Here's my biggest hang-up. Cost. Oy. I'm unemployed and barely surviving on U.C. because nobody, and I mean NOBODY will acknowledge my work resume. But at the same time, I have to take financial hits in order to get my writing out there. It isn't a hobby, it's a serious undertaking, and I just... need... an... in. But this conference would be a huge hit on my already wilting wallet. Forget a savings. That dried up trying to keep a roof over my head in my last few months at my apartment.
I saw a link on Twitter to the classes offered, and I finally took a gander. For some reason I hadn't bothered to do so before - probably because the chances of attending were so slim from the start. Well... nothing on the list really struck me. It's depressing, to be honest. I feel so let down right now because I'm really gung-ho about learning more about the craft and trying to glean some information that will improve my writing. So my gut knotted up a bit while I tried to find classes that spoke to me. Nothing spoke. *headdesk*
I think my big problem is this conference is more genre specific, and while my book probably falls partially under that particular umbrella, it isn't totally there. It has aspects. And frankly, I'm realizing this book I bought at the Pennwriters Conference has more than covered the topics listed on the schedule.
Speaking of Pennwriters, that conference really spoiled me on all future conferences, I think. Not sure if I have any lurking readers who attended the festivities in Lancaster, but if you're out there, give me a 'hell yeah' if you agree. I'm not saying it was a perfect conference, but my god I sat in on some fabulous classes. I learned so much in those three days. And things I knew already were knocked through my thick skull, giving me a fresh sense of clarity to go home with. I really liked the size of the gathering. It was intimate and offered so many opportunities to talk to a guest speaker or sidle up next to a chillaxing agent or editor at the bar.
The conference in question will be attending by HORDES of authors. HORDES. One of my Pennwriters conference buddies had the opportunity to sit down with an amazingly accommodating C.J. Lyons and talk about her pitch after a class. I don't see such a fantastic opportunity presenting itself with so many people in attendance.
So, my hangup list thus far is as follows: Cost, size of event, and beneficial class offerings. Three cons.
What really makes me WANT to go to the conference is the abundance of editors and agents that will be present. It's a huge pro to add.
But weighing that against the con list, I can't find a way to swing me back toward going. Because how much time will you have to spontaneously pitch an agent if there's two thousand other people swimming the waters, trying to do the exact same thing? Sure, the opportunities will be there. But will I be in the right place at the right time? Or will I be standing behind four other women waving their business cards and shouting out their hooks-phrased-as-a-rhetorical-question?
So, there I go, swinging back toward the size-of-event con list bulletin point.
What it boils down to, (I think. I'm sure. Mostly. Probably.) is I'm not going to the conference. It's kind of a jagged little pill to swallow at the moment. I wanted to. But the bubble burst.
I've tested my desire, or lack thereof, tonight by looking up links to a few other upcoming conferences. Checked out the class lists. I see two, maybe three other gatherings that have classes I would really, REALLY want to attend. They're speaking to me. One conference in particular is speaking very loud and clear, and it's infinitely more affordable. So I guess I have my answer, huh?
So, what else is on my mind? Money. Money. Money.
I have none.
I have no job.
I've lost all hope of getting a job here.
I want to move to Greenville, SC. This has been the only words falling from my lips for quite some time. I'm sure the girls are sick of hearing about it. But I want, I want, I want.
Here's why: Boooooooooom. I love my Boom. I've always liked Boom, but in K.C. I kinda knew her, and thought she was awesome, but we both did our lurking thing and didn't really, truly get to hang out. Since that time, I've gotten to know her so much better, and grow myself a tremendous Boom crush. Yes, I like boys, but I can still crush on Boom. It's my right as an American. She's just a big pile of awesome-sauce. It's rare for me to find another woman who doesn't completely drive me insane. Plus, she doesn't question my complete inability to carry on a conversation. She just lets me burp and play with Silly Putty. Her Boomlettes are so freaking adorable, and they make my ovaries tweak, and I love them, too.
Having friends nearby is a huge draw. Boom is right there, and Pooh is in a neighboring town. So I have peeps around. It's a little less lonely to uproot yourself and move somewhere so totally foreign to you, knowing there's a possible Red Robin date in your future.
But another draw is the town. It's so nice. I'm not quite able to grasp nice. I'm from York, which is the evil opposite of nice. Down there, cashiers and clerks spoke to me. They acted friendly. What's up with that?? The downtown area is everything Downtown York is not. It's vibrant. It's clean. It's lively. It's laid back. It's beautiful.
As far as jobs, at least there's SOMETHING down there. I could get any of a plethora of retail jobs to tide me over until something else came along, which doesn't seem to work up here.
It seems to have a really good art scene down there, too. I'd love to tap back into the artistic side of me. Haven't really been there in a while. I so want to be able to take art classes and re-learn how to do the things I used to love doing.
Realistically, I need to take the money I would have spent on the conference and try to get a better stash saved up so I can go down soon, crash in a cheap but non-scary motel for a couple weeks, and start dropping resumes off and see if I get any nibbles. I could do that by resigning myself to a steady diet of Taco Hell, which frankly isn't very far off from my usual diet.
The logistics of moving, though, stump me. Say I get a bite and somebody actually offers me a job. What then?
I suppose it means throwing away most of my accumulated life. There's a neighborhood yard sale next weekend, and I'm slowly boxing up stuff to try to unload and put the money toward a Greenville fund. I assume, to start over, I have to find a way to consolidate my stuff into a pile that fits into a four door sedan, and eject the rest. I need enough dough to buy a bed and a couch, and will have to build from there. Can't really afford a U-Haul, but even if I could get a small one, I don't trust myself to navigate it all the way South without taking out some innocent bystanders in the process.
I guess if I actually got down there and found a job, I could find a furnished apartment or at least some low-cost, low-murder-rate motel that offers extended stay prices until I built up a deposit for a place of my own.
Note to self: Buy Powerball ticket this weekend.
I need to get out of this town. This much I know. Scraping along at rock bottom isn't cutting it anymore. I feel like I'm sitting here, watching my life pass me by. I'm not sure I have anything left of myself to sacrifice here. The depression is all-encompassing, my blood pressure is at maximum levels, and the conviction that the world is out to get me has grown from a tiny monkey on my back to a gigantic hybridized Godzilla/Grape Ape beastie dragging me down.
And let's not forget about the writing. I have a ton of things bouncing around in my head in regards to my Drew revisions. They just don't seem to want to get out fast enough to please me. I'm impatient. I want it down. I want it DONE.
This week hasn't been conducive to getting it out. My hand hates me. I've gone full tilt China Syndrome, or at least full tilt Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I've tried to take a couple days off to rest it, but it isn't improving the situation. I couldn't concentrate on my document tonight, so instead, I'm ranting and raving about my life and making my hand hurt even worse, because hell, at least I'm writing something right now.
So how's that for a rant? Are you calling a shrink for me yet? Well hang up the phone. I can't afford one. Hemingway would be so proud of my insanity.
But at least I still have my book, right? *clings to Drew*