Pride & Prejudice" was showing. It was serendipity!

After my signing, before my agent's big party, I saw a soccer shop and wanted to get my sons a jersey (one of them to match the dog!) So I take a cab to this not so great part of town, buy the shirts, and I have no way to get back. So I walk to the nearest hotel (can you say sweat like a pig?) and talk about random, there is this mini-golf place with all these baby alligators outside next to the sidewalk in a pen. How cool is that?

Oh, and the Christy's were fun this year! It was really neat to hear all the highlights of moving the CBA and fiction forward happened. I remembered them all, but it was nice to be reminded of God's providence in the matter. I was glad I didn't win since I had no speech whatsoever, and everyone had gotten up there and unfurled these papers. I would have been like, "You like me! You really like me!" LOL

When I checked into my hotel for the signing, I signed up for a massage to get my muscles back in order after my fall. This is hilarious! I wanted to save time because Denise and I were eating out, so I wore my suit to the spa, got my massage and took a shower in the spa to save time. Except I forget to shed my undies, so I had to go back upstairs and change anyway. I'm pleading concussion on that one.

Denise Hunter put up with me again this year (Felix & Oscar together again!) The signing was fun. I love to connect with readers. The English/South Africans/Aussies get my humor. I think it's all the Jane Austen I read. I got home at 2 a.m. on Monday morning, so not a great way to start the week and I've been doing laundry since I came home. I feel human again. I was with writers and I LOVE learning from them and just drinking in their energy.

I'm really blessed to do this for a living, and I'm grateful to no end. I came home to a new air conditioning system and a brand new water heater. Life just doesn't get much better than that.

Alligators on the sidewalk
Diann Mills & Me
My signing
2008 Writer's Retreat -- Weirdos Unite!
posted at 12:52 AM  
  Comments (29)
Delicious Delicious
At 2:50 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Whatever would you write about if life wasn't so crazy?

There has to be some basis to your stories in real life even if most of it is pure fiction.

Who wants a boring life anyway?

Sounds like you had a great time inspite of the mishaps.

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Weirdo unit! Love it! Should be our branding phrase.

Good to see you, as always, and I hope you're feeling better.


At 8:11 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Ahem, we DID find good coffee after a few days. Hawaiian coffee, even! But that was our one complaint about our gorgeous Embassy Suites on Jamaican Ct: lousy coffee. Not strong enough and not a good bean.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Glad you're feeling better :)

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Charlotte said...

I was in Orlando in April for vacation, and on the last night my husband and I went on a "date" to Bogard's. It was wonderful! We'll be going back there again next time.

I understand the coffee issue, too. My family owns a coffee house (where Denise gets her cinnamon lattes). When I'm home I get my fix every day, but on vacation it can take me the whole week to find a good latte.

Looks like you had a great time, thanks for sharing the pictures!

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Sharon A. Lavy said...

No Coffee. Surely you jest!!!

At 10:37 AM, Blogger hotcoffeenow said...

Sounds like a fun time! My sister lives in Orlando and I can attest to the lack of decent coffee there. Even she's stopped drinking the stuff....and I'm not sure if she's my real sister or adopted now.....


At 10:39 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Cheryl, tell your sister to try Bad Ass Coffee. It's fabulous! And from Hawaii. Every morning they even have pure Kona coffee which is to die for.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Colleen, don't be swearing on my blog. Speaking of swearing, I found the BEST book that had me laughing out loud. She is so me, only much nastier. If you have a harsher disposition: Bright Lights, Big A** by Jen Lancaster. The first page has quite a few F bombs, so it's not for the faint of heart.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Jen Lancaster has a funny MySpace blog I've been following for years, too. She is funny.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Deep fired dill pickles and wasabi? YUM!!! I need to try that. I'd eat anything with wasabi on it! :D

Sounds like you had a fab time, Kristin! Except the no coffee part. Ugh. That's why I always carry coffee with me - the grounds to make it I mean. :)

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Rachel Holliday said...

Glad all of you had fun in Orlando.

I hate to admit this among all of you coffee connisseurs, but I just don't get the attraction. I used to say that I would only resort to hot beverages when I was turning blue from the cold, but now that I live in Florida, that never happens, and I can only withstand an annual hot chocolate. When I do have my special cocoa, I close my eyes and pretend I am somewhere with a temperature of less than 70 degrees. My husband's 86-year-old grandmother is living with us right now, and she analyzes EVERY cup of coffee she has. "Too weak, too strong, not like Dunkin' Donuts, etc." Very rarely is a cup made to her exact specifications. All I can say is that you are an interesting species, coffee drinkers. :)

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Rachel, we didn't start out coffee addicts. I didn't start until after my second child. I hooked Colleen and she was older than me. And we drink it cold, FYI. But I suppose we don't get the attraction to cocaine either. We're COFFEE addicts, and it's easy to get hooked on this legal stimulant, trust me! Then, the taste comes later. : )

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Rachel Holliday said...

LOL, Kristin. My husband is a coffee addict, too. He has withdrawal headaches if he doesn't have a cup in the morning. I laughed at myself after I said you were an interesting species, because I am a vegetarian, and I know that makes me the odd one... :)

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I want that book you're signing! ;)

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I'm more of a hot tea drinker. My husband makes me a cup every morning. I think it's why we have such a good marriage. :)

But my sister is a huge coffee addict. She walks into my house and starts demanding coffee. I've even come home to find her in my living room with a book and a cup of coffee. Boundaries! No really, she's just funny about it, unless she can't have a cup when she wants it, then she gets mean.

Hubby is from the South so he's a big sweet tea drinker but he uses waaay too much sugar. Random information. Anyway. I love hearing about other Jane Austen fanatics. I've read all the books and have all the movies. Have you ever seen the modern day remake where instead of five sisters they're five friends renting a house in college together? It's a really funny adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and very clean and wholesome too.

Glad you're feeling better!

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Ausjenny said...

Wow sounds like a busy time.

Im so glad we aussies get your humour we are known for a more laid back style and tend to confuse people with our humour.

I learnt from a previous post I cant be a writer I am not addicted to Coffee for that matter I dont like coffee.

But glad you had a good time after your neck was adjusted.

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Sarah, have you ever seen an Italian drink coffee? They get a little espresso and DUMP the sugar in, it's hilarious! My maiden name was Compani, and a Con Panna is espresso with whip, which is my favorite. It was named after me. LOL

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Krista Phillips said...

Good Grief! I don't check your blog for a few days and y'all are cussin and talking about F bombs!!! What's up with that?? *grin*

Sounds like you had an awesome time! I've only been to FL once and it was in like Feb/March, so wasn't too bad.

Anyway, I'll say an extra prayer or two for you heathens here tonight!!

(Since I know sometimes sarcasm doesn't carry through cyberspace like it should, please insert Krista's highly sarcastic tone throughout this comment!)

At 1:27 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Well Krista, you hadn't been here for awhile, so we thought we might sneak one by you. : ) My kids call that coffee house, "Bad Donkey". Miss Colleen should too. She started it!!!! (Pointing finger and sneering!)

At 2:18 AM, Blogger Anna Marie said...

"Bad Donkey." Too funny.

Very good pictures of you Kristin!
Love your hair!

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Yah, my coffee has to have plenty of sugar in it and preferably flavored creamer too. Whipped cream never hurt anything either.

I was in Portugal several years ago (wonderful place, cafe on every corner and several in between) and they have a drink there called a beka (bee-kuh). It's like super strong espresso which you're supposed to sip through a thin layer of cream but it's awful! The tiny cup won't hold enough sugar to make it drinkable, at least in my opinion. Others were having no problem. But they had amazing pastries that made anything here in the states tastes like heavy bricks.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

If I called it Bad Donkey no one would know what it was! Then they would miss out on that great coffee. LOL

See what you started, Krista? LOL

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Thank you for the compliments on my hair, but I have to tell you, my hairdresser didn't have time to cut it and color, so I went with color and did it myself, and it's like a bad mullet. I cannot wait to get it cut! LOL

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips said...

Colleen, I got you to type two, count them TWO LOL's out of it, so my comment was well worth the 15 seconds it took to type it:-)

Ok, seriously, FUNNIEST story (I so need to find a place to put this in a book...) My 7 year old came home from school one day last year and told me that a kid on the bus had said the D word. I was like, oh crap, here it starts. She was absolutely appalled at the kid saying this, but I was appalled because I didn't even know she KNEW what the D word was. I asked her if she even knew what the D word, because I still couldn't believe it, and she nodded and responded in a whisper, "It's dumb..."

I cried I laughed so hard, but then tried to act serious (which was negated by my tears of laughter) and tell her that yes, dumb was not the best word to say.

A few weeks later, she came home talking about the "S" word. Again, we went through the talk, and she whispers, "It's stupid..."

I was able to contain myself this time, but had a good laugh later with my husband.

I realize my time will come and I'll have to deal with all kinds of crud, but for now, I am very thankful for my child's version of the D and S word. LOL

At 4:37 AM, Blogger Becky said...

What? No coffee in Orlando?'s a mom supposed to get through Dizzyworld without it? Ugh.

Loved the pictures (except for the creepy reptile one) sounds like y'all had a great time. Congrats on the nomination!

At 9:50 PM, Blogger hotcoffeenow said...

I sent my mom to Bad Ass today (all Italian New Yorkers move to Florida eventually) and she loved it - when she asked for an ice cube to cool her coffe they gave her a coffee ice cube! How cute. Thanks for the heads up.


At 1:02 PM, Blogger Tina said...

I'm a little slow catching up with my fav blogs. Congrats on your nomination. It was much deserved and glad you had a good, random, fun time. :)

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Tina said...

And really, your hair doesn't look like a bad mullet, which I thought it would from your more recent post. It looks lovely!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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