One more sleep until my friend Little Miss Wordy (insert shameless plug: https://littlemisswordy.com/ ) and I make the trek to Dayton, Ohio. It’s an estimated 9 hour drive which sounds awful but Leah and I haven’t seen each other much the past two weeks so we will chat the time away. I’m the newbie on this road trip and I’m pretty excited about it.
This is only my second time traveling for a writing workshop. My first was Writer’s Digest last summer in NYC. That was great but I already know this one will be better. It’s smaller which is a plus and the genre is more specialized. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Erma when I signed up for this event. I’ve been catching up, reading her long ago columns and getting glimpses into her life. I think we would’ve gotten along just fine.
Here’s what I’m packing:
- Hope. Hope that I have indeed found my tribe. That I will be surrounded by people that “get” me. A home where my quirky sense of humor is appreciated or at least accepted.
- Willingness. Willingness to be open to new ideas and listen attentively to people and concepts that I may not encounter on a daily basis.
- Friendship. The spirit of friendship and good will. I hope to bring this with me when I return home.
- Kindness. To everyone I encounter on this journey.
- The other essentials – clothes, toothpaste, toothbrush, lap top, chargers, 4 pairs of shoes, and a variety of black sweat pants that all look the same to the untrained eye.
- Oreos. To sweeten some introductions and to promote my book which has some mention of Oreos sprinkled throughout. Anyone have connections at Nabisco?
- My book draft!
Here’s what I’m leaving behind:
- Ethel. Ethel is the self-doubting prairie dog that lives in my head. She’s awful and sneaky, she pops up from time to time.
- Expectation. Keeping this to a minimum.
- Impatience. I have gobs of this at home hoping I don’t need it on this trip.
To all the friends I haven’t met yet, I look forward to meeting you in person. I’ll be the one with the Oreos probably wearing a hat and perhaps a cape.
Hi my name is Bryce and I’m a recovering SAHM with an acute (not a cute) case of Imposter Syndrome. You all enthusiastically say, “Hi Bryce, welcome”. I spent a decade as a SAHM and wouldn’t even spring for a good haircut let alone a conference. I didn’t spend family money on frivolous things. Traveling to a conference for a “hobby” seemed excessive and not something I would have done two years ago. I am happy to report that times have changed for me.
A few years ago I started to consciously carve out a niche for myself. I had been a SAHM so long that I got lost in the daily tasks of managing a family. When both kids got to middle school I determined to change a few things. The first thing I took aim at was finding a job. That seemed impossible given that my last job involved proprietary medical software which doesn’t age well. If you’re out a week things change, you can’t play catch up on a decade long absence.
With no employment prospects, I decided to start a small business. I fill in the gaps for families that need a helping hand. Most of my clients are elderly and their loved ones just want someone to check in on them during the day. It’s great, the work is meaningful and I have autonomy over my schedule. I can also pay my way for the conference.
This year I turn the big 5-OH so I am more aware that there is less sand in the top portion of my life’s hourglass. I’m also making an effort to take my writing from a cathartic hobby to something that can earn money. I’m currently writing a book which I will shamelessly promote to all of you once it is done (I’m so excited about it!).
I wouldn’t be registered if it weren’t (weren’t or wasn’t; imposter isn’t sure) for my good friend, Leah Vidal. Leah was the one who inspired me to start a blog and she told me about the EBWW. In fact, she registered me for the event. I had to work the day that registration opened and I couldn’t log in. So if I accidentally burn the place down or I become ground zero for a new plague that spreads at the workshop, it’s Leah’s fault.
In a not so surprising twist, last week I realized that the conference conflicts with a variety show fundraiser that I started three years ago. I was sitting in a meeting for the non-profit looking at an event flyer and wondering why April 7th sounded familiar. Then I had my “oh sh*t” moment of realization and I immediately told the attendees I would be out of town. I will not be deterred.
This post was in response to Gina Valley’s EBWW writing prompt. PROMPT: In 300-800 words talk about signing up for the 2018 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop