Drip Dry Diva

April 27, 2010

I’m traveling again.

Last week, it was the Chicago Spring Fling conference (and hello again to all the people I talked to there). Since I have yet to post any details, you’d all be better off going to


where there is a decent recap.

Mostly what I can remember of the conference is, the Deerfield Hyatt has killer death stairs up and out of the sunken atrium by the bar. And since we are all walking around with our eyes up, staring at badges and waving to people across the lobby, this was a disaster waiting to happen.

For a change, I was not the one on my face on the floor. But I saw at least one woman doing the ‘No, I’m all right. Don’t worry about me.’ And during Friday supper, they had to call for EMTs with a backboard.

But not for me. I did not fall on my face. Instead, I knocked over the lettuce on the salad buffet. They put a small bowl on a glass block pedestal. And then gave me a pair of tongs. What the hell were they thinking?

But I redeemed myself at the signing while sitting next to the fabulous Courtney Milan. Her pen blew up, bled green ink on her fingers and splashed her in the eye. Since, when I go to these things I pack like the Girl Scout Special Forces, I was able to supply a compact mirror and some Shout Wipes.

Also, Sherrill Bodine has better shoes than me. This is not news. My shoes are really pretty bad. They are cheap, and sometimes they have dog teeth marks in them. But her shoes? They are better than your shoes, too. They are ‘Oh God, did you see those shoes???’ shoes. And apparently, she has a lot of them.

Tomorrow, I will be hopping on a plane to go to the Romantic Times conference in Columbus Ohio.

Actually, I think if it more as going today. In a moment of madness, I booked a 6:00 AM flight. To get to the airport and get properly checked in, I will have to leave the house by 3:30 in the morning. While I can almost get my head around that time by thinking of it as very late tonight, I have trouble focusing on the ‘in the air by 6:00’ part. I do not know if that time actually even exists, I see it so seldom.

Once in Ohio, I don’t know what will happen to me. While most writer’s conferences are high powered, dress-for-success-in-a-ladylike- way affairs, RT is a fan conference. It is more of a dress-like-a-fairy-and-raise-your-glass-high conference. As far as I can tell, it is like a science fiction convention, only with lots more women. And a few men, since this is the home of the Mr. Romance cover model contest.

In that vein, I am learning to tweet from my phone, thinking that on the spot reporting may be needed. When I asked #1 son how to do this, he said, “Get a better phone.” He is a text king now, and was sending me clues to the NYT crossword while I was trying to listen to Julia Quinn in Chicago, just because he could.

He is unimpressed by my crappy Tracfone. But I showed him. I am now live and can Tweet mobile. If you are on Twitter, you can follow me on


Or there is a feed on my homepage at


So I am packing up the conference wardrobe, and supplementing with an assortment of shawls and scarves and gaudies to improvise party costumes as needed. My main advice today is, if you are going to spill things, aim for the left side, since those stains can be cleverly covered with a broach. If you spill on the right, it is likely to be something that is not removed by Shout and hard to hide under jewelry. If you see me wearing my name badge on my right this week, dare me to move it.

2 responses to “Drip Dry Diva”

  1. tv guy says:

    I wish I could write like you as Margaret Laurence once said “When I say “work” I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”

    • Christine Merrill says:

      Odd jobs pretty wll sums up everything I did before writing. Even as a librarian, I was kind of a slacker. It wasn’t until the last 9 months of my working life that I had a job that was full time with decent pay and benefits. I finally had the chance to grow up. And promptly turned and ran in the opposite direction. I couldn’t hack it, and had quit in less than a year.

      Except for motherhood. I managed to keep up with that, all right. The pay is lousy, but you work from home.

      My advice to writers is, have some combination of these 3 things: an indulgent spouse with good health care, an inattentive boss who doesn’t care that you are putting your energy into writing, or comfort with a low standard of living.

      Also, nerves of steel.

      And here is the best advice ever, from Patrick Rothfuss. Who strangely enough, also lives in Wisconsin.


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