Orlando...Life is so random! And so is this post.
Well, when I got there I still had my concussion, so I really didn't "wake up" until Saturday, when Mel Hodde (part of Hannah Alexander's writing team with his wife Cheryl) used his osteopath skills and snapped my head back in order.
Unfortunately for me, but moreso for the audience, I spoke on Friday morning. At least I think I did. I remember having a conversation about how Dyson vacuums are the bomb, and that's about it.
Orlando has no coffee, which is something like hades to me -- then you add in the sweat factor and let's just say I'm on the right (left) coast. I had a stimulating conversation with an Israeli software programmer, told him I wrote a book on how they were geeks and he laughed. It's very hard to offend people here. I need that.
Stephanie Whitson made me the most GORGEOUS pillow case out of a darling handbag material, with my trademark lime green as lining. I adore it!
Dave Coble schlepped his wife's stuff up to the room, and then he schlepped my stuff because he just doesn't look right without carrying something. : ) I had the best meal with them and the Hodde's at this great restaurant called Bogard's. We shared deep fried dill pickles in wasabi. YUM!
My agent knew I'd be tired after my signing and got me a key to her room to rest. That was cool! I was sitting with my new editor from Tyndale at the Peabody Hotel and this Disney voice says, "Ladies and Gentleman, please direct your attention to..." And these six little ducks come waddling in a line and jump in the fountain for the day.
I saw Fireworks from my room at Sea World. Oh and I didn't bring my DVD player because my Mac Air is lighter without it. Normally, I watch Bridget Jones's Diary on the way out to a conference, and the way back. People on the plane don't know I've seen it 8 bajillion times. Since I didn't bring it, I worked and when I got to the hotel, "Bridget Jones's Edge of Reason" was on, and I saw it from the beginning. The night before my signing, the BBC (Colin Firth) version of "Pride & Prejudice" was showing. It was serendipity!
After my signing, before my agent's big party, I saw a soccer shop and wanted to get my sons a jersey (one of them to match the dog!) So I take a cab to this not so great part of town, buy the shirts, and I have no way to get back. So I walk to the nearest hotel (can you say sweat like a pig?) and talk about random, there is this mini-golf place with all these baby alligators outside next to the sidewalk in a pen. How cool is that?
Oh, and the Christy's were fun this year! It was really neat to hear all the highlights of moving the CBA and fiction forward happened. I remembered them all, but it was nice to be reminded of God's providence in the matter. I was glad I didn't win since I had no speech whatsoever, and everyone had gotten up there and unfurled these papers. I would have been like, "You like me! You really like me!" LOL
When I checked into my hotel for the signing, I signed up for a massage to get my muscles back in order after my fall. This is hilarious! I wanted to save time because Denise and I were eating out, so I wore my suit to the spa, got my massage and took a shower in the spa to save time. Except I forget to shed my undies, so I had to go back upstairs and change anyway. I'm pleading concussion on that one.
Denise Hunter put up with me again this year (Felix & Oscar together again!) The signing was fun. I love to connect with readers. The English/South Africans/Aussies get my humor. I think it's all the Jane Austen I read. I got home at 2 a.m. on Monday morning, so not a great way to start the week and I've been doing laundry since I came home. I feel human again. I was with writers and I LOVE learning from them and just drinking in their energy.
I'm really blessed to do this for a living, and I'm grateful to no end. I came home to a new air conditioning system and a brand new water heater. Life just doesn't get much better than that.
Alligators on the sidewalk
Diann Mills & Me
2008 Writer's Retreat -- Weirdos Unite!