A couple of weeks ago, you heard from Michele B about her preparing-to-go-to-conference adventures. I, too, am preparing to attend my first writers conference in a couple of weeks and it feels like it's the only thing I can think about lately.
Quick story: A little over a year ago, I was perusing writing websites for conferences and somehow stumbled upon this one. The GLVWG Write Stuff Conference in Allentown, PA. When I first heard about it, the 2011 conference was about two months from happening. I read through the information and the schedule and I thought it sounded perfect for a first conference--manageable size, not too terribly far away, and several interesting panels. The only problem was...I didn't want to go alone. I tried to talk a couple of my writing friends into going with me, but neither of them had the financial means to do something like that on such short notice. I lamented the missed opportunity--and my lack of courage to take the dive by myself (to be fair, part of the reason was because I thought I had to drive and 7 hours is a long way to go by yourself)--and declared that I'd keep my eye on the conference for 2012.
So, here we are. I registered for the Write Stuff about a week after public registration opened. Booked my hotel room. Booked a flight--I was overjoyed to find out that Allentown has an airport. The flight booking in particular was a stressful situation for me, because I've never flown by myself before, never had to book a flight on my own. I was so sure I was doing something wrong...so sure that I didn't have the right flights or the right price or that I'd somehow manage to screw up Expedia.com's process.
I'm very good at throwing myself into panics for small things, in other words.
Now we're T minus 10 days until I fly to Allentown for the conference. What this means is that now I've started obsessing over the smaller things--like what I'll pack, and if my small suitcase is within the carry-on dimensions, and printing off every possible confirmation that I can think of. Write Stuff starts the evening of March 16 and then goes all day on the 17th. I'm signed up for a couple of awesome things. The first is an agent pitch session, which is the current source of my general anxiety about attending my first conference. The second is a very interesting workshop that they only limited to fifteen people--Fiction Characters Anonymous. This in particular intrigues me, because during the whole workshop, everyone will be acting, speaking, responding, etc. as one of the characters from their novel. It's supposed to help you get more into your character's head. And while my lovely fellow Flurriers pointed out at our last meeting that they see a lot of me in my current protagonist (and vice-versa), in fact there are a lot of parts of her that surprise even me. So I'm excited to see what I learn about her during that workshop.
Anyway, my to-do list for Write Stuff is getting progressively longer. I'm hoping to be able to get everything accomplished in the next 11 days that I need to get accomplished. And I'll tell you ALL about it when I return!