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Every time RWA National Conference comes around, the talk swerves to clothes, shoes, weight loss…yeah. When I heard that How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart was nominated for a RITA® award, I immediately thought “I have to lose twenty pounds and find a dress.” This resulted in several twitter consultation sessions with friends with a lot more fashion sense than me.

For me, Nationals is an excuse to buy new clothes because I don’t that often. I’m not good at shopping. And up until recently, buying clothes was a task I hated. Mostly because things rarely fit, and if they did, I hated how they looked. Or rather, how I looked in them.

I’m still working my way down to a goal weight, and it’s going slowly. But at least these days I don’t have to shop in the plus section, and I didn’t look at the pics from last year’s conference and start to cry (been there, done that).

Ok but I digress. The point is, this is NOT something I’m good at.

Last week my eldest daughter looked at me and said “Promise me that after you wash that sweater you never wear it again.”

I put it in the goodwill bag. The truth is, she’s usually right about these things.

Yesterday my youngest daughter pulled a dress out of my closet and called it a crime of fashion. Asked when exactly I’d ever worn it and what it was still doing in my closet (it’s actually a symbol of the size I used to be…several years ago.).

Last weekend I even sought their approval before buying a pair of shoes at Winners for half price (shoes that I LOVE by the way!). So imagine how horrified they were when I said I was shopping for a dress for the RITA ceremony ALL BY MYSELF.

Granted, there were some interesting moments, like the plum taffeta “thing” that made me look like a giant ruched sausage.

Or the peacock blue taffeta mermaid style dress the girl at one shop suggested because “they didn’t have much selection in my size.” I called her something unflattering in my head.

I tried on a fuchsia sparkly number that was better than I expected and a black and white ball gown type dress that was actually quite cute. Then there was the silver satin number with the keyhole that accented an obscene amount of cleavage…

In the end I came home with something that surprised no one except for the fact that they LOVED it. A classic black gown with just a few different, neat things about it that move it gently away from being ordinary. It’s comfortable and I feel pretty in it, which is important.

My girls? They were most impressed that I did it all by myself.

And the new shoes?


Now I’ve got Saturday night of conference covered, and I can go back to obsessing about the Wednesday through Friday!

Are you a shopper? Do you enjoy clothing shopping or would you rather go to the dentist?

Book Cover


[Ed. Be sure to leave Donna a meaningful comment or question – she’s giving away her Cadence Creek Cowboys duet – The Last Real Cowboy and The Rebel Rancher.