Thursday, July 10, 2014

RWA San Antonio Texas, July 23-27, 2014 Marriott Rivercenter

RWA in San Antonio Texas, July 23-27...Please come join us at the "Readers for Life" Literacy Event at the Marriott Rivercenter ...Free entrance to readers! Come meet authors and buy some signed books. All proceeds to benefit Literacy. (Yes, the great Nora Roberts, here with a fan, will be signing her books!)


In honor of the ghost of RWA past, here's a blog I did about one of the more embarrassing things ever to happen to Emelle Gamble! Leave a comment below about something embarrassing that happened to you, and you could WIN a FREE signed book and $25 gift card!


What not to do at RWA in San Antonio? 
Do NOT spill 10 pounds of shrimp on your shoes at Nora Robert’s party.

I’m sure you are nodding as you read the above, and thinking, “Well, what kind of dolt would do that?”
This dolt.
It was a few years ago, and Ms. Roberts had graciously invited her home chapter of RWA to join her and her many other guests for cocktail hour in her suite.
It was perfect…view out the windows glorious, delicious and varied spread of cheeses and dips and seafood, waiters with drinks on gleaming trays, fabulous clothes and sparkling party jewelry. The room was packed with well-known and much loved writers, very important editors, publicists and fans and fellow WRW members like me who were thrilled to mingle and have a couple of munchies and a fortifying drink before the Awards Ceremony.
I was nervous, as always, like most of us there, hoping to make an impression on those we wanted to do business with. I had my elevator pitch ready and my new high heels on and was keeping my eyes peeled for an editor I was dying to chat up. I decided I’d grab a drink, but realized sensibly it would be much smarter to first take a lovely little cocktail plate and grab a few bites. The line was forming, shoulder to shoulder hungry writers were starting to queue up, and I somehow, with a graceful step or three, managed to plant myself right in front of an amazing display of shrimp.
 A gorgeous silver bowl of the plumpest, freshest, yummy little creatures sat on a table covered with  crushed ice, the enormous bowl tilted just so one could poke a toothpick in and spear one without any effort at all. Plate in one hand, toothpick in the other, I first spooned on a tablespoon of lovely red cocktail sauce, then speared a shrimp.
I plopped it on the plate and frowned, not sure but wondering, did the  silver bowl gently, oh so freaking gently, begin to turn on its bed of ice? I thought it might have, no more than a degree clockwise, if I remember right. The room was warm, the ice was melting just a bit, but no problem. Surely.
I speared a second shrimp. When I picked the thing up from the mountain where it perched with a thousand of it’s lovely pink  buddies, disaster.
Like card 101 in a design that could only ever balance 100, the silver bowl of shrimp moved again. Wildly. The thing took a full, dizzying ninety-degree spin, and one second later tipped forward and spilled at least half its content onto the table, onto the table cloth, onto the floor of Ms. Nora Robert’s suite.
And onto my totally shocked and humiliated feet.
It made quite a noise. A crash, actually.  Ice, silver, shrimp, glass. I don’t know what broke, but something did.
One hundred people fell silent. And then an anonymous voice from across the room asked gently, “Is everyone thinking, Thank god I didn’t do that?”
Which was hilarious at the time to everyone but the woman with seafood stuck between her toes.
In an instant a waiter in a black coat appeared at my elbow. He smiled at me and then spoke into a walkie-talkie, which appeared in his hand as if by magic.
“We have a shrimp emergency,” he said. Clicking sounds. Static sounds. Then a disembodied voice asked, “Is there sauce involved?” The waiter met my eyes. He looked relieved. “No, no sauce.”
Many more people in black coats appeared. The shrimp was cleaned up. Replacement bowls of the jumbo little devils arrived. The hostess was gracious and kind and did not have me thrown out of her penthouse window. She waved me to come over to where she stood, sympathetic and smiling, and had me sit down while people brought me drinks. 
Later that evening, after all the fun, I had an excellent discussion with the editor I was chasing, but it centered on faux pas in public, not my book. I believe she said me vs the shrimp was the worst she had ever witnessed. Ha.Ha.Ha.
Yay! I made an impression!
Okay, so lesson learned and duly passed onto fellow Conference goers.  “Step away from the shrimp”, as my dear critique partner, Elaine Fox, now whispers in my ear whenever we’re in a buffet line anywhere.

Especially if the sneaky devils are in a bowl on an ice display, intent on proving Al Gore is totally right about Global Warming.

25 comments:

  1. Oh my, I would have just died. Well about the only thing I could compare it to is I once attended a party and unfortunately showed up in the same outfit the hostess was wearing, talk about embarrassing.

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    1. Ha! Linda Henderson, I'm sure you looked wonderful. Yes, awkward. I did this once with a gal I worked with who was a size 2. I am not a size 2...but we lived through it! thanks for posting!

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  2. Just a couple weeks ago, I was at a Country Music Festival. I was using the bathroom in a port-a-potty, and I FORGOT to lock the door. So, instead of the sign being red for in use, it was green for open. Guess what happened?? A guy (of course, it couldn't be a girl) yanked the door open while I was sitting pretty. lol It was mortifying and he was shocked, but at least there were thousands of other people there to blend in with afterwards. :)

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    1. Bless you for sharing this, Marcy. I'm sure lots of folks have done this, but that didn't help at the time, did it? Good luck in the drawing, and lock those doors!

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  3. At I believe the last RWA conference during the Literacy signing, instead of telling one of my favorite authors how much I enjoyed her books, I actually told her how disappointed I was with her last book. The previous book in her series had led me to believe that there would only be one more book. Instead the book ended with a hint of another book to come, So the story, not ending, would continue for at least one more book. In my defense (if there really is one!) I had been waiting for the current book to be released but it had been postponed at least twice. I now know she had nothing to do with the release dates and I missed the opportunity to tell her how much I enjoy her writing. Hopefully she will not remember me this year!

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  4. Oh Em Kaye, bless your heart. I'm sure that author forgave you for speaking the truth. I've heard from a couple of my loyal readers who haven't loved my latest book, DATING CARY GRANT, like they did others, and I truly appreciated it. So no worries! and thanks for posting. Your story reminds me of a talk Meg Cabot gave once where she, upon meeting Julie Andrews, gushed, "I love all your books" HA, she meant to say movies. XXX Good luck in the drawing.

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  5. Great post! I'll be sure to avoid any shrimp at conference. One of my embarrassing moments, well one that I'll admit to, happened when I was submitting a manuscript to an agent I was really interested in. We've all had the 'I forgot to sent the attachment' e-mail, but I did it twice! I was so lost in apologizing for the forgotten attachment that I forgot again. She laughed it off as no big deal, but I was mortified. Luckily the third time was a charm.

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    1. Jenn, this is hilarious! I once sent (when I was very very young and inexperienced - HA) a resume to a job and followed the directions to a T. Addressed it to SASE because the ad said, send : SASE and address. A year later I discovered SASE meant self addressed envelope. I am sure someone is still laughing at how dumb I was!

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  6. Emelle ~ Great post & great lesson learned! That's certainly one way to make an impression. I'm sure it helped that others made light of the situation to get you through. Use of humor is a wonderful way to ease those tense moments. And, a little graciousness from the host/hostess goes a long way. ;0) Thanks for sharing your trip down memory lane with us!

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    1. Thanks for your post, Mackenzie Lucas. Since we're sure to be attending the same cocktail parties in the future, I just want you to know I've got your back and will be your warning voice. Or I'll spill something first. HA! Either way, I'm there for you babe. XXX

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  7. Oh, God, this was so funny! I mean, had I been there, it would have been me and not nearly so funny, but since it...you know, wasn't...thanks for sharing it. I feel like such a doofus sitting alone in my office wiping my eyes from laughing, but, again, thank you!

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    1. You are so welcome dear Liz Flaherty. I am glad I provided a little comic releif, and must say many people have said this, and I have even smiled at the memory. But only at the memory! HA. Thanks for your post.

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  8. Giggling! That would be something I would do!

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    1. I don't believe it for one moment Collette Cameron. You lovely, elegant Regency authors are always too together to stand calf deep in seafood. HA! Thanks for posting.

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  9. When in high school I was writing a note back and forth with my best friend about a boy I had a crush on who just happened to be in the same class at the time and the teacher caught us and decided to read the note in front of the whole class as a punishment. I wanted to die right there. I'm sure my face was red as a beet. I couldn't even look at my crush for I'm sure I would have died. But it turned out he liked me to and we ended up together for a while. So it really wasn't the end of the whole. But it sure felt like it at the time. Lol.

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    1. I hate that teacher, Spring Adams, and may kill her in a book. HA! Totally feel it love...embarrassment at that age is worse than the flu. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Last year in Atlanta I kind of stalked the editor I had an appointment with. Well, it turned into stalking. She sat across from me in the bar with one of her writers and I recognized her from facebook (sounds stalkerish already, doesn't it?) We talked. I introduced myself, but didn't mention I was going to pitch her later. We kept bumping into each other all through the conference (honestly it was coincidental). And when I finally sat across from her for the appointment she said, "You!" ( I almost fell off my chair) Then she admonished me for not making the connection earlier for her and all those times we could have taken advantage of. (sigh) Lessons learned....

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    1. Great story, Kim. I was waiting for you to say..."You! Security!!!". HA! But yes, as intimidating as RWA conferences can be, when you remember they are women just like us, willing to return a smile or a hello, or even have a conversation if it isn't interrupting anything, then it's fun. Thanks for the post!

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    2. KIM HANDYSIDES...Come on down! You won the $25 gift card and a signed copy of SECRET SISTER! Please email me your mailing address and your goodies will be on their way. Thanks everyone for the wonderful and fun posts! XXX Emelle

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  11. Okay, so...I can't begin to imagine your embarrassment--even though it was not your fault. I think that I would have yelled out, "Seafood, anyone?" And then smiled like an idiot. The most humiliating thing that ever happened to me was years ago, when I was dancing at a wedding reception--and for some reason, known to God alone, the elastic band on my half slip gave out and the slip fell to the floor, puddling around my feet. You can only imagine the comments and laughter that followed that episode...

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    1. Thanks for the morning chuckle dear Linda Lee Williams. Yes, I am sure you were the focus of the party jokes for awhile, but what a character builder, right? HA! Just like me and the seafood feet. Thanks for posting...

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  12. I had a garage sale with neighbors years ago, and put out a gift my neighbor had brought me back from vacation. She mentioned it to me and I thought I would die. Of course I did not remembe that it was from her.

    Patoct

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  13. Ok. No laughing....I was at a formal "black tie" event. I took about 3 steps (in my new FMPs) and lost it....I slid down the aisle between the rows of tables and wound-up face up, under the Pipers... In Full Regalia.... Regimental.... ��

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  14. Nothing embarrasses a girl more than what happened to me on my 1st date: upon leaving a restaurant's ladies room, I hadn't seen the toilet paper stuck on the bottom of my snadals, but HE did! P.S. Our relationship did not have an Emelle Gamble novel ending,not sure if the paper was the kibosh or not! )

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  15. Oh, God, this was so funny! I mean, had I been there, it would have been me and not nearly so funny, but since it...you know,
    thanks for sharing...

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