The Amazing and Brilliant conference is coming up in a couple of weeks.
Ordinarily I would wade through a writers' conference with happy anonymity, drink to my liver's discontent, and leave with a few new business cards (which I don't personally carry) go home, and report to my husband that I'm in the wrong career.
Then I'd boot up and carry on.
The good old days.
I'm looking through the attendee list, and seeing death traps everywhere.
For example, quite a few people from Publisher X are going, including Editor Mute who's had my manuscript for months.
Must I avoid him at all cost? Or, must I mention my novel has passed through his inbox?
How about this scenario: I encounter an editor from Publisher GotRox not the editor who passed on the manuscript, but a different editor. She politely asks about my work. Do I tell the truth? (Your colleague hated it) or do I pretend to be wait staff? (Me, a writer? Hahaha.)
Am I over-thinking this? I over-think everything, why not this?
You're a writer. This is par for the course.
Here's the horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten truth: most editors won't remember your name even if they read your manuscript recently. They will remember the plot points perhaps, but most of us don't keep names in our head like that.
Second, a conference is no place to discuss sensitive topics like submissions. If anyone asks how the submission process is going, your one and only answer is "GREAT!" because you never reveal your insecurities, or fears, or fretting to the reading public, let alone editors. That's for friends and family, or here on the blog under cover of OP anonymity.
If asked you say "my agent takes care of all that stuff. I keep her stocked with liquor so I never have to worry about those things."
In other words, you are not on the witness stand, and truth is not required. Most people who ask about the book or your submissions do so because they don't know what else to say. Go prepared with several topics you can steer the conversation toward. This is why you subscribe to the Washington Post. They will have all sorts of odd and wonderful news items that provide grist for the conversational mill.
Like the sea-monster story.
Or the skunk in a Coke can.
and in a pinch, sex is always a good topic: and you thought Yertle was king of the turtles!