Wait for the Shit Storm

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You might be at a writer’s conference if:

1. You see tremendous metaphor opportunity in the old swing set with no swings on the beach outside your hotel room.

2. At lunch, everyone at the table says, at least once, something about, “my novel.”

3. You brought your own books to read of which you never open, but leave with a canvas bag full of new ones.

4. In workshop, someone asks if we can have compliments first, shit storm last.

5. When you call home, your significant other asks, “What’s wrong with you?”

6. At open mic, when someone reads from their iPad, you scoff to yourself, but think that’s a damn good idea.

7. After author presentations, when they ask for questions, questions evolve into comments about the listener’s own insights on something totally unrelated to the topic.

8. When you move forward to the author’s table to get your book signed, you tremble and stammer, this, your writer god in front of you.

9. You try to find your favorite writer based on their book jacket photo but realize upon seeing them in person their picture is younger—much younger—than their latest work.

10. At nightly readings, when an author’s words really stun you, that moment when he ends his last stanza, or she breathes between paragraphs, a collective “mmm…” or “hmm…” emanates from the audience. You hate these people for mmm-ing and hmm-ing, but they’re right. My God, are they right.

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