22 June 2009

The Pre-Conference Breakdown

It happens every year, no matter what conference I'm planning to attend, I get the pre-conference breakdown. It's not an official diagnosis mind you, but some kind of internal chaos that hits my system when it knows I'll be traveling away from home to meet and greet and hobnob with my fellow writers. It's not that I don't enjoy myself once I get there, but the anxiety that enfolds me is rather daunting in the planning stage.

About a month out - like around now for instance - I start to think of all the reasons why I shouldn't go. 1) travel - until there is real teleportation, there will not be a safe way to travel from point A to point B. And even then, who says all your little molecules are going to get put back together correctly anyways. Lord knows, you might come out looking like a Picasso. Not pretty. 2) people - as an agoraphobic, putting about 900 people together in a room and telling them all to run find a place to sit before all the places are taken is not good. If the meals weren't included in the price of the conference, I'd probably go eat all mine in a restaurant or order room service. 3) agent/editor appnts. - Oh boy! So nerve wracking. The entire night before, I can't sleep. I sit in the chair across from the person who holds the fate of my writing career in their hands, and suddenly my mind goes blank. Forget putting the stuff on notecards, because I forget how to read as well. Heiroglyphics would probably be easier to neogiate in such a situation than the plain old garden variety alphabet. 4) wardrobe malfunctions - it doesn't matter how many new outfits I buy or pairs of shoes I bring along, they are never the right ones. NEVER! Clothes that fit nice and looked good before the trip, suddenly morph into potato sacks and shipping boxes. Hmmmm, I wonder if I pack just potato sacks and shipping boxes, if my luggage will morph them into Valentino clothes and Gucci shoes? Not worth the risk, I'm thinking.

All right, now that I've firmly got myself up on the ledge, anyone care to join me? What does your pre-conference breakdown include, or do you even have one?

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