What I Learned about the Craft of Writing at a Writer's Conference, by Manic Mom
(Oh, and some other fun stuff we did in between the 'drinking in the knowledge' of our mentors and peers!)
First off, my friend, Trish, whom I had the pleasure of meeting through our online writer's Yahoo group back in October, had planned on making the trek up to attend the conference. The weeks before the conference, did we practice pitching our novels? Did we research the agents and editors of the event? Did we brush up on conference etiquette?
Nooooo. Of course not.
Instead, I convinced Trish that she had to get her first bikini wax and I would be her chaperone to the wax-on, wax-off experience.
I told her not to shave. I told her it wouldn't hurt. I lied to her.
I took my friend to get her maiden experience of a bikini wax. And, I held her hand in the room. And, folks, yes, I took pictures.
No, you sickos, not of "that!"... but I did manage to forever capture the half-laughter, half-horror on her face as the waxed strip was torn away from her skin. We were HOWLING in that room, so much that I thought the poor folks getting massages next door would beg for their money back because we were so disturbing.
It was a classic event that started the weekend off in full swing!
We get to the hotel where the conference is at, and we're so psyched because we are going to meet amazing and wonderfully talented and funny and beautiful Jess Riley, debut novelist of Riding With Larry Resnick. We pull into the parking lot, and THERE SHE IS, and she looks so cute and adorable, exactly like she does on her blog, and Trish and I start yelling out the window:
She either thought we were completely whacko or crazy fans of hers. We're both, actually. And the three of us just meshed incredibly well, and sorry for those male readers of ours, there was none of that fantasy-invoking girl threesome stuff going on, so get your heads out of the toilet.
And speaking of toilets, this toilet is going up on eBay when Jess's book comes out. Yes, folks, this is where Mrs. Riley tinkled. It's true. Unfortunately, due to a case of severe constipation, she was unable to do anything else in it. Too bad we didn't meet the guys I'll be telling you about momentarily the night previous. They had some involvement in the, how shall we say it? Constipation industry.
Please, read on.
The Three Amigas
So, the conference was awesome.
Except when in the very first workshop, what do we hear? My stupid cell phone blares in the middle of the lecture. And it's not one of those quiet little beep-beeps. No. I had my phone turned up on high, and the ringtone was the Waltz of the Flower or Whatever, and it keptgoingandringingandringingveryloudly and of course, I am completely flustered and cannot find the damn phone in order to turn it off. If you've ever been embarrassed before, and you feel the red of your face crawling upward, you know how terrible that feels. My heart started racing and I felt the heat rising to my cheeks. Shit. It sucked. I couldn't concentrate the rest of the workshop. If I had, I would have known how to Get Out Of Deadwood, (as was the title of the workshop) or, to those non-writers, I would have known how to cut extraneous words from this here paragraph.
So, not to bore you non-writer folks with the stuff we writers like to learn and do, I will fast-forward to the next evening...(If you're that interested, visit my Writing Blog for that information. Wait. Never mind. I don't have a Writing Blog.)
Saturday night at the hotel lobby bar, it was very quiet. We figured the more serious writers had gone home to their Dell computers or up to their room to sit at their laptop and work on the Next Great American Novel. What did we do? We sat at the bar.
Till 4 in the freaking morning.
And, fortunately, we only paid for one round of drinks, thanks to our friendly new friends, the "Rear-Releasing Reps", aka Pharmaceutical Reps for Constipation Medicine. Man, Jess, where were these guys Friday night when I was demonstrating the Williams position and we were chewing Gas-Ex like we were acid popping groupies at a Dead show?!
Wanna know how we met our Poop Pals? Here's the story...
So, anyway, you know how football players tap each other on the butt when they have a good play? It's like a camaraderie thing, a "Hey, nice job, lemme at your bootie" kind of thing. Well, Poop Rep #1 who will remain nameless for fear he could get into some serious shit over this --- hahahah, shit, get it, that is a P-U-N, for those of you just joining us!... anyway, Poop Rep #1 had his eyes on Trish, and yeah, we all know why, right? Well, obviously, it's because I am severely happily married (even though there's a laundry tiff going on in our love shack right now)... and the glare from my Bling told everyone at the bar, "Don't EVEN try to hit on me, I'm married!"
(As if. Riiiiight!)
So, PR#1 kept staring at Trish, and it was kind of boring at the bar, not a whole lot going on there, so I took it up a notch, and when I knew PR#1 and his good pal, PR#2 were looking, I innocently, yet provocatively tapped Trish on her tushy. Nothing major, nothing explicit, just a football-good-play kind of a tap.
Boy, did that get the ball rolling...
We gals sat at our little end of the bar in a cozy corner and continued drinking. Me, my all-time faves, the incredible Appletinis; my good friend Val was drinking Chocolate Dreams, and Trish was a lightweight, sipping on a Pina Colada that might have well been a virgin for cripe's sake.
PR#1 and PR#2 move to a more strategic location in the bar. Front and center as if we are the Widescreen viewing of the Superbowl and they are on the 50th yard line (waiting to score--ha, had to throw that one in for another one of my hilarious puns).
Around 11 or 12 or who the hell knows at this point, my contacts begin bothering me, my pants are too tight, and I want to go upstairs to change. So I leave to do so, and when I return, PR#1 sees me coming and he says, "What do I have to do to get you to do that again?"
"What you did to your friend earlier."
"Grabbed her butt?"
"All you have to do is ask." And I go back up to Trish and position her just so, and WHACK, a two-handed booty slap right there for PR#1 to see.
Trish and Jess
New author friend, Stephanie, below with Manic
Isn't this a beautiful martini? Just look at the colors!
Late night, probably two or three a.m., I invented a new cocktail --
And finally, it just wouldn't be a writer's conference without some random men locking lips, now would it?
This is the end of Part One. I'm having Guest Blogger Extraordinare Trish write her version of the evening, where we can all hear about how she was text messaged the next morning with some very interesting words from the boy who got lucky enough to kiss her!