When the Virginia Romance Writers asked me to do a workshop for one of their meetings, it was a simple yes for me. My goal is to meet with every RWA chapter in the country. I’m well on the way. But when I checked their website, I found out I was scheduled to talk during their Christmas party. I was sure I had the wrong date. After offering to come a different date, I was assured that they, indeed, wanted me to talk at their Christmas party. So, I get to travel to Virginia, meet the authors, talk for a couple of hours and attend a party filled with food and gifts. Score!!
The get together was held in a park in a colonial style building. The sun was shining, it was warm and it was way too nice a day for a Christmas party. I knew I wasn’t in Wisconsin anymore. They had a terrific sign welcoming the members.
Although the main focus of my talk was Building Reader Loyalty, there was such an intimate connection with the group that it was soon more like a conversation between friends. We laughed, we cried, we connected and energized each other. One of my favorite parts is having someone come up to me afterward and tell me they identified with something I said.
The Virginia chapter also held their awards ceremony thanking members for their service including their part in Lovefest which is the romance part of Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville March 23rd. In addition, they are now accepting entries for their HOLT Medallion contest through January 31st. Winners and Merit recipients will also appear in a full page ad in Romance Writers Report and RTBook Reviews magazine.
Tomorrow the Virginia RWA will be participating in the Celebrate With an Author Book Fair in Richmond, Virginia. 20 authors will be signing books. I’m telling you, this is one busy chapter.
One of the highlights of the day was the gift exchange. Everyone was gathered in a large circle holding a gift with Mary Ann Clark in the center. As Mary Ann read a Christmas story, the women passed the gifts to the right or left as was indicated in the story. You had to see it to believe it, especially when the family’s name was Wright and their were at least 30 people in the story (I may have exaggerated a little). Kind of sad, though, that we had to stop a few times because someone would end up with 2 gifts because they had trouble figuring out their right from their left. It was all in good fun and everyone ended up with terrific gifts.
Bottom Line: I hope I get a chance to come back and visit this enthusiastic group. It’s contagious.