May Countdown

May is a busy month around here this year.

Monday, I had the pleasure of attending and volunteering at the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont. I had to play hooky from teaching my yoga classes that night to be there (thanks, Shivani, for filling in for me). I had the honor and pleasure of driving Sarah Stewart Taylor from the airport to Oakmont. Once the festival got rolling, I spent a little time at the table where Elaine Viets’ books were displayed and talking them up in her absence (see my blog from []). Then another gal took over filling in for Elaine. I gave her a name tag to wear identifying her as “Virtual Elaine.” Then Nancy Martin asked me to sit and sell her books while she did her networking thing. So I became “Virtual Nancy.” I figure, I was practicing for the day when I’ll actually be hawking my own books.

It was nice to see old friends at the Festival and to make new ones.

Now that the Festival is behind me, I’m on final countdown for the Pennwriters Conference coming up next weekend (nine days to go). I’ll be on a panel about Finding an Agent. This is my first panel and I’m a little nervous. Not much. I’ll be surrounded by friends. And being the area rep for Pennwriters has given me lots of practice on public speaking anyway.

My other duty for the conference is coordinating the goodies for the “freebie table.” Earlier in the year, I sent out requests to a slew of publishers requesting copies of magazines, submission guidelines, anything they can spare. And now those donations are filling up my small house. The living room is overflowing. My office has a path to get from the door to my desk and every other square inch is stacked with boxes. The trick will be getting all this stuff into my Saturn Ion and hauling it to the hotel. The perk of this job is getting dibs on the stuff as it comes in.

Then there’s that other countdown. The countdown to the naming of the Derringer Award winners. That happens on May 15th, before the Conference. I really don’t believe that I stand much of a chance. I’ve seen the other finalists in my category. But then, I never believed that I’d have made it this far. Miracles do happen. So I’ll cross my fingers and count the days (six).


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