Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Tired and Cranky Writer Looks Forward to April, pt 1

Let's start with the basics. I don't like spring. DH has asthma, I'm sun and heat sensitive, so no, we're not full of sparkles and unicorns about warmer weather. I will freely admit to an extra dose of crankiness today, but sleep deprivation will do that to a gal. So if I'm extra abrasive today, that's it.

Please give me a blankey and a pillow and a quiet corner and all will be well. Extra points for a stuffed animal and white noise. Also some books. Considering the state of fatigue here, I may as likely lay my head on them and snooze as read, so maybe gently tuck the ereader, fully charged, into the crook of my arm.

Even with all of the above, there is one part of spring I do look forward to. April means a flurry of real writer person things. Of course every day writing is a real writer person thing, but in April, I will be at two conferences and teaching an online workshop. On April 21st, Charter Oak Romance Writers presents an all day workshop with Theresa Stevens on using fairy tale structure and theme here. Then on the 27th and 28th, NECRWA presents the annual Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference, here. Both of which overlap my From Fanfiction to Fantastic Fiction online workshop at Savvy Authors, here.

I live for these things. Even with the advent of social media (a lifesaver for the extroverted writer) there's nothing like being plopped down into a room, real or virtual, with other like minded souls. Extroverts do well here, and "what do you write?" is an accepted icebreaker in every encounter, from line for the bathroom to a crowded elevator. Staring at chests is considered normal here, as that's where the nametags are located, as the internet and a rabid reading habit may make names more recognizable than faces. Expect a few instances of "I didn't know you were you" after you've been to a few of these. Also expect to bring an extra suitcase or totebag with you because you will bring home more than you left the house with; free books at every meal and then there's the freebie table laden with shiny promo materials. I come home from these conferences exhausted but happy, like the time (possible TMI alert) the family dog stayed out all night, only to turn up on the front porch in the wee hours of the morning, tired smile and wagging tail. Multiple neighbors' female dogs had mystery litters a couple months later. :ahem:

Long travel times, the epic battle of hotel food and my allergies, the combination of churning stomach and rushing endorphins that accompany a pitch session, all mix with the chance to make new friends, get current with old ones, and best of all, answer "yes" when a hotel staffer asks if you're "one of the romance writers." The red heart sticker on a nametag that identifies one as a published author always puts a skip in my heart. Me. I did that. I can do that again. Free books make friends and family members who know the drill pounce on me upon my return, because if the books I bring home are not of my preferred genres, that means they have first dibs. Anything left over means UBS run on the first available weekend.

For me, these conferences are like getting my battery charged, and I'll be honest, it's been a tough writing year, so I'm looking forward to a good charge or two that much more. Since I've ventured into rambling territory, I'll stop here and blabber about the workshop in part two.

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