I am just back from a whirlwind weekend at the Surrey International Writers Conference, and whew! I have never had days pass so quickly. Everywhere I turned there was someone new to talk to, or something fascinating to learn, or some literary argument happening. (I diffused one debate over the merits of the 50 Shades series with the story of my son’s anniversary gift.)
My presentations both went smoothly — more on those another day. In the meantime, here are just a few of my favourite conference moments:
- Meeting two amazingly talented teen writers at my blue pencil sessions. One was 14!! If I could have gone to a conference like this at 14, I would have… well, I would have been too nervous to speak or move, personally, but what an accomplishment and what a huge opportunity to learn from so many writers and agents and editors at such a young age.
- The flapper dinner. You know, there are too few chances to wear a feather boa in daily life. Why is that? I have to admit, there were multiple boas in my house from which to choose (Jacqui’s fault). I went with purple. I would show you a picture, but flapper dresses are remarkably short on pockets. I had to put my room key in my bra, and I’m just not endowed enough to comfortably hide a camera there.
- Breakfasts. Do you know, every morning someone make breakfast AND someone else made my bed? And then another person took away my dishes and I didn’t have to wash them? No wonder people go to conferences. Best of all, while I ate, there were all these other presenters around me, discussing writing. What better way to start the day?
In case you’ve noticed that I haven’t been panicking on the blog about my public speaking abilities, and in case you’ve worried that the real Tanya has been abducted by aliens and replaced by a more secure imposter, you will be happy to know that I wore my shirt inside-out for half a banquet. Then, when I discovered this in the buffet line-up, I handed my name tag to the person next to me, whipped off my top, and put it back on in the right direction.
If I’m ever invited back to the Surrey International Writers Conference, I’m going to suggest a workshop called “How to Strip in Public with No One Noticing.”