Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nationals Is Starting and I’m at Home

I doubt I’m the only person out there who wishes that they were at Nationals today but instead, they’re doing dishes/making their bed/grocery shopping (insert normal, mundane activity here).

Instead of being at Nationals, chatting with awesome, like-minded writers, I’m here with my two kiddos, surfing the internet for updates, watching Facebook for pics, and frantically refreshing the #RWA12 hashtag on Twitter, all in an attempt to not miss anything.

I’m going to miss things.  Chances are I’m missing most of it but the highlights.

Which is a giant bummer.

I’ve been writing seriously for five years now and I’ve never been to Nationals.  There are lots of reasons why and most of them are related to my family.  Some of them are financial.  Whatever the reason, I haven’t been able to go.

And that's okay.  In honesty, the chances I’d have gone any of these years were actually quite small.  I can’t imagine leaving my kids that long.  I'm a bit sappy like that.  If I’d actually signed a contract or finalled in the contest, I’d have probably taken the fam with me.  That way they’d be there too so I could see them, I wouldn't have had to worry about them, and I’d have had the incentive to make the financial outlay to take them.

I have no idea how I’ll feel about it next year, but that’s how I’ve felt until now.  And logically I know that’s fine. 

The problem is, every year at Nationals time I watch all of this—Facebook, Twitter, Blogs—and I feel like I’m not a serious writer because I’m not there, at Nationals, with all of those serious writers.

I know that’s silly.  Going to conference isn’t what makes them serious writers (not taken alone, anyway) and me not going doesn’t make me less serious.  I’m sure there are plenty of published writers who didn’t go to conference before they published and I’m sure there are plenty of published writers who still don’t go to conference regularly.

But I can’t help feeling like that kid with his face pressed against the toy store window, staring at the promise of fun inside.

I’ll go.  Not this year but maybe next year.  Or the year after.  I know it’ll be back in New York in a few years and that’s so close I’d be silly not to go. Just because it isn't this year doesn't mean it's never.

What I need to remember is that just because I’m not there physically, it doesn’t mean I’m not “there.”  I’m rooting for Terri and Mary Danielson and Wendy La Capra like mad right here.  I’m listening for the gossip and the publishing news.  As part of RWA, it’s my conference too, even if I’m not there in person.

And I need to keep writing.  Because that’s the underlying theme of the conference anyway.

Those of you who aren’t going to Nationals… How are you taking being “left behind?”  Any great online conferences or places you’re stalking for updates? And if you are at Nationals, I hope you guys are having fun!  Keep us posted because we’re all waiting for your updates!  J


Donna Cummings said...

Marn, I'm wishing I was there too, mainly so I could see everyone I've gotten to know online over the years. It seems funny how fast each year goes, though, so I'll keep my sights on next year.

It will make more sense to go then, since I'll have at least two things out (one with Samhain, and one with Crimson), in addition to my self-pub books.

So I'll be there with you checking out all the updates on FB and Twitter!

Marnee Bailey said...

Donna - It IS funny how fast the years have gone. I was thinking about the ones I've missed so far. But a year is a long time. Time for me to get myself together to go, I hope.

And congrats on your upcoming releases!! Looking forward to them!

MsHellion said...

I'm used to being left behind. I think it comes from growing up on a farm and not having much money (at all)--all the cool kids went to basketball camp or some other kind of camp--and I spent the whole of my summer with cows. Alone. Sometimes I wonder if I ever outgrew that--Hey, Hellie, you can go to camp now!--but now I've turned into my parents. "It's too expensive. You don't need to go. It's not like you're going to be a successful writer anyway."

MsHellion said...

(Realized I left the comment as all negative--totally didn't mean to do that. My head is in another place this morning. A friend's son died--he was only 21--and I'm worried for her and heartbroken.)

While the week is quiet, I'm scribbling in my notebooks, I'm reading my Book-a-thon book on writing a book in 26 days, and trying to be more consistent than perfect.

Marnee Bailey said...

Oh man, Hells. :) :LOL!! I think I had a lot of that growing up too.

It is expensive. This year would have been really rough. The plane rides to the West Coast were really expensive from here. I hope next year will be cheaper. The trips to ATL are a little more reasonable. For me, anyway.

But, really, my kids are my big deterrent. (That sounds bad but it isn't.) They're little and I know they'd really miss me if I were gone for 5 days. I've gone to the NJ conference but only been over night one night or two. THat's not really an option to CA. :)

As to this... It's not like you're going to be a successful writer anyway

That is not the attitude we're having here today, missy. Put that away. You are definitely talented and awesome enough to be a successful writer. Just haven't hit that "one" yet. :)

Marnee Bailey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marnee Bailey said...

Oh no, Hells!! *hugs*

I'm so sorry for your loss and his mom's loss. Stuff like that breaks my heart too. So young. So much lost potential. It makes me so sad and I didn't even know him.

Janga said...

More hugs, Hellie. I'm so sorry about your friend's loss. My condolences and prayers for her and for you. I think losing a child is the most devastating of losses.

Janga said...

I'll be home too, but that's nothing new. The shocker will be if I ever make a conference. I'm thinking about Atlanta next year. It's silly not to go when it will be only a couple of hours drive from me. I think about spending real life time with online friends, and I'm definitely going. Then I remember all those hundreds of strangers and Atlanta traffic, and I think maybe not. LOL

I'm following the comments on FB and Twitter too, but a lot of my usual sources aren't going this year either. I'm depending on Terri and Maureen for news. I'll be on Twitter Saturday night eagerly awaiting GH announcements. The RITAs are secondary this year.

Marnee Bailey said...

Janga - Awh, Janga, you would know lots of people. I sometimes think about that, that I don't really "know" anyone. But, I do--online. :)

As to GH and Ritas? The GH is more important to me too. I can't wait. I was just rambling about it to my hubs last night and I think he's getting excited to hear the results too. :)

P. Kirby said...

While, technically, I'm published, small press and ebook (Decadent and Carina), I haven't made it to a conference yet. Mostly because I'm rather timid and the thought of getting molested by the TSA, hopping on a plane and negotiating a strange city by myself is scary.

But I've got a special needs dog; he's got epilepsy, food allergies and is afraid of everyone except my husband and I. So finding a pet sitter who will deal with all that is a challenge.

But the whole conference thing always leaves me feeling like the uncool kid who outside looking in. The plan is to go to at least one con next year.

Marnee Bailey said...

Pat - You know, I think most of us writerly types are nervous in these sorts of situations. At least to some extent. I'm not really a "shy" person, but the idea of meeting successful writers and ladies that I get all fangirl about is intimidating. You're not alone there.

For my part I still hope to get to NJ RWA this fall. We'll see.

And poor puppy!! :(

Angel said...

I'm stuck at home too! I usually find this very difficult because all of my closest friends go, but this year I'm consoling myself with the knowledge that I'm going to Atlanta next year. Its within driving distance. I simply couldn't afford that airfare to Cali.

I agree, Kirby, about the "outside looking in" feeling, but it does get easier with each year you go. More people recognize you and you meet those people you only know online. That being said, I usually have a "buddy" with me at social events and meals. :) I'm too much of an introvert to go it alone!

Marnee Bailey said...

Angel - The airfare to Cali was cost-prohibitive to me too. But I do need to see about next year. It's still a flight but should be "easier."

And I think you must be right about recognizing people after a while. I've never gone to a conference "alone" but I bet it's a bit intimidating. Buddy meals and social events is a good idea. ;)

quantum said...

If I was within a couple of hours then I would want to go, mainly to try and meet some of the people that I have got to know online and the authors who have provided so much reading enjoyment. However, crossing the Atlantic is just too far for me to contemplate!

The London Olympics are near enough but travelling into London at such a busy time does not appeal. Fortunately it will all be on the telly where I can enjoy it from my arm chair. I will miss the awsome excitement and atmosphere of actually being there when world records are broken though.

Sorry to hear of your sadness Hellie. I was also brought up in a rural environment and like cows. It can be so peaceful sitting in a meadow watching them chewing the cud and occasionaly frolicking, though not when there is a bull around! LOL

Marnee Bailey said...

Q - you aren't going to the Olympics?! Then again, I kinda get it. I once went to NYC for the Fourth of July fireworks. The traffic/traveling was so horrible, I ended up feeling like it would have just been easier to watch it on TV. :)

MsHellion said...

Q, I prefer the cows now. *LOL* And A/C, always do I prefer A/C, but I purposely hunted out a living arrangement where I was not located in a center of town--and I don't even live in a big town. (Only about 100,000, maybe 150,000 when the kids come back in the fall.) But it can be real crowded come game day; and it can get loud. I prefer the buffer of some green and trees and cows. And I still have to drive 18 miles to actually get the true buffer of silence! (Assuming Dad's asshat neighbor is not setting off fireworks. Seriously the guy's a douche. He clearly didn't move to the country to "keep it down.")

MsHellion said...

Q, have you ever taken part in Mass Observation writing? It looks fascinating and I'm rather bummed that America doesn't do something similar for its people. Then again, considering our school systems, it might just reflect how poorly reflection and writing has been taught in schools.

Maureen said...

Ok. I'm here and still dealing with feeling an outsider. I think it always works that way. I'll be heading over to the literacy signing soon but really... It takes me days to feel like I'm part of this shindig. RT is easier for me.

Don't always feel like I belong here.

I'm a second tier know people who know people. So, I recognize people who don't recognize me. Should get better tonight.

Marnee Bailey said...

Awh... HUGS to Mo!

I'm sorry you're feeling a little out of sorts. I hope it gets better. It does seem like a LOT to take in. I'm sure everyone's feeling overwhelmed right now.

Hang in there, go with the flow! Feel the good vibes! (Insert all the other pom pom shaking you need here) I'm sure you're doing great.

TerriOsburn said...

She is not an outsider!! We're staying busy (and cold!) and right now we're on our way to lunch. I'm holding you to coming next year, Marn. (And I'll drag Hellie kicking and screaming one of these days.