Tomorrow I leave for the ACFW conference in Minneapolis where I will meet writers, editors, and agents, take classes on writing, and, hopefully, drum up some interest in my novel, Brandy and The Vine.
ACFW (Association of Christian Fiction Writers) has a special e-mail loop for newbie conference attendees like me with some seasoned authors offering advice and helpful tips. The loop has discussed everything from pitching your book to an editor to the accessibility of the hotel coffee shop. Many of my fellow newbies are nervous about their first conference and understandably so.
You might be curious about the state of my nerves tonight. Am I afraid of meeting a big wig from a publishing company and suddenly experiencing noodle tongue? Am I worried that my specially-engineered shaping undergarments will give up their will to fight in the middle of a lecture? Am I concerned that the snores of my roommate will make it impossible for me to sleep, and I will wander about the conference with luggage under my eyes?
No. Not really. Maybe it’s just where I am in life, but worry over appearing professional isn’t what’s making me bite my nails. What am I concerned about?
Rest assured, I plan to keep my clothing on for the duration of the conference so it’s not my modesty in question. No. It’s my boys’.
See, the last (and only) time I was away from home for an extended period of time (this being a little over 24 hours) my husband and boys had, well, an adventure at McDonalds.
Kory, being an engineer and thus sometimes clueless about life outside a cubicle, took Monkey and Chunky to McDonalds for the only sustenance a man knows how to procure—fast food.
When Monkey said he had to go to the bathroom, my husband let him go. (Yes, I chewed him up one side and down the other for letting our son go potty alone.) Kory waited with Chunky in the play area, but when Monkey didn’t come back, he got curious. So Kory went to search the men’s bathroom. No Monkey. He was standing outside of the restrooms, wondering where Monkey was when a woman came out of the ladies and gave him an odd look.
“Are you looking for a little boy?” she asked.
Kory answered yes.
“He’s in there,” she indicated the women’s restroom. “And he doesn’t have any clothes on.”
Kory went into the ladies bathroom, retrieved our bare little boy and his clothes and hauled him into the men’s room.
If the situation had been reversed (and it has been), I would’ve just put Monkey’s clothes on in the men’s room and let any guys who happened along just deal with the reality of a woman in the men’s bathroom. I mean really, is the world gonna end?
So there it is. Some moms worry that their kids will eat only junk food while their away. Some worry that the house will be trashed and the homework go undone. Not me. As long as they keep their clothes on, I’m good.
I’ll let you know how it goes.