I’m like a kid on Christmas morning when it comes to catching a plane to Dayton Ohio for Erma Bombeck’s Writers Conference. I am giddy packing my bags, which I do nine months before my flight. I usually re-pack it month, just in case I missed something.
I am the one who calls Terri Rizvi one month after the last conference and ask if I can sign up for the next one, two years later. In my mind it should be every six months, so I call her every six months and she very nicely responds that the conference is held every two years. I am always so disappointed to hear those words. I’m like the kid in the car on a long trip, “Are we there yet?”
This April will be my third conference. The first one I barely knew a soul, but I met nice people and funny women. I roomed with a stranger, who quickly became a friend. I got chosen for stand up night and forgot a part of my act, right there on stage, in bright lights in front of three hundred women. And yet, they applauded.
On my second conference I roomed with friends I’d met the first time. Three of us shared a room. Two of us wore sleep apnea machines. The third gal bed hopped to keep everyone happy. No jealousy zone here! We had adjoining rooms with other gals and became the “cool kids #473”. None of us had ever been cool in our life! ( I mean if there was any question to our level of coolness….sleep apnea machines and bed hopping…hello!) There was constant laughter and music coming from our hallway. We practiced our routines for Stand Up Night.once again and laughed until we cried. And we all applauded really loud at each other’s performance, even though we’d heard it a hundred times in our room.
Linda Roy played her uke and harmonica while singing a Bob Dylan rendition of Oscar Meyer’s B o l o g n a. Parri Sonatag was busy perfecting her Tupperware act that still makes me laugh. I came home with a Jewish accent after rooming with Parri. We all got make up tips from our lovely beauty guru, Vikki Claflin. Kim Dalferes invited us to her lake house to continue the party in the summer. Marcia Kester Doyle and her husband, Mac, joined the party and we raved over Marcia’s purple and pink hair. And more friend arrived to fill up the room.
This time, I’m rooming with the same crew. I love these women. Walking into the hotel lobby and seeing those familiar faces is like coming home to my writer peeps. We get each other. We laugh, We love. We write. We drink wine and chat into the early morning hours. I never want to leave when it’s over.
It’s only six weeks away now. I better head to the airport now.
I wonder if Teri will pick me up.