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August 05, 2008



Wow, Julie, you look fabulous!! How incredibly fun! And I'm a completely dimwit, but I didn't realize you live in SF! I grew up there :) I live a little farther away than a MUNI ride now, so I missed the signing, which looked like tons of fun! Thanks for the photos!

Megan Crane

I can't believe I didn't see you again after the first couple of days... Crazy conference. And that red dress is HOT!

Julie Anne Long

Hey Fedora! Thanks for the compliments!! :) When we put a little effort into it, sometimes we authors actually clean up rather well. LOL. Though it's weird getting used to wearing something other than jeans and t-shirts for days on end. :) You lived in SF?? Whereabouts? It was fun to have the conference in my city this year, but it turned out to be stranger logistically than I thought it would be. Although the weather REALLY cooperated -- sun! warmth!! in AUGUST! You know how astonishing that is if you lived here. LOL. Next year, however, the conference will be in melting Washington, D.C. Glad you enjoyed the pics! Anna Campbell just wrote to me to tell me there are more coming. LOL.

Megan!! :) It was so much fun to see you, as always. And i know -- the days totally became a blur after a while. The conference is not only like another planet, it's like another time zone. Did you have fun, overall?? I saw you guys in the back row of my presentation -- thanks for coming!!! I totally felt more relaxed seeing you there. :) Did you go to the Ritas? They kept showing Toni and me on the monitors, and like a dork I think I pointed several times when they did that: "Look! We're on TV!!" Toni was reduced to hissing at me, "be cool! be cool!!" What did you wear? Any pics?? I'd love to put all kinds of conference pics up on my blog. My dress was a serendipitous bargain, my favorite *kind* of dress. :) Silk and velvet! I felt like Santa's expensive mistress. :)


Hi, Julie. We do look like we're having a great time in the picture, don't we? :P

You and Toni looked fabulous in the photos. I asked Toni the same question, but did you have a hard time finding the perfect dress for the Ritas? It must be fun to get all decked out for an event like that.

I hope the conference comes back to SF in the near future. It was so convenient for me to hop on a bus to go downtown. Like you said, it was wonderful that the weather also cooperated. I had a great time at the literacy signing, meeting authors I admire and whose books I enjoy so much. I even got to meet Susan Elizabeth Phillips and take a picture with her. She was very friendly.

Toni Blake

Just chiming in to say hey, and thanks for posting the Rita night pictures. Even though I didn't win, I had a fabulous evening and you were a great "date" : ) (Julie got me water and gave me lip gloss when my lip color had faded, among providing other general support. So it balanced out with all the pointing when the cameras were on us. ; ) ) And Diana, it was fabulous to meet you in person!! How fun! I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all : )

Kathy K

Fabulous pictures Julie! You and Toni look as though you're right at home dressed up; and you're both all ready to go to town... or is that out on the town? LOL ('course "going to town" is probably more like it.)

And it sounds as though everything went very, very well indeed. Now it's time to recuperate, right?

I'm well... although this week the weather's taken a turn for the hotter... last week was soooo much nicer! Cool mornings, warmish afternoons, cool nights... Bliss! This week, definitely not so much.
Last week I was able to get a LOT or work done in my gardens... good thing 'cause I'm not heading out there to work in this weather... (of course everyone else thinks this is just nice summer weather.)
It's also quite hard to believe that it's already well into August. My second youngest is heading to LA with her boyfriend and his family to visit his relatives next week. That leaves our poor Teresa home alone, with just us her parents, for two weeks. Poor kid! LOL
As for the rest of my sometimes busy life ~ babysitting as usual; a nice to way to have little ones around without having them full time... or even related to me ~ yet!

Good to have you back... we missed you!


I grew up in the Sunset, and my folks still live there. It IS amazing when summer weather in SF cooperates! I always bring a sweater in SF, just in case :) And ooh, DC! I've never been there! How long have you lived in SF?

Julie Anne Long

Diana -- you know, the Rita dress was sort of serendipitous! Sometimes it's an arduous, suspenseful hunt for the right dress, and other times it just happens. There's a store in my neighborhood that sells designer overstock from department stores like Macy's, etc., and every now and then I find a gem. I saw that dress hanging in the window, and it was my size, and it was 75% off the marked price, a price which would normally make my eyes pop. Voila! Destiny!! LOL. I would love to see RWA in San francisco again -- truthfully, the weather here is probably more hospitable than any other city in July. And next time it's in San Francisco, I'll stay in the hotel. :) Susan Elizabeth Phillips *is* awfully nice. I met Suzanne Brockmann, too, at my agent's party. All those ladies are awfully nice. If I'm ever in their league, hopefully everyone will go around saying, "Julie Anne Long? Even though she sold 40 million books last year, she's awfully nice." Hee!

Toni, if I was a good Rita date, it's because I learned how to be one from you!! Next time, however, I'm bringing a tiny flask of something. Cognac? Can you get cognac in a flask?? Maybe we can get cognac flavored lip gloss. :)

Kathy!! I'm glad to be back, too! What a whirlwind the conference always is, before, during, and for a good week or so after, it seems, while you play catch-up and write to people you met, etc. Hence the conference-lag. It's a genuine phenomenon! Sorry your weather is getting hot -- I know you don't like hot. We could use some of it here!! Freaking FOGGY for the past three days! I'm wearing a wool sweater in the house. :) I swear my cat is growing a winter coat. LOL. Just kidding. It'll probably be quite hot in LA, too, for your daughter. What are you doing in your garden? Planting, or just tending? I kind of miss spending time in a garden. How's that baby bunny -- probably grown up by now, right?? Ever see him around?

Fedora -- ah, the Sunset. the most ironically named district in San Francisco. LOL. The sun hardly comes out there!!! Just kidding. But it just feels that way sometimes. When I first moved here (15 years ago?? 20 years ago?? A long time now! I was mostly raised in the East Bay.) Having a sweater at all times is a necessity in San Francisco, as the weather can change on a dime. I was explaining to someone at the conference: I can pretty much wear the same clothes year-round -- say, jeans and a t-shirt, or a dress -- by just adding a sweater, or a coat, or maybe leggings. Every now and then we get the rare very chilly (for us) or very scorching (for us) day, but still. I'm looking forward to DC, but I"ve heard that it's miserably, miserably, insanely hot and humid there in July. :) But I want to spend time in the Smithsonian, etc. I might try to go earlier or stay later to enjoy it. I have an old friend in DC, and I'd love to see her and her family.

Megan Crane

We did make your presentation. I'm glad you felt calmer because of it, though you seemed cool as a cucumber throughout! I had a fantastic time--the best RWA yet, I think, of all the ones I've attended. Must be the magic of San Francisco!

I have way too many conference pictures up on my blog-- take whatever you want! My dress was far less slinky than yours, but then, my books are less slinky, too...

Julie Anne Long

It's so funny, Megan, but so many people I talked to this year said that about this particular conference -- that it was their favorite conference yet! Me,included. And at first I thought it might be a San Francisco thing (because hey-- San Francisco!), but then I realized that most of the people who'd said it was their favorite conference so far started out writing and attending conferences about the same time I did - I think we're all just growing up as authors! Awwww. :) We're more relaxed, confident, we know what to expect, what to wear, what's important, what we'll be doing, yadda yadda. We know more people, etc. It probably takes a few years to get to that place. :) That almost too cavalier place. LOL.

I like your word for my dress -- slinky!! I described it as "a trifle slutty" to someone. LOL. I prefer your word.

I'm off to go check out your blog photos..


Julie, that's so awesome that your dress was 75% off. I'm all about a good deal when it comes to clothes. I'm glad people seem to have enjoyed their conference time in SF. Maybe it won't take another eighteen years for it to return to our fair city. :)

Ah, the Sunset. I went to high school in the Sunset, so I spent four years trekking out there via public transportation. If I remember correctly, it usually took about forty-five minutes to get to and from school. Now that I think back, I can't believe I did that every morning and afternoon for four years, but then again, I didn't have a choice. I've also been going to some Stern Grove shows this summer, so have been getting reacquainted with the Sunset. I'm usually too lazy to make it out to that neighborhood because I think it's too far from where I live.


Wow! I'm on Julie's blog. I feel like just as much of a superstar as when I was sitting with Julie at the ceremony! I had such a blast with Toni, Jackie, and Julie - I highly recommend any of them as RITA dates. And Julie really knows how to ration water. There will always be a place for her in my bomb shelter. ;)

Thanks for helping make my conference so special, Julie! You rock, and it's been so fun to brag to my friend about hanging with you. And thanks for your kind words about the video - that means a lot coming from a fellow video maker! ;)

Congrats on the AAR poll! But how to choose a favorite of yours... :)

Julie Anne Long

Diana -- I just had to say - the sun is out today!! Hallelujah!! I didn't think i could take one more completely fogged in day in a row, though rumor had it it was sunny *downtown* yesterday. And it's funny how accustomed we get to long commutes get here in the city, just within city limits -- I used to commute for about an hour or more from the Inner Sunset to my job out near North Point, usually walking that last fifteen minutes through the Embarcadero. You just get used to bringing a book or some work with you on the train. There was a study done some time ago about how people in big cities read a lot more, and frankly, I think it's because of public transportation. :) I wish there were more direct routes to different parts of the city. Transit was set up when all the various districts were still evolving, it seems, and the lines don't necessarily make total sense anymore. and I love that Stern Grove concert series, but the usual weather out there is definitely a deterrent, boy. Brrrrr!! What have you seen in Stern Grove this year? Anything good??

Lindsey, you're cracking me up!! The whole Fetching Water episode at the Ritas was very Mission Impossible. LOL. They almost wouldn't let me back into the auditorium!! And then we rationed what I'd managed to purloin between the four of us like they were the last drops on earth. it WAS a fun night, and you guys were great dates. I'm so glad we could all share Toni's big night. :) And thanks for the AAR congrats!! I felt venerable when I heard the news. :) I'll be curious about which book of mine people seem to prefer. I swear, they're all about neck and neck if I go by reader feedback and email. My favorite is always the one I'm working on! :) *Speaking* of which...LOL. I'm going to get some sunshine, do a bunch of writing, and put a newsletter together -- in that order -- today. :)

Kim C

Hey Julie!! And Linds! LOL. Small world, Linds was one of my roomies. She's got the cutest pjs.

Julie--it was SO awesome to hang with you. I keep telling everyone "our" story; when I saw the first homeless man. Yes, I'm a hick and easily entertained. I canNOT believe you and I didn't get a picture taken together. :( I can't believe you were able to actually blog as soon as conference was over. Its 7 days and I'm just crawling out of post-conference-lag. You're my hero!


Man, I was sweating at Stern Grove today. Sweating! I never thought I'd ever sweat in the Sunset. I made the mistake of wearing a long-sleeved shirt, too. Boy, was I hot! I've been to four shows this season: Booker T. Jones and Bettye Lavette; Rachid Taha and MC Rai (both influenced by Arabic music); Bajofondo (an electro-tango group that features the composer of movies such as Brokeback Mountain, Babel, and Motorcycle Diaries) and Si*Se; and today's show, which featured Hawaiian music. It's actually my first time attending shows this season.

I hope the nice weather continues and that I dress appropriately for it. :)


Hi Julie, You and Toni look beautiful! Thanks for the extra pics, it's always fun seeing Authors fun after the conference. Hope you have a restful recovery this week.


Julie - those are such great pictures, and what gorgeous dresses! I've heard so many terrific stories about RWA - I'd love to go to one of the signings someday :)

Suzie Lockhart

You look great! I bet you had a fabulous time!! (Sitting the corner pouting because I missed all the fun. LOL).

Sandy Y

Great pictures! You ladies all look beautiful!

Karen Lewis

Seeing you wearing that gorgeous red dress made me think of a movie I saw awhile back -well how about a long while back - called The Lady In Red. It was a loosely based biography of John Dillinger's girlfriend. I prefer the alternate titles to that movie -Guns, Sin and Bathtub Gin and Touch Me and Die. Those would make great titles for one of your novels don't you think? The sad part is that the girl doesn't get the guy in the end. Seriously, you look marvelous and I'll bet you had a great time.


You all looked lovely in your beautiful dresses - glad you had a good time at the conference. I already voted for my favorite book written by you (all of them of course). :o)

Julie Anne Long

Hey Kim!! I had a great time hanging out with you -- it's always fun to see San Francisco through the eyes of someone who hasn't been here before -- very illuminating! And remember the flying newspaper?? Cracked me up! This wide-open cast-off newspaper page was sort of carthweeling through the air (we were sitting at an outdoor cafe) heading straight toward us and Kim smacked it away from us like a volleyball -- and it hurtled off through the air to a table near us and totally smacked this guy in the face and completely wrapped his head. Oops! His expression was priceless. Dunno if you had to be there, but talk about a slapstick moment! I'm about to send you an email on a few other things, Kim!! :) still playing catch-up!!

I know, Diana -- I can imagine it was warm at Stern Grove this weekend -- Saturday was gorgeous!! -- but the fog today will just not burn off! I'm really over it. :) I think it might be sunny downtown, and I might have to flee down there tomorrow. :) Sounds you saw some cool concerts, and I'm sorry the concert series kind of got away from me this year. There's next year! Is the ballet doing anything in Stern Grove this year, do you know? Can't wait for the season to begin. :)

Toni Blake

Golly wow, thanks for all the kind words about the dresses, ladies. Although, I don't remember the water rationing. Where was I when this was taking place? I remember drinking some, but then telling you I didn't want it all because I didn't want to have to pee but that I also didn't want to hold a cup all night. That's where my memory of the water saga ends. Lindsey, what you said about the bomb shelter totally cracked me up. I hope I can do something to garner entrance even though I know naught about good rationing technique ; )

For those who have never been to an RWA conference, I highly recommend it! It's always one of the highlights of my year : )

Toni Blake

P.S. You know that great picture of the 4 of us up there? Well, when I got it printed, the tops of our heads and bottoms of our dresses are chopped off! Because you know how some digital camera give you an image that isn't really 4 x 6 - mine is one of those. So now I have a not-so-lovely picture of us for my album : ( Suppose I will have to settle for reliving the memory online ; )

Julie Anne Long

You guys are such sweethearts!! I wasn't *really* fishing (honest!) but thanks for the compliments! :) LOL. My red dress was a STEAL, btw -- one of those serendipitous finds/markdowns, and I felt very glamorous in it. I sometimes think I enjoy the hunt for the bargain more than the clothes. :) This week it's back to jeans and t-shirts and the hair piled in a utilitarian ponytail atop the head as I burn up the keyboard. LOL. Lime and Suzie and Dena and Sandy and everyone -- I really do hope you get to go to an RWA conference one of these days!! It's so much fun for me to see the faces and hear the voices that go with your names. Conferences can be a bit overwhelming at first, but then they're a blast. It's in DC next year, and then...NY again?? Can't remember.

You're cracking me up, Karen -- Touch me and Die! AWESOME title for a book. :) I think i'll throw that one in the naming hopper when we get to naming the third book in my series, just to make my editor laugh. Although, of course, our hero and heroine MUST end up together. ;) We did have a great time at the conference, and by the time the Ritas roll around at the end of the week, everyone is punchy from lack of sleep and from drinking more booze (from various cocktail parties and other celebratory events) than they normally have in a year. :) Hard NOT to have a good time! :)

And thanks for voting, Barbara!! You're such a sweetheart! :) I think my favorite book of mine is always the one I'm working on. :) (the third book in this series is due to my editor on 10/1). I wonder if I'll view all of this differently one day? It's interesting, because in addition to the stories, plots and characters, etc., every book has an association for me based on whatever was happening in my life, too. Guess we'll see how it turns out!!

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