I warned her. I told her, "We're here to work. We're here to network, to pitch, to develop my credibility as a creative, productive writer of romance."
She heard: "Blah-blah-blah . . . romance!"
Chain Cow, our roomies and I arrived at the Hyatt-Regency Columbus bright and early. "I need to get to my workshop!" I told her. She, however, pointed out that Cait Miller, one of my favorite people from twitter, was hanging out in Club RT (the shopping gallery and room full of goody baskets.)
When we got there, however, I realized why she really wanted us to come: Cameron Murray, from Cait's book, Finding the Magic was there.
Chain Cow had come to hook up with Mac.
I whisked her out of there double-quick.
Maybe it was cruel of me. I did not take her to the Ellora's Cave Red party that night. I thought, "erom writers + red, hot Scot" and decided it was prudent to leave her in the room. She made me pay for it later, though.
On Thursday, Chain Cow was all business and professionalism. She kept quiet in my purse while I pitched. She sat peacefully in her chair during the writing workshops and publishers' spotlights. She folded her napkin in her lap and listened respectfully to the conversation at our luncheon for Mr. Romance 2009, Charles Paz, at Schmidt's Restaurant.
Most people hardly knew she was there. I should have known better.
I should have been worried when we went out for dinner with the Cherries, fellow fans of author Jenny Crusie. Chain Cow caught sight of this gal at Buca di Beppo.
Chain Cow was mesmerized. I didn't hear what Miss Magenta said to her, but I'm pretty sure in retrospect I wouldn't have approved.
The evidence? Miss Cow's behavior at the Fairy Ball.
I told her to stick to the white milk, but did she listen to me?
The less said the better . . .
She woke up (late) the next morning, rather surly (if you don't believe me, ask Becke Martin and Gabriella Edwards). Nevertheless, I thought we'd turned a corner, learned our lesson. She was quiet—never once mentioned the Bull she once loved or Mac.
She was cordial to author Sally MacKenzie, who's most recent book is The Naked Viscount.
And then the night fell--the night of the Vampire Ball.
I thought Chain Cow was watching Heather Graham's musicale. Chain Cow seemed focused, intent, enraptured by the stage before us, so I said, "I'm going to the bar for a drink. Will you be all right while I'm gone?"
She didn't even moo.
And when I came back?
I told her, "He doesn't love you. He just sees you as prey!"
"What kind of paranormal author are you?" she lowed back. "Everyone knows that cross-species love is sublime! And by the way," she added, "Stop telling everyone you follow them on twitter. It makes you look like a stalker-geek."
"Fat lot you know," I huffed, and rolled over. We slept with our backs to each other for the rest of the night.
Saturday was book signing day. I had a date with another twitter friend, avid reader and new book reviewer Anni Lute, so I left Chain Cow in the room. Anni and I bought a ton of books, got her totebag autographed (a smart way to do it instead of bringing your own books from home) and I told everyone, "I follow you on twitter."
I should have known better. No sooner is my back turned, then Chain Cow is raiding Gabriella Edwards swag stash of promotional items.
I caught her. We had words. By the time we were to leave on Sunday, Chain Cow and I were no longer speaking.
On our way to check out, however, she shouted, "I have seen a sign!"
"I have seen a sign! I think it's about forgiveness and redemption, Keri."
And then I saw it. And I knew Chain Cow was right.
Tears came to my eyes. Milk came to her teats. The oxytocin flowed and we hugged in the embrace of hungover, sleep-deprived writer-sisters throughout the Hyatt. I forgave her for her shenanigans. She forgave me for my abandoning her in the hotel room and for separating her from the suitors of dubious intent.
We're going to try again, Chain Cow and I, and we hope you join us: Lori Foster, Dianne Castell and Barnes and Noble's Linda Keller are hosting a Reader-Author Get Together 6/4 though 6/6.
Chain Cow wants to give you a gift: Leave a comment on this blog before midnight, May 16, 2010, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a mailer full of RT convention swag—pens, bookmarks, notepads, clips, book thongs and more! (One U.S. entry per person, over age 18, please).