Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh yeah!

I'm heading out again to the awesome SCBWI WWA conference today and I'm excited and nervous. I thought this would be as good a time as any to repost the story of the wonderful time I had last year so when I return this time, we can compare notes and see which trip was smoother.

Here we go on a Journey into the past (originally posted on April 29 '08):

I embarked on a journey this weekend and it's not the one you think. Yes, I did travel to Seattle Washington to attend the SCBWI Western Washington conference. True enough that I could call that a journey, I suppose. But that's not what this post is about. Not really, although, that is where my story begins.

This is my journey of dorkdom, where my weekend began with a simple, "oops," and spiraled through, "what did I just say," and ended at breakfast on Monday morning with an, "I'll regret saying that for the rest of my life."

I'm not a seasoned traveler and I've never taken a cab by myself before, so when I arrived at the Seattle Airport, I was way out of my comfort zone. But being strong was my motto for the weekend so I powered through, asked for directions to the cabs, didn't get lost, and got a cab. We tossed my bags into the trunk and we were on our way.

Imagine my surprise when the cabby wanted to know where I was going. Imagine again, my horror when I realized I'd left all the information in my laptop bag in the trunk. So there we were speeding down the highway, and me saying, "It's the Silver Cloud, Belleview. I'm sorry, I don't know the address."

The driver was kind enough to keep a pinky finger on the steering wheel while he gestured lots of buildings and asked in broken English, "Is it downtown surrounded by lots of buildings?"

"I don't know," I whined, keeping a close eye on the talented steering pinky. One pothole and we were both doomed. How was I supposed to know what was around the hotel? I'd never been there before. Wasn't he supposed to know where every building in Seattle was located so he wouldn't have these problems? Pulling over on the side of the highway was the cure, although very scary. He grabbed my bag for me and after looking at the address for 2 seconds, he laughed at me and said, "Yup, it's downtown." So there's my small oops, but it seemed to set in motion a few other oops's I'd much rather forget.

From this point on, I'm going to leave names out to keep things moderately anonymous for my own sanity. But if anyone who was there reads this, you'll know exactly who I mean.

1.) I pulled a dorky move at lunch on Saturday. A certain blueboarder who also happens to be familiar with Newbery awards sat at our table for lunch, but was on the other side - too far to really talk properly or even get her attention. We had exchanged emails in the past, so I felt I knew her and was dying to meet her, but couldn't catch her attention. Finally, toward the the end of lunch, our eyes met and I yelled out, "blueboarders" and pointed excitedly (and dorkily) to myself and Heather. Not, "Hi _____, it's so nice to meet you in person!" Not, "Hi! I'm Linda, sbk from the blueboards. We've exchanged emails in the past. Do you remember me?" No, those would have been wonderful ways to introduce myself. Nope. Instead, she got me yelling, "Blueboarders!!" I'm sure Heather would have preferred to crawl under the table, but we both smiled and waved. Certain Blueboarder waved back and asked who we were on the boards and I told her. And yes, she did come over and talk to us after lunch, but wow, the weird looks we got from all the people at the table we didn't know? Priceless.

2.) At the book signing table - A certain author who is well-known for banned books took his book from my hands and began signing, while I gushed about how much I'd enjoyed reading it. I started off sounding moderately intelligent and said things like, "I loved this book," and "I just wanted to yell at the main character and get him to tell someone he was dying!" I should have stopped there. Leave it to my mouth to start talking without permission from my brain. But no, I said, "I wanted to grab him by the neck and just shake him!" Oh yeah, and I was sure to get my hands involved in the conspiracy against my brain and stood there mimicking the neck shaking of this man's main character. Yeah. Fun times. Fun times.

3.) This one is too painful still to tell in detail, but it took place the morning after the conference in the hotel when I went to grab some breakfast. If enough people ask in the comments, I might go into more detail in another post, but for now, all I want to say is this: If a Newbery author, an agent and a big time (and I mean huge - HP huge) editor ask you to join them for breakfast, DON'T tell them no, even if you have what seems like a good reason at the time!! I promise you, the reason will feel really stupid when you get back to your agentless and editorless hotel room.

And that's all I've got to say about that. It was great meeting all the fantastic blueboarders that attended. I wish our table at dinner hadn't been so long so I could have gotten to know you guys at the other end, but it was still a great time. What a fantastic bunch of writers.


Angela said...

You are gonna have so much FUUUNNN!!!

Can't wait to hear all about it!!

Linda D. (sbk) said...

Totally right, Angela! Deb and I had a great time!

And and and ... I didn't really do or say anything stupid. Well, nothing memorable, anyway.

Stella said...

So how was this year's? We're waiting to hear. How did your crit go?

Heather said...

Trying to remember what year I saw a certain agent at the conference. Forgot how much fun we had! Oh memories.