Where does this story begin? For the second time, I decided to go to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City. The first time changed my life forever so why not give it a second go?
I am always startled by New York. It reminds me of Mos Eisley space station in Star Wars – a meeting place for all the universe. All are welcome but you must adapt quickly or the city will eat you.
People from another galaxy seem as likely as the myriad of people from the other side of the planet. I think Men in Black was serious on that account. I do think I saw a Wookie at 6th and 53rd street where my Uber dropped me off at about 3 PM. There I stood, just another alien on Broadway attending another writer’s conference with my pocket full of dreams.
My cell phone buzzes.
My daughter, who now lives in New York and is working in the film industry, texts me to say she thinks set will wrap by 6 PM, plenty of time for us to have dinner and a visit before the conference really gets started.
That is perfect. I check into the hotel, drop my bags in my room, and register for the conference. I got a ribbon for being a repeat offender, I mean attender.
I am happily playing with my ribbon when my phone buzzes again. Another text from the kid.
It’s looking like 7 PM for a wrap and she has to go out and buy swim suits for the shoot. Fine. Fine. It’s New York. I can find something to do.
I make like I’m brave and walk out of the hotel. No direction or anything. I find an Irish Pub around the corner and decide my mission has been accomplished. Kate and I love pubs. It’s close to the hotel. Even if she’s a bit late, we can make the walk, have a couple of pints, share a couple of nibbles and laughs, and there will still be time for me to prepare for the morning.
Cell phone again. It’s going to 8 PM on the wrap. Sorry mom.
Not a problem. I am tired anyhow. It has already been a long week. Back to the hotel room. Turn on my laptop and play with my WIP. I paid for a pitch session, and although my queen tells me pitches are the tool of the devil, I’m doing it. I find I, myself, have always been one of the devil’s favorite tools, and I think a little face time with agents and editors can only help. I can tell if they are worthy if I get a good sniff.
Why did I write such a damn weird book? What was I thinking? I mean I love it, but are there millions of other people out there willing to go full weird? I worry. I order room service.
Cell phone once more. Another text. A long barrage of random curse words from my daughter followed by, maybe 9 PM. Maybe. She’s starving, she says.
I order salad and sweet things. We can crash in the room. She has to be back on set at the crack of dawn the next morning. Paying those dues sucks and honestly, it never ends.
I continue playing with my WIP – it really is just playing at this point. Parts of it are pretty damn good. Parts still need work. I should get it to my beta readers soon. Oh, perhaps I should formalize the whole beta reader thing soon? I make a note of it. Some of you may get pleading emails from me in the next few days. I’ve been at this writing thing for a bit so feel free to reject. I’m used to it.
Maybe the structure needs a tweak or small explosion here and there. Why did I write such an odd book? I must be as insane as my reputation claims. Ah well, what can you do?
Cell phone buzzes in another text a good bit after 9, another barrage of curse words and murderous thoughts. The kid no longer has an ETA.
I caution the kid that homicide of directors is not a career building activity despite the wisdom of that movie, Swimming With Sharks. What a fantastic film.
The last moments of Thursday are almost gone when my daughter appears at my door. She woofs down the salad, strips off her clothes, gets in the shower (after rifling through my suitcase to borrow some clothes), and then collapses on spare bed. I was marginally prepared for this so she has a clean t-shirt to sleep in.
So I am at the gift shop at dawn, 6 Am on Friday, buying clean underwear and a toothbrush so the kid can be marginally less grimy when she returns to the set. And so this story begins.
To be continued…