It's ten days away for most of those involved, but it's essentially nine days away for me.
I'm referring to the 5th Annual LDStorymakers Writers Conference coming up next week, which Heather Moore and I are co-chairing.
Can I just say that I am eternally grateful that
a) I'm not in this alone and
b) that my partner is so capable and
c) that her strengths lie in all my weak areas?
As some readers may remember, we were "crowned" at last year's conference, so this conference has been twelve months in the making. The last couple have been the most intense, of course, and now it's almost here.
We're dotting i's and crossing t's right now, trying to make sure that there are no lingering ends left untied. (It's amazing just how many ends there are to check . . .)
Between now and then, I have a lot to do, for both the conference as well as for my personal life. For starters, I have to get everything ready for Easter before I drive off to the hotel, because by the time I get back, there will be NO time whatsoever for any of that.
The family is heading up to visit grandma while I'm gone, so I should probably help get little people semi-packed before I leave.
Several of the kids have activities that Mom needs to help prepare for, coordinate, or drive to.
And then there are the ponchos I'm trying to finish knitting for my girls so they can all match on Easter Sunday. (Key word: trying.)
In the middle of all this madness, I did something really stupid: I asked my editor about the status of my latest submission.
If you know anything about the writer's ego, you'll know what a really dumb move that was for a writer who is already under stress. The only possible good outcome would have been a response like, "It's Pulitzer-worthy! We loved it!" Then I'd smile and go my merry way, with a little boost to keep going through the next nine days.
I'm sure you can already see where this is going.
Instead of a declaration that I'm the next big thing, we're discussing revisions and notes.
Really, that's no huge surprise. With Spires of Stone I did two rewrites, went over oodles of notes with my editor (and granted, wanted to bang my head against the monitor numerous times), but ultimately came out the other end not only alive but with a much better book that was accepted for publication and is now up for a Whitney Award.
So why am I such a basket case? That would be because writers seesaw between egomania and self-despair all the time, and are capable of flipping between the two in a matter of seconds. My past publishing experiences with five previous novels notwithstanding, I still feel like the rookie just waiting for that next rejection letter telling me my baby is ugly and that I stink.
I should take a nice, hot bath tonight to help me calm down a bit. That is, if I could sit still long enough without checking e-mail for conference stuff, or going over my workshop presentation notes, or working on the table centerpieces, or sending the latest updates about the waiting list and lunch choices to committee members, or . . .
You get the idea.
Basically, I look like Chicken Little on serious doses of caffeine.
To cope, I bought two of the silver bags of Guittard milk chocolate chips. You know, the jumbo ones? Yeah. That should last me, oh, a day or so.
For those readers who are coming to the conference, I can't wait to see you. Once the big day is here, it'll be downright awesome, and I'm sure I'll be having a ball. I've been in touch with a lot of you, and I can't wait to put faces to names.
In all seriousness, the conference has been a huge shot in the arm for me every time. Last year I drove home a bit wistfully, knowing I wouldn't be able to experience it again for another year. Sure, there would be other conferences, but none are the same as this one. If you've come, you know what I mean.
See you in ten days.
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