My Santa Fe writing conference is now becoming a blurred memory, however two things stand out. First off, I met some fabulous women that I plan to stay in contact with. We all sort of bonded over lunch on the day of our sessions, as we sat around the table watching the wine sauce on our chicken congeal while one woman waited for her gluten free, organic, hypoallergenic, soy/tofu based, sauceless chia noodles. During this time, we all told about how we had come to be in Santa Fe at this moment in time. One woman with beautiful, long silver hair, told us she came here from Dallas. She begins to tell us her story but she chokes up a bit when she shares with us that eighteen months ago her cat died. Luckily, when she was at her lowest point, thinking she could not go on another moment without Mr. Pum Pum, angels came to her. They appeared before her and told her that she needed to attend this conference. They brought her here she said.
Well frankly, I was a bit put out. Where are my angels? I had to pay $450 for an airline ticket and then another 25$ for a shuttle full of rich people who were staying at real lodges with bars that stayed open past 8 pm. I couldn't even get one of my kids to bring me to the airport, much less a bunch of angels to bring me all the way to Santa Fe. I'm not sure if they drove her here or what, but in any case, some people are SO lucky.
Of course the high point was meeting the very talented author of my favorite divorce book. I had booked a private session with her and she was going to give me a critique on my work. When she opened the door and I came face to face with her, it was like my back stage pass experience with David Cassidy in sixth grade. I tried to act cool and sophisticated and bit my tongue in order to keep from yelling out highly intelligent statements such as, "I have a cat!" or "I love cheese!" due to my nervous excitement at meeting a celebrity.
All in all, I found the conference exhilarating, and inspiring and loved every minute of it. Until. Until I found that my flight had been cancelled and that I would be spending another night in the frozen tundra of Santa Fe. Sure. It's all fun and games until the Dallas airport shuts down.
I woke up in the morning and after turning on CNN and seeing what amounts to a small country sleeping in the Dallas airport, decided to make the best of the situation. I headed to the bar. (See my last post.) A few hours later I was heading up to my room for an envigorating game of PONG when I received a text from one of my new favorite friends. "Just got invited to a poetry reading in town tonite. You in?"
"Sure, " I thought. Nothing else to do and it sounds like a fun experience. Also it was in a coffee shop, where I assumed they would have real coffee, as opposed to the watered down Sanka left over from 1978 my "lodge" had been serving.
That evening we met in the lobby where the hotel shuttle driver/bartender/concierge was waiting to take us into town. He dropped us off at our coffee shop where I became intoxicated with the smell of fresh brewed coffee. And look! They have muffins! Unfortunately, we had arrived at the last minute and were being told to take our seats which were two fold out chairs by the door. In the corner was a little make-shift stage with a microphone set up waiting for the first reader.
Thirty seconds into the first poem, I remembered something very important- I hate poetry readings. The reader is saying something about an owl, an abyss, time passing...WTF? After the reading a collective "Ahhhhhh yes, " comes from the audience. I am thinking about the muffins. Do they have blueberry? Should I try to get two? Will they get crushed in my purse?
Afterwards we made small talk with a few of the authors. The locals asked us, "What did you do today, since you had some extra time you hadn't planned on?" One woman said, "I went into town and scoured the Georgie O'Keefe museum. Unbelievable." Another answered, "I walked the grounds and spent some time petting the horses and enjoying the unbelievable beauty of nature." Please don't ask me, please don't ask me....too late. They are waiting for me to chime in..."Um, I had a few drinks at the bar and watched Orange is the New Black on my Ipad." That pretty much brought the night to a close.
The next day I took another shuttle to Albuquerque, spent the night at an airport Hilton, ate chicken wings in my bed, and flew out the following morning at 6am. Even with the flight issues, I had a fabulous experience and can't wait to do another writer's conference. Just waiting for my angels to tell me where it will be and how I will get there.
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