Monday, April 14, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons....

Hey, I'm back from NEC in one piece but boy am I tired! Pretending to be an extrovert even for 3 days is tiring. I came home last night, unpacked and settled down to watch one of the movies I had waiting on Netflix, Suburban Girl with Sarah Michelle Gellar, but I had to stop it in the middle to take a short nap. Of course the fact that the movie was less than engrossing was part of the problem. The movie was based on a few of the stories in Melissa Bank's collection, The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing which came out years ago. SMG plays an associate editor at a publishing house who walks down the street correcting manuscripts, which immediately seemed fake to me.

Anyway, back to the conference. I wish I could tell you everything that happened, but you know what they say, what happened in Natick, stays in Natick. I can tell you that I had the trip from hell on Friday. First of all, my bus which was supposed to stop in Framingham didn't. This was after it ended up leaving New York at 10:40 a.m. when the bus was supposed to leave at 10:00, so already I'm behind. I end up in Boston at the bus station which also happens to be where Amtrack, the T, and also the commuter rail collide. So I'm thinking great, I'll just take the commuter rail to West Natick like I did last year. However, I missed the 2:45 (which I would have made if the bus had arrived in Boston at 2:00 like it was supposed to instead of 3) and I had to wait for the 4 p.m.

I bought a copy of The New Yorker, and drank some bubble tea while I waited. Finally the board stated that my train was arriving on track 8 and I get on the train and decide to call for the shuttle to pick me up at the train station to take me to the hotel. Disaster strikes again and my phone dies on me, despite the fact that it had been recharging all night long! Instead of dwelling on that, I just decide, hey, I'll take a taxi from the train station to the hotel, not biggie. I'm sure you can guess what happened next. Yup, it turned out I was on the wrong train, heading to Stoughton, instead of Worcester, which was the train that I needed to take.

By this time, I'm in tears. The conductor, who was completely unsympathetic, suggested that I just go back to Boston and then take another train to West Natick but by this time I had been traveling for 6 hours straight. There was no way that I was going to travel for another 2 hours (depending on what time the train from Stoughton was going to leave for Boston and then the travel time from Boston to West Natick), so I ended up taking a cab from Stoughton to West Natick. Guess how much it cost! $75.00 that's how much. And to think that I took the bus to save money because Amtrak was so expensive.

When I got to the hotel, I decided that I had a choice: I could let my experience color my whole weekend, or I could get over it. I took door no. 2 and got over it. Of course, the glass of white wine in the hotel lobby bar helped immensely. As did the bath I took later that night after the dessert buffet and the compliments I got on my little black dress that I wore. Not even the fact that dinner for me consisted mainly of potatoes and salad got me down. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you just have to make lemonade. In this case, Mike's Hard Lemonade, but you get my drift.

Saturday was workshops. I went to Mollie O'Keefe's workshop on conflict which was great, and then the talk with Suze Brockmann, who I later stalked at the book fair to find out if she was going to be able to attend our GAA awards to accept her Lifetime Achievement Award. The two Eileens, Cook and Rendahl gave a great talk on writing funny. Lunch was wonderful, normally they have sandwiches, but this year they had yummy pasta. Oh, and Susan Wiggs gave a great Keynote speech at breakfast that was unfortunately ruined for me by the fact that there were people at my table who talked all through her speech. Why do people do that? You ruin it for everyone at your table who might actually want to hear the speaker. Seriously do not talk during Keynote speeches or leave the room.

After lunch, I went to Elaine Spencer and Deidre Knight's talk on the Agent/Client relationship which was great, and then the editor/agent panel session where I learned that Harlequin is starting a seperate YA imprint from Kimani Tru. Bookfair I was incredibly good and only bought 3 books, Marissa Doyle's new YA, and books by the two Eileens. Dinner was at this groovy Japanese buffet, but why is it than when you got to a buffet you feel the need to stuff yourself? Like you have to eat your money's worth, or you won't be satisfied. Well, I definitely ate $28 worth of food that was for sure. The seared tuna sushi with a mustard sauce was excellent, I only wish I had eaten more it.

Sunday, Kwana, Megan and I took the bus back and I'm happy to report that the return trip went smoothly. We actually got into New York a half an hour early.

So NEC was very productive. I came back itching to go back to work on my YA manuscript. I need to finish chapter 9 this week, and then its time to go back and read it all and edit before I start outlining the next 5 chapters.


Marley Gibson said...

GREAT seeing you, as always, Elizabeth!!! So much fun hanging out with you and "Scott." LOLOL!! Thanks for coming up and I'm glad it was a good conference for you. Hope to see you again soon!

Mar = )

Kwana said...

It was a fun time as always. The speeches were wonderful. The NEC folks always do a great job. Till next year!

Georgie Lee said...

The great thing about conferences, workshops and RWA meetings is the way they fire you up to write. I'm always inspired after an event.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

I hope that "Scott" always remembers the night he became a man! I can't wait for National. San Francisco doesn't know what's about to hit it.