Monday, September 13, 2010

Sonia does her best to be late for 1st conference gig

This past Saturday, I was the first speaker at the SCBWI OK Fall Conference. The presentation went just fine, but getting there was a comedy of errors.

First of all, I didn't sleep well the night before -- partly because I was nervous about speaking, but mostly because I continued to obsess about the disturbing bits in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which we'd just watched, and which I'm starting to think was better than the book) long into the wee hours.

So I woke puffy-eyed and exhausted, dragging around until I was fifteen minutes late leaving, but I still had plenty of time to make it to Chandler, Oklahoma. Except -- my gas tank was nearly empty! So I lost more time filling it. Then I remembered that I didn't have a cent on me for the turnpike. So I got cash. But a twenty dollar bill was no good, so I had to break it at Starbucks. Finally, I'm on the road again and, now that the sun has crossed the horizon, it occurs to me that I don't have my sunglasses. ARGH! (My photosensitivity has reached nearly vampiric levels, so I've GOTTA have sunglasses. Even when it's cloudy.) Fortunately, I had a spare pair in the glove box, but they were crappy and uncomfortable. Still, I'm finally on the interstate and moving in the right direction.

My GPS is telling me what to do, because I don't even trust myself with Mapquest anymore. I'm driving along, la la la, and all of a sudden I realize I'm passing the turnpike. The GPS forgot to tell me to take it! But I keep driving, thinking maybe it knows a better way to access the turnpike. Instead, it takes me to Route 66 -- yes, that famous TWO-lane highway -- and tells me to take that to Chandler. DOUBLE ARGH! (It occurred to me later that I'd adjusted the GPS settings to avoid toll roads. Well done, Sonia.)

As it turned out, Route 66 was pretty cool. And because I didn't get stuck behind a grandpa on a tractor, I still made it with 15 minutes to spare.

And then my computer would not cooperate with the LCD projector. *sigh*

But we got that sorted (thanks to Tammi Sauer's thumbdrive and Darlene Bailey Beard's netbook), and I was able to start my presentation on time. Everyone was wonderfully polite and cooperative, and I had a great time. My thanks go out once again to the Elevensies who offered their successful queries for my presentation. *hugs*

The rest of the conference was brilliant. Pati Hailey led us through some relaxation exercises before asking us to do some writing. I ended up brainstorming character motivation details that I'd been ignoring for too long. And then Joni Sensel's fabulous Fantasy intensive helped me to write two scenes and brainstorm a different character's motivations. Such a productive day. Thank you Anna Myers, Pati Hailey and all the staff and speakers at Oklahoma SCBWI for a great day!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

3 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you were stressed, but I'm enjoying the tale of Almost Being Late and the Recalcitrant Computer. :-)

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  2. Well, you LOOKED calm, cool, and collected as you made your presentation, so your audience had no idea of all the drama you'd already experienced. Great job!

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  3. I just realized what a mess of tense changes this entry is! Ah well, not worth the bother at this point. But yes, it all turned out okay and thanks, Jeanie, for the nice words!

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