big sur adventure

Last weekend was an adventure. Okay, okay, every weekend is an adventure, but last weekend was a really BIG, SURreal adventure.  See what I did there?

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to go to a super sweet writer’s conference in Big Sur.  The experience was magical and whimsical and cold and full of laughs and packed with complete freakouts.

Let me break it down for you.

Friday

Jill drives us from Malibu to Big Sur.  We pass a zebra farm (with an ocean view).  Why not?

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We get ready in the bathroom of the lodge’s lobby because our room isn’t ready yet. Great.

At the first workshop, my work is torn to shreds.  Overall response: “Cute idea, but terrible execution.”

I sulk.

I attempt to start a fire.  Please see Jill’s post for The Rest of The Story.  (Paul Harvey, I love you!)

I rewrite my first ten pages starting from scratch.

Saturday

Printing issues.  “Just tell him to bring my laptop to the airport. I’m going home.”  I never thought I was this dramatic.

I remember that the world is a magical place full of redwood trees.

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I go back to workshop, and my new pages are well-received.  Overall response: “Always write like this.” Will do.

So much coffee.  Not enough water.

I am on top of the world, and so is the entirety of FAC (First Authors Club).  We sing ROAR with more passion than anyone ever singing a Katy Perry song should.

We eat giant burgers really fast.  “My stomach. I don’t know what’s happening in there.”

Sunday

Bathroom issues.

“Jill, I want to be honest with you. I went to the bathroom. Some things happened. I opened a window.”

20 mins later in the lobby.

Me: “I wouldn’t use the left stall if I were you. Terrible things have occurred.”

Jill: “Was it you again?”

I find out the secret to perfect eyebrows. I will not share this information. wahahaha

FAC shares big (sur) hugs.  So many Big Sur puns out there…

We kick off the drive back with 30 minutes of laughing, screaming, and singing loudly.  It’s a total manic blackout.  I’m just happy we survived.

Overall Experience

I’m so thankful to have Jill and Katie, two brilliant, amazing writers and friends.  I’m so thankful that I write and that what I write has a place in the world.  I’m so thankful I went to Big Sur.

Oh, and I’m so thankful for you… and zebra farms.

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roast beef is a conversation starter

Today I had to make a very, very difficult decision.  Think Divergent: “One choice can transform you.”

What was the decision?  Turkey or roast beef.  Let me explain.

This December- Oh, gosh. December is too close to say “this.”  Start again.

Next month, I’m going to a writer’s conference.  It’s in Big Sur.  It will be full of rainy, gorgeous scenery, writing all-nighters, and a billion requests for queries.  Right?  Okay, okay.  At the very least, it will be full of a nice drive to and from the conference, writing afternoons, and at least one awkward conversation with a literary agent.

This conference has brought some beautiful things into my life, the best being my writing group, First Authors Club (FAC).  FAC is made up of Jill and Katie and me.  Jill is a fabulous dresser and fantastic, feminist writer of teen female friendships.  I tried to jam as many “f’s” into that description as possible because Jill stands for “fun.”  Fun real stories, fun fictional stories, fun Farrah Fawcett hair, fun, fun, fun.  Katie is a fantasy queen, but her letter is “g” for great.  Great writing, great mom (to her baby, not to me – that would be weird), great friend, great conservative mind, great, great, great.

Playtime with these ladies, aka story notes time, is the highlight of my week.

Back to decisions. The conference has made small decisions (like what to do with my hair) take on a large weight.  Today, it got more than a little ridiculous.  We were emailed asking what kind of meat we would like on our sandwiches at the retreat.  My first inclination was turkey.  I mean, turkey is the safe choice.  Turkey is “doctor,” if you pick a husband by occupation.

But there’s a side of you that wants to pick “rock star” for your spouse’s job, right?  The rock star of deli meats? Roast beef.  All of the sudden, you think it’s so much more interesting to pick roast beef, the unusual, off-beat choice.  Here’s the danger: your rock star husband could be a big party dude who leaves you all alone with the screaming twins; in deli meat terms: it’s limp and fatty.  Now the fate of my future career seemed to rest on this one decision.  Everyone will pick turkey.  Turkey is the obvious choice.  Roast beef, though, roast beef is a conversation starter.

Scenario #1:  “Oh, is that roast beef?” an agent will ask. “I love roast beef. I thought I was the only one here. What’s your manuscript about? I want to represent you, you fellow beefer!”

Scenario #2: “That’s roast beef!” someone will shout. “All the best writers who aren’t vegetarians choose roast beef. I shall read your book, now.”

Scenario #3: “Oh, you’re eating roast beef,” another one will say. “That’s so interesting. I find you so interesting because of your deli meat choice. Let’s talk.”

So there was the choice.  Turkey or roast beef?  The doctor or rock star?  Lab coat or leather jacket?

It was at this point that I realized I had been riding the crazy train for a few minutes, maybe for a few years.  I got off at the next stop and emailed my choice.

Turkey.  Plain, safe turkey.  Although, if we’re talking husbands, I’d go for a pediatrician who plays for a terrible garage band on Sunday afternoons.  What is that in deli meat?