I totally forgot I'd pre-written yesterday's post - I got on in the morning intending to tell you all about Saturday and stopped short when I saw I'd already posted. Since I didn't want to bog you down with a double post, here's what I'd planned to share, just a day late.
Saturday was one of those busy running-around days. After waking up at the godforsaken hour of 4 a.m. I had to drive into Toronto for the monthly Toronto Romance Writers' meeting. I'm proud to say I earned a chocolate because I was able to announce that I'd received word from the RWA that I've finally achieved PRO status. And I also got to hold up my cover and show it off in person. (I know, it's pathetic, but each step I take on the road to seeing Private Property that much closer to being published is so exciting. Besides, that cover is gorgeous!)
Maria Snyder, who has written Poison Study, Magic Study and NY Times Bestselling Fire Study spoke to the group about world building. She's quite a dynamic speaker, and combined with the energy the ladies of the TRW exude, it was a lively afternoon.
I ducked out as soon as the meeting ended and headed for a brand new experience - Ladies' Night at my local Harley Davidson store. The place was humming with energy, and filled with women of all ages and from all walks of life just as upbeat and enthusiastic as the TRW ladies. Mackie put on a great evening with seminars/demonstrations staggered throughout the night. Like one on "How to lift your bike" after you've dropped it - and when you should and shouldn't attempt it.Most bikes weigh between 500 to 850 pounds, so if you do it wrong, you'll end up with major back problems and who knows what damage to your bike. (Hint: don't attempt lifting your bike if it's leaking gas or oil, on an incline, or if you have a bad back.) I was surprised to learn you lift it while facing in the opposite direction.
The video is not taken at Saturday's event but at a Cleveland bike show. But it gives you an idea of what's involved.
A couple of brave ladies in the group volunteered and uprighted the downed bike (a Yamaha 250 the Mackie guys claimed - which is a lot lighter than say Guitar Hero's V-Star 650 and definitely lighter than any of the Harleys.) However, the 30 or so women watching the demonstration I attended all pretty much agreed that the best way to lift your bike is to invoke your feminine wiles and stand by the side of the road looking helpless until some big strong guy stops to help 'the little woman.' Trouble is, as an author, if I were to write my heroine waiting at the side of the road for a guy to help out, readers would complain about what a wimp she's being and insist she be more kick-ass. Once again a case of real life not meeting fiction readers' expectations.
I also attended a Motorcycle Orientation about the various types of bikes Harley offers and their differences, then one entitled Motorcycle Fit and Function. That was on all the ways you can enhance your bike with chrome additions. (Remember those pictures of the naked lady footrests and kickstand that guy had I blogged about a while back? Strangely enough, they didn't bring them out for show and tell. Weird, huh?)
They even had a fashion show of the latest clothing - there was a lovely cream leather halter vest, a matching jacket and chaps. (Click on the "Looks Good with" at the bottom to see the rest of the outfit.) The chaps wouldn't look good with my a$$ hanging out of them, but on the lady who was modeling it? Whoa momma, let's just say she'd have had NO problems at all getting someone to stop and help her lift her bike.
As I wandered around, I met a lot of ladies who got quite excited when I introduced myself as an author whose character rides a Harley. I gave out more business cards last night than I did at the Ottawa conference. Heck, my business card holder only has three cards left. Several of the ladies who I talked to while waiting for a tattoo (yes, I got one. No, it's not permanent but airbrushed) were members of the Durham Cruisers, which welcomes all bike riders regardless of gender. Later on, during one of the fashion shows, I hooked up with several members of the women's only group, the Durham Divas - including Carol, a founding member, who has been riding a motorbike since 1965. I have to apologize, I am terrible with names and have forgotten the name of the lady who introduced me to Carol, and another Diva named Maureen, I do apologize. (And the only name the Cruisers' I remember was Lee - hard to forget that one at least.) So now I have some ladies to poll about stereotypes and cliches and errors writers make about women riders while I'm writing the sequel to Sam's story. Because Chad's love interest is definitely going to be riding a bike. (He is such a cautious guy who wants to protect everyone -- it'll drive him crazy.)
The evening went on until 9, but after being on the go since 4 a.m., I wore out at about 7:30 and snuck out. This morning while we were raking leaves--all right, I confess. GG and Curly were raking leaves, I was sitting on Guitar Hero's V-star--Guitar Hero asked if I'd like motorcycle lessons for my birthday next summer. I have to admit - I'm considering it. (Ssssh, don't tell Gizmo Guy!)