I've been thinking a lot about this Romance Writers of America conference. I have researched the conference, read blogs of other writers who have attended, and the bios of some of the people who will be conducting workshops. "I'm going to do it!" I proudly declared to my 3 year-old who couldn't care less.
I emailed the organizers, emailed my reservation request for lodging, and, perhaps most awesome, I talked my mom and dad into coming with me.
I received an email later in the day from the RWA organizers that the conference is now in limbo, due to severe flooding in Tennessee. I read the email and was completely floored. Flooding?
Of course, I went online to see what in the world they were talking about, and oh my gosh was I devastated.
Before you start thinking, What kind of moron didn't know about the flooding in Tennessee? please let me explain my ignorance. I have a 1 year-old son, and a 3 year-old daughter. When the TV is on in our house, it's typically on Nick Jr. The only time that changes is for Playhouse Disney.
We have other channels, of course, but I find that even when something completely innocuous is on, like say, the old sitcom "Yes, Dear," the commercials sometimes advertise a scary movie that will terrify my daughter. (Or a lingerie commercial that will terrify me into doing something I really don't want to do, like exercising.)
My point is, I play it safe as far as TV is concerned. The downside to this, of course, is I don't hear about the bomb scare in New York, the baby killed by his mother, and the flooding in Tennessee. The upside to this, of course, is I don't hear about the bomb scare in New York, the baby killed by his mother, and the flooding in Tennessee.
I never used to be this way. Four years ago, I was addicted to America's Most Wanted, and I was a bit of a news junkie. That all changed after I had kids, because the threat was made more real to me. How will I protect them from all of the evil and misfortune?
I know I can't shield my babies from all of life's tragedies, but I would rather live in a self-imposed bubble than have my daughter ask me questions I don't yet know how to answer.
It also makes me feel completely idiotic that I can get bummed out over an agent's rejection when there are thousands of people who were just made homeless in an instant. Lives that have been lost, and babies that are displaced make me realize just how insignificant my minor disappointments are.
I don't know if the conference will still be held this year. I don't know if I'll go. I don't know for sure if I'll ever sell my novel. But here's what I do know: My family is healthy. Despite two tornadoes here last week, my house is intact. And I have 3 followers on my blog who have made me feel really, truly special. We've never spoken, but I feel like we're friends, writers together in the trenches.
For all of these blessings and many more, I am incredibly lucky and very grateful just to be here.
While it's true that tomorrow isn't promised, I still have today. And I intend to make the most of it. Back to work! :)
***UPDATE: I've found a website with a few different ways to help out in Nashville. If anyone is interested, please click here.