Two days later, and I’m still recovering from the weekend. Going to the NJRW Conference every year reminds me how much fun slumber parties were when I was a kid except we didn’t knit then. Laura and I stayed up way too late, knitting and BSing until all hours. Even on Saturday night, when I felt myself drooping and dragged my butt off to bed, we stayed up late talking just because it was fun and we don’t get to do it that often. It was a great time and I hope we get to do it again next year, but she’ll have a gorgeous little 8 month old baby girl at home by then, so who knows what the future holds.
The whole conference was just fantastic. We got there on Thursday to be at the 3-hour Jennifer Crusie workshop on Friday morning. I don’t remember having breakfast, other than an apple and a white mocha at the hotel’s Starbucks, and honestly, I didn’t even notice. I still have the blister on my finger from writing page after page of notes but it was all great stuff. As Robin said, “I worship at her altar.” Ditto here.
What I learned in the workshops whacked me upside the head that my manuscript needs serious revisions. When I went into the agent pitch session on Saturday morning, I had to confess that I thought I was ready…until I learned what I learned in the workshops. What I thought was finished is back to being a work-in-progress, but I have a deadline of November 16th (also the GH deadline) so I’m on it like white on rice.
We passed up the dessert/dance party on Saturday night. Laura’s expecting so she couldn’t drink and it’s been nearly 2 weeks since I gave up candy/sweets, which I’m finding must be similar to giving up alcohol. Hi, I’m Carla and I’m a chocoholic; it’s been 2 weeks since my last Snickers bar. (“Hi, Carla!”) I know so well that I could slip and eat just one and I’ll be back to where I started so I don’t tempt myself. At lunch on Saturday I ate the slice of strawberry off the chocolate cake and that was all. When the waiter came around to clear the tables, I showed Laura the plate and said, “Tell John I did this,” and then I handed the waiter the still-full plate. I can’t believe I did it, and every now and then I heard in my head, “If you get hit by a truck tomorrow, are you going to wish you’d eaten that?” but I’m already seeing results in the way my pants fit, and my ring is a little looser than it was, so no, I’m not sorry I passed up the sinfully rich chocolate cake. I’m still surprised I did it, though; I really didn’t think I could.
I think karma rewarded me on Sunday, because we went to AC Moore before we left NJ and they had 2 skeins of Magic Stripes in the clearance rack. Before you yawn, Magic Stripes was discontinued a year or so ago; the only place to find it now is eBay (and maybe Etsy; I haven’t looked there). I grabbed 2 $8 skeins of self-striping sock yarn for $2 apiece. Yay me! Just when I thought I’d socked out…
So now life is back to where it was. Several people there were sick, and I’m starting to feel a head cold coming on. I think I can dodge it, particularly since I’ve eaten a tree’s worth of apples these past 2 weeks. (The only sweets I allow myself are fruits.)
But man, that was a great weekend. For 3 solid days I wasn’t Mom or Honey or “I need this done”. I was me. I dressed myself as I saw fit, I ate what I chose to eat, and I went where I wanted to go, not where I needed to be. It doesn’t happen all that often. Women don’t always get to be who they are, because they have to be who the people in their lives need them to be. It’s nothing to whine about; it’s just a fact of life. But once in a while we really need to get away from our responsibilities and rediscover our true selves. Even if I hadn’t learned as much as I did about writing, that alone was worth the price of admission.
BTW, Laura taught a workshop on Building a Web Presence, and she pointed out that if you start a blog, a) it should be relevant (who wants to read a writing blog about knitting?) and b) if you post once a month, it’s not a blog, it’s a newsletter. Oops; guilty on both counts. I’ll try to keep this as relevant as possible, particularly since NaNoWriMo is coming up on Sunday and I’m really going to give it a shot, even though I’m (technically) halfway done with my now-WIP; I won’t be writing a book, I’ll be rewriting one. But as long as the writing keeps going, life is good.
Remind me write tomorrow about the restaurant on Saturday night, and the waiter/bartender, Alejandro.