Actually, there are many. But one of them is, I can sit in the sunshine at my kitchen table in the created world of my choosing, with my two faithful dogs for companionship.
No one stares at me blankly. There are no awkward silences. I don't find myself fervently wishing to be anywhere but there!
Put me in front of a blank sheet of paper or a new Microsoft Word document and I can almost always think of something to say - maybe not the next great American novel, but something.
Put me at the front of a room with a bunch of people (the kind that are over 4 feet tall and 10 years old) staring at me and waiting for me to enlighten them and my mouth goes so dry it won't work properly, my hands tremble, and I have a sudden first-hand understanding of palpitations. You know how in books people are paralyzed with fright? I'm not paralyzed - I shake! All but my mind. THAT gets paralyzed. I can't think of a single word to say, even with notes in front of me.
So. How was the conference? you'd like to know.
Well, I'll tell you.
I drove to Saratoga Springs in the pouring rain. This is getting to be a habit with these author outings. It was cold and gray and wet, and I'm wondering if spring will ever come this year.
But I digress.
The hotel was very nice. Merritt Book Store had set up a beautiful display, selling books by all the attending authors. I had the extreme pleasure and privilege of chatting with Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter, two wonderful people and fellow authors whom I had met Saturday at the Empire State Book Festival, Michael Garland, the talented author and illustrator of many books for children, and Doreen Rappaport, the inspiring author of many biographies and historical books for children. I also met lots of other very nice people.
Here is the beautiful poster the NYSRA made for my talk:
Dinner was fun. I got to witness the formal presentation of the Charlotte Awards, sit with a number of interesting people, and hear all the other authors who were in attendance get up and speak, all of them very inspiring to listen to.
Here is the copy of their new book, Spilling Ink (which I highly recommend!), that Anne and Ellen signed for me as a gift for surviving my talk!
I told you they were really nice :)
The drive home was late and also in the rain.
The talk was very scary and I'm pretty sure the only people who wanted to leave more than I did were the people listening! Thank goodness it's over... until the next time :)