Conference Time

CWCO_live_smI’m getting ready for an adventure this week:  I’ll be attending the 3-day Catholic Writers’ Conference that’s being held right here in my home state. It’s more than an hour away (and way more than that given the traffic on the major highway that leads to the conference center) so my family has graciously agreed to hold down the fort here while I *stay overnight* for two whole nights.

(Does anyone have any idea how far out of my comfort zone this is? I’m a homebody to the max. I don’t like to stay overnight anywhere that’s not my own bed.)

So there’s a bunch of stuff–some silly, some not-so-silly, that’s on my mind. I figured that maybe if I write about it a bit, I’ll be able to make some sense of this nonsense. If not, well, then at least I’ve gotten it out of my head, and sometimes that’s half the battle right there.

  1. I haven’t written a book. I do have an idea for a book, and part of the reason I want to attend this conference is so that I can learn what to do with that idea to turn it into a reality.
  2. I worry about talking about my idea for a book. It’s a nonfiction topic, and I guess there’s some fear that if I talk about it, someone else will hijack it and write the book before I do. How awful is it to have that fear when we’re talking about a faith-based topic and a faith-based conference…but there it is. I am hoping that at this conference I will be reassured that this won’t be a problem, and that I can gain valuable insights from people with whom I discuss my idea.
  3. I’m an introvert (in case you hadn’t already guessed). And I’ll be rooming with people I’ve never met “in real life!” One of them seems to have the same Introvert Problems I do, so at least we’ll have a mutual understanding that sometimes we just need to hide out.
  4. Here’s the really shallow part:  I’m worried about wardrobe. I want to look nice…but I have very few clothes that fit properly around my abdomen after my surgery (why didn’t that doctor give me a tummy tuck while he was there?) There’s going to be a good amount of driving on 2 of the days, and plenty of sitting in uncomfortable chairs on all 3 days, and I know what that does to me when I’m wearing my comfiest clothes, never mind “business casual” wear. I’m devoting an awful lot of mental energy to this problem.
  5. I’m also worried about budget. I’ll have to get about 6 meals (including 2 dinners) while there, in addition to lodging. And there’s the Catholic Marketing Network going on, and I’ll want to get stuff.

On the upside, I’m looking forward to meeting Ellen Gable Hrkach, Daria Sockey and Pat Gohn–I think we’re all transplanted Jersey girls! I live in South Jersey now, but grew up in North Jersey, so I’m a “transplant” as well. South Jersey is pretty much a whole different state.

And I’m looking forward to learning everything I can, and to being among people who love to write!

12 thoughts on “Conference Time

  1. Correction: Actually I’m a native NYer, but my sister has been in NJ since the 80s so its kind of familiar… even tho’ I still routinely get lost on I-287… is it north and south or east and west?? Both? Anyway, I’m looking forward to meeting you, in person, too, Barb. Happy travels!

    • I knew there was some kind of NJ connection! And 287 goes in just about EVERY direction. I only deal with it because for a year I took it to work between Edison and Piscataway!

  2. Have a great time. And don’t worry, they’ll call you for the important things – like “where are my shoes?” and “I can’t find my bathing suit.”

    • I fully expect plenty of text messages like that. I get those from the college student who thinks I can find his flip-flops that are in Philadelphia with him through some kind of mom-location superpower (I’m good, but I’m not THAT good.)

  3. Barb, when I went 2 years ago, there was a wide range of wardrobe, so don’t worry about fitting in. And lots of us are introverts. You can escape to the chapel when you want some quiet time. I hope you pitch your book idea at one of the sessions–that’s what I did two years ago. Know what you mean about the 2 New Jerseys. I grew up in Parsippany, and driving down to Ocean CIty was like a trip to a different country. Can’t wait to see you.

    • Thanks, Daria, good to know! I figured that a lot of the people would also have Introvert Problems! We’ll all have that deer-in-the-headlights look by 4 PM… I didn’t sign up for a pitch session since I don’t have enough of the groundwork done on the book; right now, it’s a concept and a very basic outline. I want to learn more about how this all works (this year) and get something done on the book before pitching it. I’d hoped to be farther ahead by now, but I wound up with a big work project this spring, and the Bird in the Hand Rule applied.

  4. You met my husband Tom at some point. Apparently you exchanged stories of South Jersey bears and coyotes! He didn’t remember that I read your blog. Hope it was/is a great experience for you. Tom just went for the day.

    • Yes, I did meet Tom. I had no idea that Medford gets coyotes. Actually, I had no idea that coyotes happen east of the Mississippi. I thoroughly enjoyed the conference–there were so many people I wanted (and managed) to meet, and I met all of them and many more! And that’s even before all the stuff I learned!

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