Monday, March 19, 2012

Saturday and Sunday at the Writing Retreat

Vermont is beautiful in March, especially when surprised by a heat wave of 65 degrees, which will go up to almost 80 degrees later this week. (The skiers expecting snow probably weren't so happy.)

Al three of the faculty at this writing weekend were fabulous, pointing out things that made us all sit up and take notice.  (Invite Coe Booth to come to your conference to talk about Secondary Characters!) I had a consultation with Little Brown editor, Alvina Ling, who pointed out some major changes I could do to my work in progress. And the third thing I jammed into this day was a 4+ hour stretch of learning how to use my new composing software -- Scrivener. (I think I may have a bit of it figured out now)

In the evening we did readings from our works in progress.  Most of them were YA, some of them were Middle Readers (which means older Elementary and into Middle School).  I think mine was the youngest one there, and, deducing from the laughter, the funniest.  Many people did say it was the most dramatic, but what can I say? I'm a children's librarian who loves to perform.  A quiet person with a drama queen inside of her.

Sunday was so sad.  None of us wanted to leave.  But, since I had an early flight to catch, I had to leave at 1:30, right in the middle of an interesting panel discussion of all three of our faculty -- Coe Booth, Holly Black, and Alvina Ling.  Another participant had an even earlier flight, so she joined my on my drive up I-89 from Montpelier to Burlington.

She made her flight.
Me?  not so much.

As I was passing through security, I got a call from the airlines that my flight had been delayed and wouldn't leave for an hour.  Grrrrrr.  I could have stayed longer! Then I was called up to the podium and told that, naturally that meant my connecting flight in Philadelphia would have to be changed.  Double Grrrrr.

I began getting email after email from the airline -- more flight changes.  At this point I didn't know if I were getting a connection in Philadelphia at 7 or 8 or 8:30 --
but they assured me that I DID have a seat.
In some plane.
That would get to Baltimore.

Philadelphia airport was -- interesting.
You do remember that I left Montpelier at 1:30 pm, right?
It was now 5:30 and I was only halfway home.  I picked up a sandwich for dinner (the wing of the airport that I was in was under construction and there was only one choice of food supply), found my boarding place and sat.  and sat.

It turned out that half of the people there were waiting for a flight to New York City.  And waiting.  Finally, they announced that they couldn't fix the broken window in their airplane and they were getting a different craft for them.
What about the Baltimore group?  We were asked to move to a different boarding place and would be informed as to when our flight would leave once we got there.

This was a dangerous spot to be.  It was right opposite a pastry shop in the terminal. I got myself a cupcake.  Then an almond pastry. If we were to be delayed here much longer, I think I would gain at least 5 pounds!

Oh joy!  our plane was announced -- we left after 8 pm. Landed in Baltimore and I had no problems finding my car in the long term parking lot. (where I ate the other half of the sandwich I had bought in Philly.)

I should be home in a half hour, right?
There was a traffic jam at the Harbor Tunnel on I-895 (the old tunnel).  It took more than an hour before I pulled into my driveway.

Meanwhile, the 12-year-old had been sending me messages (which I could read while we were stopped dead at the toll booths of the tunnel.)  "Are U home yet?"  She stayed away until I could give her a good-night hug -- at 10:30 pm!!!

Let's see.  Left Montpelier at 1:30.
Got home at 10:30.
Nine (9) hours.
I don't think that I'll fly US Airways again.

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