Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This is De Angelo, Ellora’s Cave’s newest Caveman. *takes moment to wipe drool off mouth* Many thanks to EC Art Director Syneca Featherstone, whose thankless job it is to discover new models for our covers and to photograph them so everyone can lust, er, dream about these hunks and buy our books.

But I digress.

Seeing all of Syneca’s photos of this gorgeous man reminds me that in a few months I’ll be meeting De Angelo at Romanticon™. I’m already planning what to wear (no, not specifically for him, but for the weekend). Hollywood glamour Friday night? Hopefully I can find a glamorous, gently used floor-length gown. Bollywood Saturday night? On the lookout for some exotic fabric to wrap around me as a sari.

I’m going to pack sensibly. Okay, the gown, at least, will probably go separately in a garment bag (hey, I’ll be in a car, so I can pack big). But for the four days of workshops, the bingo-pajama party, the impromptu photo ops, the sleepwear, well, those items you have to pack smartly.

Last year I surfed the internet looking for packing ideas. The themes for Romanticon ’12 were “Party like there’s no tomorrow” (think Rio at Carnival time) and “The aftermath” (zombies and such), so I needed every inch of space in my luggage for costumes as well as workshop clothing. I took photos of how I packed and am happy to share what I learned.

And since many romance authors and readers (alas, I’m not among them) are gearing up for the humongous Romantic Times Convention coming up May 1-5 in Kansas City, I’m posting this valuable info now. Here goes:

Rather than individually folding each garment, you will lay all your clothes flat, sleeves spread to the sides, hand-smoothing any wrinkles.

Layer them in this order:

  • Lightweight bathrobe (the candy-striped seersucker on the bottom of the pile).
  • Jacket(s) like the crushed red velvet.
  • Dress(es) like my white angel dress and red vamp dress.

  • After all the dresses, add pants, skirts and shirts. It’s hard to see black on black, but there are several tops in the pile.

  • The more scrunchable stuff, like T-shirts and/or sleepwear (the red satiny thing).
  • Panties, bras, socks, pantyhose. I’ve been known to roll a sock in each cup of the bra to keep the shaping unsquashed.

  • When all the garments are in place, separately bring each garment’s sleeves to the center, wrapping one over the other like an embrace.
  • Bring the sides of the garments to the center, smoothing and tucking as needed.

  • Flip up the bottom of the package.
  • Roll everything up snugly to the size of your carry-on.
  • My clothes tucked inside an airline-friendly 22-inch bag. The recycled Crown Royal bag holds a pair of shoes, not a bottle. (You can stuff socks or panties inside your shoes.)

The best part of this system is unrolling it at the hotel and voila! Everything is ready to hang with minimum wrinkles.

Try it yourself and let me know if it works for you. And if you haven’t yet registered for the 2013 Romanticon, here’s the link. And be on the lookout for De Angelo. On second thought, don’t bother. Leave him for me!

~~ Cris Anson


  1. I'm not going to Romanticon this year but that is a wonderful way to pack. I've had to bring a wedding dress on a plane to Vegas. I made sure to select a gown that wouldn't wrinkle and used a carry on! Bold move, huh?

    1. Yikes! A wedding dress?? Did you have to use the iron supplied by the hotel?

  2. i can never get all the wrinkles out. I'm a roller myself!

  3. Hey Lynne, I didn't say it took out ALL the wrinkles. If that was the case, I'd roll myself up and travel by suitcase myself LOL

  4. Cris: I'm in awe. Would you please email me directly and tell me how many pairs of shoes you took and whether you packed promo in there. I'm going to RT next week. shay_lacy (at) yahoo (dot) com. Thanks for making me think hard this morning.

    1. Shay, I must admit, I have an entire second carry-on with my promo items. But then once it's emptied of my stuff, it's ready to cart home all the books I usually buy at writers' conferences.

      I'm too old to be a shoe slut, so I wear black comfort shoes for travel, which doubles for daytime with black slacks/skirt, then 1 pair of silver gladiator wedgies and a pair of black sandals and that's usually enough for me.

  5. I do something similar when I pack, except that I actually have a pocket in my suitcase that serves as a garment bag, so only my hangable stuff goes in there. All the other things - t-shirts, PJs etc go in the larger main compartment, and I too am a roller.

    Great stuff, though!

    1. How big is that suitcase with the hangable space? Sounds great!

  6. Wow, I didn't know this packing technique. Thanks, Cris.