I made it! I accomplished something big. I went to a writer’s conference in Minneapolis (AWP15) for six days.
I only ran into problems once. I had an anxiety attack on the plane on the way there. The attack lasted about seventy-five minutes and was difficult to handle at thirty thousand feet in the air, but I survived.
As always, my husband was a trooper. He tried to calm me down the last half of the flight, but none of his usual tactics worked. I just had to live through sweaty palms, a racing heart, a nervous leg, and the feeling that I wanted out of my skin.
My husband was worried about how I would handle the actual writer’s conference, because there were thousands of people there, and so many panels, talks, readings, and of course a book fair with hundreds and hundreds of booths. My husband thought I would get overwhelmed, over stimulated, and have a minor breakdown.
I didn’t. I fell in love. I was so happy. I felt like I was at my very best.
I only went to two of the talks and panels. I found what interested me was the book fair with all the journals, presses, MFA programs, book signings, etc. I spent three whole days going from booth to booth to booth. Many of the booths I went to twice.
Although when I am at home, I spend the majority of my time alone without talking to any people, I was so talkative.
I told stories and jokes like how I accidently walked into the men’s bathroom, saw a man, screamed, and ran out. As they laughed, people assured me that would be the low point of my day.
I told people that I write poetry and creative nonfiction, but that I can’t write fiction, because my brain doesn’t work that way.
I told two editors that I mostly write about schizophrenia, because I suffer from it, and they were both interested in my work. One gave me his card, and told me to e-mail him some story ideas.
We saw snow for the first time in ten years.
We ate in some cool restaurants. One was called, Hell’s Kitchen. We tried to taste the local food. My husband had walleye fish prepared three different ways. We tried cheese curds, artichoke bruschetta, munched on tater tots, and had one of the best flat breads I have ever tasted. We tried local beers (well, my husband did, I don’t drink).
To let you know where my priorities are, I ended up bringing home over sixty pounds of journals, and books, and had to leave half of my clothes in Minnesota to do it.
I’m back now, and ready to write!