The RWA Conference Hangover, Version 2014

After attending this event in San Francisco, Washington DC, Orlando, New York, Anaheim and Atlanta, you’d think I’d know how to pack, how not to stress and how to enjoy my seventh conference in San Antonio.  Yeah, no.

Each year, I go with a goal in mind.  This year it was all about meeting editors and agents, and socializing with friends.  Due to a couple of events beyond my control, I ended up with no agent and editor appointments, which caused me a great deal of stress.  It was the first year I’d attended conference without a couple of important meetings lined up.  I tried not to stress it.  I decided that the people I needed to see, I would and how that happened would be about luck and karma.

The week leading up to the conference was a mess.  A difficult, semi-abusive client in my day job who had been dormant for seven months suddenly appeared and demanded a very complicated digital behavioral campaign for California.  I had to clean out my desk because my office was moving to a new location while I was at conference.  Plus, my assistant was scheduled to be out for the same week, so my manager would be filling in on my sales territory.

I was so crunched for time that I didn’t fill out my traditional Excel spreadsheet of events, which had a column for the outfit and accessories I planned to wear.

I packed on the fly almost forgetting a pair of strappy sandals I’d purchased for the trip.  The night before I flew to San Antonio, I slipped and fell out of the bathtub at the airport hotel where I was staying, bruising six of my vertebrae. I almost missed my connection in Phoenix, and when I got to my hotel, they told me the room wasn’t ready.  A $20 bribe at the front desk, an ice bag for the back, and two margaritas later, it was on!

Like a wharf hooker during fleet week, I owned it!  Out of my comfort zone, I approached industry professionals; I was fourth in line at the agent/editor appointment event, snaring two appointments.  Three editor and two agent requests later, I had the best conference I’ve had in years.

I reconnected with old friends, spoke to at least thirty different people each day, battled the Texas heat, and never made it to bed before midnight, and never slept past six-thirty in the morning.

And now, it is time to go back to the reality of my real world…

The new office at the day job where I have a virtual desk…

The nasty, completely abusive client who only has become more difficult in the last week…

The general malaise that I won’t see my friends in person for another year…

The genuine hopes and dreams that come with the requested submissions I’ve placed in email inboxes…

The detritus that litters my bedroom floor…autographed books, Alamo magnets, scantily clad men on bookmarks…

The laundry that must be sorted into dry cleaning piles…

The need to sleep or curl up with a good book from the conference…

The knowledge that I really hurt my back and now that I’m no longer distracted, it would like to let me know just how much…


Posted on August 11, 2014, in General and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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