Sorry about the absenteeism. In the midst of packing, driving, flying, conferencing, finding-wireless-internet-ing, I’ve not had time or resources to tend to my blog. But all that is about to change.
Yesterday I started my work as an intern at the Whidbey Island Writers Association (WIWA) and Andrea Hurst and Associates. It was a long day but definitely worth it.
I arrived one day before the Saturday Chat House Conferences, one of WIWA’s most important events this year, meaning I entered into a whirlwind of last minute preparations and panicking. Because whenever an event is about to happen, be it a birthday party, a writer’s conference, or a wedding, things are bound to go wrong and the organizers are bound to have to scramble.
WIWA is largely a volunteer organization, with the conference being planned and executed entirely be a committee of volunteers. This means that they are doing the conference on top of their real lives; they are doubly busy. So there was plenty for me to do. It started with me being trained on how to handle credit cards for tomorrow when latecomers want to register, and then I graduated to folding maps, stuffing envelopes, and alphabetizing. While the work was not entirely intellectually stimulating, it was necessary for someone to do and I basked in my own efficiency (it was nice to be able to do something right after spending five minutes arguing with my stick shift to please stop stalling).
I was going to write about the best part of my day, but then I just couldn’t pick a moment. Was it when I met people I’ll be working with this summer who I’ve corresponded with through email and today I got to see they were actually 3-D and really, really nice? Was it when the sun shone down on me as I did my first solo (without anyone I knew on the road with me in my car or another) drive? Or was it when I got to eat dinner in a room full of successful writers and agents?
Since this blog is about writing, I guess I’ll pick the latter. First off, I’d been researching the authors ever since I found out I would be going to the conference. So even though I hadn’t read her book (yet…I really want to, though!) when I got to have a conversation with Susan Wingate about my writing ambitions and about what it is like to be a full-time writer, I was pretty jazzed. And then I ate dinner at a table of agents: one with the Sandra Dijkstra agency, one who works at Andrea Hurst Literary Management, and one who I later heard is one of the most successful agents in America. Yikes. The crazy thing is, they’re all nice. And they all eat. And they all avoid dessert (well maybe not all of them). They’re real people.
I don’t know why this comes a surprise to me since I want to be an agent and I consider myself a real person so logically that would mean an agent could be a real person. But somehow it’s heartening to know. Because while I might not know much about agents yet, I sure do know about real people. So how hard can this summer be?
Famous last words.
Last thing read: Chapter 15 of Careless in Red by Elizabeth George. (I highly recommend it, by the way. More on her later)