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One Cobble at a Time

Thoughts on the staying home from a seminar

Sandra Tayler's Journal

responsible woman

A cobble by itself is just a small stone, but when many of them lay together they create a path . My life is made up of many discrete parts. I have to find ways to fit them all into place so that I can continue to journey where I desire to go. This journal records some of the cobbles that create my path.

Thoughts on the staying home from a seminar

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responsible woman

It is 9:30 in the morning and I am still in my pajamas. I feel a little bit of guilt over this. Howard, who is every bit as tired as I was this morning, got himself dressed and out the door over two hours ago. Since he left, I’ve mostly been dozing in bed with occasional excursions to rescue the cat from Gleek’s enthusiastic loving or to dispense food. On the other hand, I also feel wistful. Howard is going to spend the day learning valuable information and talking to fascinating people. I will spend it with kids, laundry, packages, email, and (hopefully) book revision.

My attendance at the Writing Superstars Conference for the past two days was a last minute decision. We’d long planned for Howard to go, but when we were over at Brandon’s house on New Year’s day, Brandon turned to me and said “You should come too.” So I did. It was worth every bit of the schedule shuffling and favor claiming that I had to do to clear space. Each conference, convention, and workshop has a distinctive feel to it. From the name and marketing on this one, I expect a more motivational-speaker, sales-pitchy event. Instead I found it extremely warm and down-to-earth. The information density in the presentations and panels was amazing. If you want to learn the business side of writing, this is the event for you. The thing I found personally heart warming was seeing, in gestures and comments from many people, that I’ve earned a respectable little corner in the local SciFi and Fantasy community.

My one regret associated with the seminar (other than not being there today) is that I did not meet more of the attendees. That room was full of writers in various stages of their dreams. This means that the room was full of fascinating people with stories to tell. I wish I had talked to more of them. On the other hand, I’m glad for every minute that I spent reconnecting with friends. This is happens at conventions too. I am meeting fewer strangers and finding more friends. I suppose it is not a bad problem to have.

My final moments at the symposium were providing taxi service from the hotel to the banquet restaurant. Howard and I did not attend the banquet ourselves, but I had my van and thus the capability to help shuttle people. I ended up driving David Farland, Rebecca Moesta, Brandon Sanderson, Eric Flint, Moses Siregar, and a woman whose name I never did catch. It was only after I’d dropped them all off that I thought about how envy-inducing that particular car ride might be to the fans of these authors’ books. I just felt like a I was giving a ride to a group of friends. This is not because I’m important or special, it is because these people are wonderful, friendly, and welcoming. Do not be afraid to approach them at public appearances. They’ll be very happy to talk to you.

Part of me is glad to be at home today. I love attending events, but they also exhaust my mental and emotional reserves. Today I can settle back in to my regular routine and help the kids do the same. Being shuffled off to neighbors and babysat is fun for them, but they need routine as much as I do. My wistful regrets are abated somewhat by knowing that I will get to see my non-local writer friends again at WorldCon Reno in August. In the meantime I will lounge in my pajamas and ponder whether to tackle laundry or email first. Email will probably win. Thanks to the joys of laptop ownership, I don’t have to get out of bed for it.

Mirrored from onecobble.com.

  • I had the opportunity to attend, but did not. I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I'm still so glad I stayed home.
    • I think that was the right choice for you. Much of the advice was aimed at building a path toward being a best seller type author. You've got your path and it is different. My path is different too, but Howard would like to travel the best seller path.

      As for business of writing details, you've got the ones you need.
  • The rhythms of normal life...always good, and while laundry and email aren't the most exciting things, they're necessary.
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