Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Conference Necessities

It's that time again: I'm abandoning my husband and children, climbing behind the wheel, and driving off to the wild, wonderful world of a WRITER'S CONFERENCE. If you're a writer and you haven't yet crammed yourself into a building with hundreds of other writers, REPENT! You won't regret it.

Packing for a writer's conference is an experience in and of itself. This is a partial list of the things I consider essential to life and happiness while I'm gone:

Audio Books. When hubby is driving (which happens whenever hubby is in the car), I read quietly to myself. Why should I have to abandon all that great fiction immersion time just because I also have to keep the vehicle between the lines? Even though I'll only be driving for a combined total of about 8 hours, I always make sure to have several audio books with me (thank you, public library), so I can switch the book if I decide one of the narrators is annoying or the books aren't as compelling as I thought they'd be.

Comfortable shoes. No pumps, heels (kitten, high, or otherwise), or pointy-toed death-traps for this girl. I'm there to move. Especially while I'm gophering (or fighting for the best seats), I need to be able to quickly get from one room to the next, and I can't do that if I'd rather amputate at both ankles. Pain might breed conflict, but it's a bad thing at a conference. Fashion is good if you can get it too, but my basic black shoes will serve me just fine.

Food. This particular conference doesn't provide food... or lunch breaks. So I'll need portable snacks and sandwich wrap makings so I can grab a quick bite in between panels, gophering, and hob-nobbing.

Mini Laptop. It's light, portable, has a brand-new extended-life battery, and is all ready to take tons of notes. I'll try to be better about sharing this year....

Cell Phone. Mostly for tweeting, because using hashtags to instantly broadcast cool quotes is awesome. #LTUE

Paper and Pen. Because when the laptop battery dies and the cell phone charge is in the orange, you still want to be able to take notes.

Business cards. These are a must for anyone going to a conference. If you're just starting out, don't worry about making them fancy (unless you want to). My first year I printed mine at home, with a picture of a fledgling robin (haha), my name, and my email addy. I still make mine myself at the local copy shop (which makes them look all shiny, even when I cut them out myself). You just want something you can hand people so you don't have to write your contact info over and over again. Also, the name tag necklace thing they give you is the PERFECT place to carry business cards. Slip them in behind the tag and they're always at your fingertips.

Books to Read. Just because I'll be busy from sun-up to sun-down doesn't mean I won't have time to read. Last year I stole Donna's ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and stayed up much too late reading it. This year I have a fine selection of library books that should keep my time filled.

Books to have Signed. I don't have money to buy all the awesome books I HAVE TO HAVE, but those I do have can now be signed. Especially EVERNEATH.

Okay, so I need to stop now or I won't have time to actually pack anything. If you're going to be there, tweet me and we can try to get together - I'd love to meet you in real life!


  1. Oh, bother. This was supposed to post Wednesday morning. Just pretend, k?

  2. This sounds so exciting, Robin! Hope you have lots of fun! Unfortunately I'm physically not in any position to go anywhere even if I could afford to! :(

  3. Jealous. Life on an island in the Caribbean is AWESOME, but...

  4. Soooooo jealous! Can't wait to hear the dets:)