Friday, April 1, 2016

The First Rule of Writing Conferences Is...


A couple years ago, Bouchercon was in Long Beach, which is about an hour's drive from my home. I couldn't attend the entire conference, so I commuted. Given that I wouldn't have been able to attend at all if I didn't drive, the big pains in the ass that driving brought with it seemed minimal.

This lead me to a fairly disastrous decision.

AWP 2016 is my second AWP with the LitReactor crew and I've been looking forward to it since I said goodbye to my awesome teammates last year. Things have been a little crazy, so I thought, why not make them crazier? I committed to commuting each way to and from Los Angeles this year.

It's day one and I am fucking done.

Luckily for me, the LitReactor crew is full of awesome people and I don't have to repeat today's mistake over the next two days, but damn was that a hard lesson. I left my house at six am and didn't get home until after nine - and that was with missing the reading I wanted to attend. I was so wiped out from the drive that the normally slow and relaxed first day of the conference went by me in a coffee fueled blur - I didn't even think to take photos.

I also didn't drink enough water, eat enough food, or follow any of the common sense rules of surviving a conference, but that's okay. I get Friday and Saturday to make up for it - and Friday night at the LitReactor/Broken River Books/ Booked Podcast party (Check out the info HERE if you're local) I can have a few drinks and try to forget this, the day I thought commuting two hours to and from Los Angeles was anything but a disaster of an idea!

Come see us at booth 322 if you're at AWP, and if you're in the area, be sure to check out our party!


Dana King said...

Wow. I can imagine. I stayed at other than the main hotels for a couple of Bouchercons and have made an active effort not to do that anymore. Even walking a few blocks (or, God Forbid, a mile or so as in Albany) makes for a much longer day. It's sweet to be able to pop upstairs for a quick break when need be, and need will be.

Renee Asher Pickup said...

This is not a mistake I'll make again! Hahaha

seana graham said...

It's funny--for some reason I read the title and thought you meant exactly the opposite of what you were saying and were advising people not to go to conferences that weren't close to home. As I'm planning to go to New Orleans this year, I was bit anxious for a few seconds.

I had some friends who live in West L.A. and wisely decided to stay at the hotel itself instead of going home every night. I think they were glad they did. I also met someone in Long Beach who literally only lived a block away. But I think psychologically that wasn't as helpful as it sounds, because there was kind of a feeling of not being totally committed to being there. Even though it would have been kind of strange to pay for a hotel room.

I'm booked at the conference hotel in New Orleans that is three blocks away as the Merriott was booked, but I am already wondering if I should go to the hassle of switching to the one that is one block away, as I may regret the extra blocks if I feel like lingering.