10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 17, 2013
I'm sitting at the airport in the “free Wi-Fi” section which doesn't let me log on to post this directly. So, it will be a running commentary of my trip... boring.
I was going to go to the gate but the guard nicely checked his watch and said, “Just to let you know, you're a bit early and there's nothing back there but vending machines and seats. If you want you have plenty of time to wait out here where there's a place to get coffee and relax.” Wasn't that nice? So, I got a diet Coke and an almond Snickers bar and am sitting here listing to Good Morning America and typing up this post.
I had a restless night. Dreamed a lot of dreams that kept waking me up but at least I got a lot of sleep and I feel a lot less pain today, even though it rained during the night. In fact, I woke up to the sound of rain. I forgot and left the heat on and sometime around 5 a.m. I got up to turn it off. Once I cooled off I slept better.
The skies are heavy with clouds but I thought for a moment that there was a break and the sun peeked through. I could be wrong. I was antsy getting everything packed because you know you're going to forget something. You don't want to forget something important when you're several states away from home. I packed all my meds in my bag and hope to goodness they don't open it. Of course I put a lock on it... which, it they cut it, I'll know they opened it.
I hate flying in overcast weather and I think it is even rainy in Dallas and Austin. One can hope it clears by the time I get there. I am to sit around in Dallas Airport for three hours! I may try and write a bit there. I don't know if I'll bother with internet if it as much trouble as it was here. No one seems to know how to use the free wi-fi. Typical.
This is a small airport and I know the plane will be small too. Ugh. On top of turbulence there will be shoulder to shoulder people. As it is approaching the time TSA told me to come back to the gate, I'm going to save this now. My neck is beginning to ache. Obviously, using the computer on certain surfaces is a problem. I've noticed this all week as I dealt with the pain and resulting headache.
October 19, 2013
The rest of my trip was so hectic I didn't even post. Fortunately, there were no flight delays or screw-ups. Once I landed in Dallas, I took the Skyline to my next departure gate but got off one stop too soon. When I ask directions, the “not information guy” said, “It won't take you more than 10 minutes to reach the gate or you can catch the Skyline.” Since I'd have to wait for the train, I opted to walk... with my heavy laptop and carry on. I'm going to have another rolling bag that will fit under the seat next time or a new, lighter laptop for travel.
I walked a bit until I reached Chili's Restaurant where I promptly ordered lunch and waited until it was closer to departure time. I was running out of steam. Lunch at Chili's is delicious but stupidly expensive. Lots of food, too much, in fact, for one person.
I walked down to the gate after that and watched people until time to board, maybe 30 minutes. This airport actually has comfortable chairs at the gates. If the back had been just a bit higher I'd have been able to really relax and take the pressure off my neck.
The flight to Austin was fast. It took longer to board the plane and take off than it did to get there. The flight attendant was a 16 yr veteran and very nice. She informed me that airlines are hiring for flight attendants, at least American Airlines is, because a lot of them are retiring. So, if you're interested...
October 23, 2013
I came home on Tuesday. I was up at 4:30 and drove to Dallas-Ft Worth Airport, not a fun trip. I got lost in the woods in the dark, turned around on the highway, off at the wrong places three times, and went in circles at the airport trying to find the rental car return site. It was dark and I was still tired. I barely got to check in an hour ahead of my flight. Not an experience I want to repeat.
I had every intention of blogging everyday but honestly, it would have been impossible. I was in sessions from 9 in the morning until 9 at night. There was so much information that I was truly overloaded. I took a lot of notes that I'm going to compile and share with my writing group. It was an amazing experience and I gained a lot of insight from it. I don't know how that will help me but there are some adjustments I have to make, I think, to point me in the right direction.
I came away from this conference with more than just information on writing. I was blessed to see a +100 writers who want to do the same thing I do and some of them are doing it. I was blessed by people who shared their story with me and encouraged me. There was this room packed with Christian authors and publishers and agents sharing their experiences and expertise. It was mind boggling but I have to say that what overwhelmed me were the stories of how these people got to where they are and the stories of their faith. The likes of George Barna, head of The Barna Group and three executives from WaterBrook Multnomah, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing all shared information and insight on publishing and marketing.
So, all together, this was a really nice trip. I enjoyed the conference far more than even I expected. My visit with my friend, Phyllis, not just a pleasure but relaxing. It was nice to visit with her and her family. I got to make the acquaintance of several farm animals and drive Nancy's Jag.
I have spent today also relaxing and doing absolutely nothing of merit. I've read a lot for the last two days, finished two books. I'm about to start work on organizing my notes over the conference and refreshing my memory about what I learned... before I forget completely. I'd like to share it with my writer friends, those who are interested, via a hangout but if that doesn't fly, I may just do a video blog.
Now, I'm going to bed so I can get back to work tomorrow. It is not something I look forward to but there aren't no options for me.