My second day at the Sisters in Crime writers conference began early, if not bright. Friday night, in a burst of efficiency - or neurosis - I set not only the alarm on my phone, but also on the hotel clock.
With the over-load of mental stimulation from my first day, I'd had some difficulty falling asleep, but I was firmly settled into dreamland when the alarm went off at 2 am. Some previous tenant of my room must have set it for an early flight, and the hotel had thoughtfully provided a clock with the capability for more than one alarm. On the plus side, I made great in-roads into my current library book and later worked out several changes to my own book as I re-arranged pillows and tossed in bed.
The next day I reconnected with a couple of the people I've met, both newbies like me. One is a former pediatrician who now lives where, as she put it, you either shovel snow or write. The other is a grandmotherly type who I was surprised to see step up as a winner in this year's short story competition.
Through the day there were panels on writing breakthroughs, the process of employing historical events, and an interview with Elizabeth George.
You wouldn't think all that sitting in chairs could be so tiring, but it was. Some genius of scheduling had placed the agent pitch sessions for 4:30. So now that we were all mentally weary with plunging blood sugar, we could now stand in line and wait for our turn to sell our book in three-minute allotments. It was like speed dating without the romance. Still, I did come away with five business cards and invitations to send in my first few chapters.
Finally, after forty-five glorious minutes of rest in my room, it was banquet time. This was of course the time when a group of well-read, articulate, deep thinkers do just what you'd expect.
They arrive in costumes of their favorite literary characters.