This morning once again I’m leaving the “family story” theme behind and writing about present experience. I am going north. The destination is Minneapolis for the Association of Writing Professionals conference. My daughter attended the conference last year when it was in her home town of Seattle and it was an outing she wanted to repeat. So for her April birthday she gave herself a present – the trip to Minneapolis – and for my birthday (which is today) she invited me along. I am masquerading as a real writer for three days and hoping to pick up some interesting experiences, and knowledge.
In the next three or four posts I hope to give a picture of what the conference is like. To be part of it I’ve had to join the Association, of course, and purchase my registration. I have already spent several hours looking at the hundreds of things on the schedule trying to decide what to take in. The online portal allows me to choose and develop my individual schedule which I can access at any time through an app on my phone. The app also links me to others at the conference and gives me a map of the conference center. I say that I’ve spent several hours wading through the many offerings but I’ve only gotten through day 2 of the conference. There are presentations on all kinds of writing and publishing, workshops, author signings and a huge book fair.
As I was getting ready for this trip, I asked my daughter “what do writers wear at these things?” Probably it was a stupid question, but honestly if I’m going to buy new clothes that don’t have stains on them I might as well fit in so I don’t feel conspicuous. As I suspected, writers don’t have a uniform. The most important thing is to have comfortable shoes and a sweater to keep warm. It is still snowing in this part of the country.
But the going part is also interesting. My ticket choices did not include a non-stop so I am airport hopping in what was supposed to be a three city trip. Unfortunatley our plans are “up in the air” so to speak. What do you do when the destination airport closes because of a storm? Evidently you circle until you run out of fuel. Actually, the pilot was kind enough to inform us that if we get close to running out of fuel we will land at another city that is kind of on the way (but not really). I don’t think I’ve ever been on a four city trip, and I’m desperately hoping I’m not on one now. It would mean missing my flight to the final destination for sure.
Maybe this is the start of my first novel! Will she make it safely to the conference or will the plane mysteriously disappear over the cornfields of the midwest! The turbulence is getting rather dramatic. I’m just sayin’, stay tuned …