Sunday, May 1, 2011

Conference Wrap-Up

What a great weekend! I am feeling refreshed, invigorated, inspired and grateful beyond belief for such excellent friends and colleagues. The New England Chapter Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference was a resounding success in every way. The location (Salem) was adorable, the company was exquisite (old friends and new friends), and the raspberry cosmos were quite tasty. Here are some high points....

1.) I sheepishly admit I did not attend too many workshops. I volunteered a lot, schmoozed a lot, and hung out with Matt the Bartender (he was a cutie pie). Anyhoo, I did attend one lecture that was a super epic winner. Sherri Browning Erwin discussed her mash-up book Jane Slayre, and a group of about 6 women had a fun convo about horror, romance and the "zombification" of literary classics. I am giving myself a new spring reading assignment: I'm going to read Jane Eyre (the original), then Erwin's mash-up (Jane Slayre), then Charles Dicken's Great Expectations (or maybe the cliff notes...hee hee!), and then Erwin's werewolf-y adaptation, Grave Expectations. Since I am grading myself on this assignment, I already know I'm getting an A+! Can't wait to read Erwin's book!

2.) Carolyn Sullivan, a member of the Rhode Island Romance Writers, gave gorgeous animal tarot cards to everyone. Mine is a rocking wolf with this enigmatic directive for the upcoming year...."Listen to your inner wisdom and enjoy the gift of freedom." I have no clue what that means, and I don't feel particularly wise, but perhaps this will prove to be prophetic somehow. I'm game!

3.) I may have slightly over-imbibed on Saturday night (ahem). I started out with heart healthy red wine, but things quickly progressed downhill from there (at one point I was making up new cocktail names with the bartender Matt....his coconut rum fruit punch drink was renamed "A Little Touch Of Florida"). This culminated in a surreal trolley ride at 11:15 PM, careening through the streets of Salem with a tour guide pointing out interesting sites and giving us historical tidbits about the city. At least I think that happened. It was all pretty much a blur.  :^)

4.) Best part of the awesome buds! So great to hang out with the Quirks, and see Heather, who did her most excellent impression of Nora Roberts, Natascha from New York (we chatted about paranormal romance and the kidlets!), and some new girls who we cruelly called "newbs" and hopefully didn't permanently traumatize. Good times!

5.) Funniest Moment: My sorry attempt to say "chick lit"....and I wasn't even drunk that time. Haa haaa! (Chit lit, chit lick, chick lick???? oops! heee heee).

6.) I had a great time volunteering at the Editor/Agent Appointment area. You know, the place where everyone looks like they're going to puke at any moment, waiting for their lifetime hopes and dreams to be crushed by a bitchy agent from hell. I tried to lighten the moment by doing jazz hands and fist pumps. Hopefully that helped to distract everyone.

7.) I got a book with a talking weenie dog in it. Hmmmm.......

8.) Final profound observation...

I found a $20 on the floor. One of those moments in life when you have two paths to take, and you must make a choice. The angel on one shoulder whispers "Hand the money to the bartender, do the right thing, don't pocket that cash....." And then the devil on the other side says "Keep the cash, bitch! Do you know how many martinis you can buy with that thing?" Well, I handed the cash to Matt. I wasn't sure if whoever lost the money would come back to retrieve it, or if Matt would be getting a really big tip that night. An hour later, at dinner, our conference chair announced that one lucky person at our table would be winning the most magnificent vase-of-candy centerpiece, that looked like Willy Wonka-on-crack had designed. (I had been coveting that sucker since I first spied it). And guess what! I won! (I may have been a bit too exuberant with my excitement, but I blame it all on the "Little Touch Of Florida" cocktails).

My philosophy about life, which has been sorely tested of late, was reinforced by this event. If you do something good, it will come back to you. Lesson learned: Don't keep the twenty. Get the candy instead.

All My Best,