Another Pennwriters Conference has come and gone. Almost two years’ worth of planning goes into the weekend event that’s over in a blink of an eye. Having been the coordinator two years ago, I know all too well what’s involved. It makes me appreciate it all the more.
Julie Long and Meredith Cohen did a fabulous job. FABulous. I’m saving the bulk of my report on it for this Wednesday’s Working Stiffs (hey, I’m just too lazy to try to think of another topic!), but I’ll share a
few highlights here.
First, there was the bellhop who lugged my stuff to my room Thursday afternoon and asked if I was in town to run the Pittsburgh Marathon, because (he said) I looked like I was in good enough shape for it. Okay, yes. I’m a sucker for a compliment. I gave the guy a really good tip. Which was probably
his goal all along.
Then there was the guy who told me I looked like Susan Sarandon. HA! THAT fellow needs glasses. Seriously. But I told him he was my new favorite person. Near sightedness and all.
All right, there was a lot of great writing stuff, too. And a ton of schmoozing AKA networking. My personal favorite part of the weekend (beyond the flattery) was Jonathan Maberry’s keynote speech at Saturday’s lunch. It was funny and inspirational and it made me want to be a better writer. More
importantly, it made me believe I could be.
One last highpoint that combines flattery with writing: my friend Fred Connors purchased and had me sign a copy of Fish Tales. The next day he told me about how, even though he was totally exhausted when he picked it up the previous night, “A Murder Runs Through It” had sucked him in, and he couldn’t put it down.
Forget about looking like Susan Sarandon. THAT was the best compliment I received all weekend.