Did you notice my countdown calendar on the right? The conference date is getting closer! I’m can’t wait to get to Dallas and hug my cyber friends, who’ll be there from all over America. I went to the one in Indianapolis a in 2010 and loved it. The entire conference hotel sizzled with the excitement of newbie and wannabe writers taking their first serious steps toward their goals, their first steps toward being professional. And there was the quiet hum of the old hands at the game, paying forward to us what was cheerfully given to them before they became “big.”
My first conference was fun. I’d hear calls of “Linda!” in the halls outside the conference rooms and feel like a rock star. Friends almost always saw me before I saw them–one of the benefits of being a redhead is being recognizable. But I remember being star-struck with the real “rock stars” of the conference–getting tongue tied, putting my foot in my mouth, all sorts of stupid stuff that comes with me just being me. Like telling James Scott Bell he’s taller than his picture. “Let’s hope so,” he said. “Everyone should be taller than their Twitter picture.”
So, I’m counting down to this one. MSB and I leave on the 19th. Before then, I have a call to jury duty I have to answer, and a mother who is due a visit, and a few book signings I’m looking forward to. But I also have to shop. At least I think I do. I’ve lost some weight and may not have the business attire needed for the conference–much less the formal gown, or anything resembling one, for the awards banquet. I’ll definitely have to shop for a gown. And MSB will probably need a suit.
We aren’t suit and gown folks around here. We’re more of a shorts and t-shirt couple.
I have to admit though, as strange as it sounds, something I appreciate about the conference is the dress code. I even appreciate the expense of the conference itself. Once you start paying dues, paying all the costs associated with conference attendance, and dressing up to attend seminars, the word “professional” sinks in and brings with it a sense of dignity. Yes, I can do my job in my pjs with my cats hanging all over me and covering my keyboard with fur, but I am a professional, dang it!
One thing I wish is that the “powers that be” had chosen another hotel besides the Hyatt Regency at the airport–there is nothing near the airport, and I was looking forward to seeing a bit of Dallas as a tourist, just as I got to see a little of Indianapolis. MSB said he’s okay with it though. He’s been working twelve-hour days all summer, including many weekends, and he intends to sleep during much of the conference. Can’t say as I blame him. We’ll have two meals together, at a party hosted by my agent and at the awards banquet. Otherwise he’s on his own.
He’s a big boy. He can handle it.
So, the countdown has begun. The excitement hasn’t hit the full-roll boil as it did the first time in 2010, but it’s there, simmering, simmering, simmering.