This week I leave for the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in Seattle. I've never been to Seattle, and as much as I would like to take in the city, I am going for a reason. I can feel the tornado churning as I type.
It's been a while since I've been to a conference. My first time, I didn't have a completed manuscript and basically, I was there to learn a few things and be in awe of the 'real' writers that I was surrounded by.
This time is different. Not only do I have a completed manuscript, I have two, and one of them is a finalist for the PNWA literary contest in the category of historical fiction (GO RAGTOWN!). I also have an agent. In other words, this conference is not as much about fun for me as it is about work. This time, I am one of the 'real' writers, and I need to sell myself and hopefully, raise interest in one of my manuscripts.
So what does a good Kansas girl do when she needs to really work it? Channel the wonders of Oz, of course.
Regardless of my ability to seem like the Great and Powerful Oz at times, remember, behind that facade was a little old man who had no real powers at all. Sometimes, I do feel like a naive farm girl, whisked away by a tornado into a land of wonder, trusting the Good Witch (my agent) who tells me which road to take. Thanks to the many friends I've met along the way, I have the heart, the nerve and the brain to make this journey. I think I could take the Wicked Witch (it rains a lot in Seattle, so she probably won't show) but, there are those peskyflying monkeys to worry about. And in the world of writing and publishing, I've discovered that those flying monkeys are everywhere.
I have no ruby slippers. Well, I do, but every time I wear them I end up in a cornfield in Kansas (we'll save that story for another day). What I do have is the street smarts and the experience of one who has ridden the Horse of Many Colors several times. I have the determination, the strength and the sweet disposition of a Kansas sunflower. I also have my Cowardly Lion doll that I will keep in my pocket, just in case I forget where I came from.
So wish me luck, say a prayer, send me the good juju. And if anyone knows how to defeat those flying monkeys (in an animal friendly way, of course) please, let me know.