Saturday, January 23, 2010

The right turn Write Stuff

Off I went to the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers workshop yesterday. I wasn't sure where I was headed so I found a map.

Turns out I really didn't need it because the organizer, Precie Schroyer, very kindly offered to pick me up at the hotel and get me to the meeting site safe and sound.

And she did.

Then, the lunch break arrived. Suzie the godsend and crackerjack agent; Anna (one of our fabuloso FinePrint interns), and Joanna (target on the Dartboard of Envy pretty much full time these days) had all arrived to assist me with the workshop.

Joanna brought her car.

We hatched a plan to drive to a diner, attack our lunch like the pack of wolves we are, and get back for the afternoon session.

Joanna brought her car.
And we let her drive.

First, we took a little tour.

Anna, who lives nearby, knew some of the people who lived in the houses.
We waved.

And drove on.

It got a little less residential

The road signs seemed a bit more confusing:

I knew we were in trouble when Suzie cackled wildly and said "Make a right turn; make a right turn" while humming the theme from The Office

What a relief when we finally found our way back to the Palmer Library where we'd had the morning workshop.

Too bad we were supposed to be at the Palmer Community Center.

I called Precie "We'll be right there!" I bravely promised.

We made a few wrong turns and found ourselves in some very wrong places

But we eventually made it to the workshop site!

And had a wonderful afternoon session with 30 writers who very bravely let me gnaw on their query letters. (and yes, they were very tasty!)

Next time I'm taking my broom or:

(a substantial portion of this tale is not going to survive a rudimentary lie detector,
but a good novelist once told me "never let the truth get in the way of a good story!")


Brittany said...

Lol, sounds like lots of fun!

The Daring Novelist said...

Who said the literary life was not full of adventure?

Deb Salisbury said...

ROFL! A great story! I hope you got home safely, after all those right turns.

suzie townsend said...

Despite all our "detours" we did still make it on time :)

Deep River said...

Yes, yes, but did you find the Crow Bar? I don't see it listed on your afternoon whirlwind tour.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

I love the disclaimer. I'm gonna use that in case certain characters rise from the depths of past novels.

Julie Weathers said...

Oh, that sounds like so much fun. I would have sword you were with Beth Shope and her possessed GPS system. I'm glad you all had a good time and I'm sure the workshop participants were thrilled with the results.

Livia said...

That's okay. I'm pretty sure lie detectors don't work on sharks. Especially if they're underwater.

B. Light said...

That sounds very familiar. I think I've taken that wrong turn a few times myself. Glad you made it there okay.

Loretta Ross said...

I've been on trips like that! I remember once during college we left Royals Stadium about 8:30 PM headed for Columbia, MO and ended up somewhere on the prairie in Kansas around midnight.

On a weird and unrelated note, I believe it was Nandor Fodor who postulated that time is not stable and that occasionally, if you keep track of your dreams, elements from them will show up the day after you have them. Last night I dreamed about making candy by dropping powdered sugar from a hot air balloon. This morning two of my friends got into a mock argument about a bag of powdered sugar and Janet just added the balloon.

Coincidence? ;)

steeleweed said...

Many times I didn't know where I was, but I was never lost. Wherever I was, I was RIGHT THERE! (Wherever that was).

Now that I have a GPS, a lot of good stories will never happen.


Mel Skinner said...

Thank you for gnawing, Janet! I loved the learning experience.

Anonymous said...

And a good story it is. Sounds a bit like how I get around Vancouver, and it's my home town. :| I'm glad you enjoyed the session once you got there.


Ronda Laveen said...

Indeed, never let the truth get in the way of a good story. This was a most excellent literary joy ride. Tasty queries and all.

Too Cute to be Very Interesting said...

The cannon is my favorite part.

therese said...

Great story!

Great pics. Seen lots of those places. Like you, I'd rather get off my broom and fly off in a balloon.

MaureenHume said...

That was hilarious! It's nice to hear a lighter side of a usually serious sounding job.

McKoala said...

OK, so the bit about Precie must be true, because she's always so nice around the for the rest...

Anonymous said...

Suzie Townsend deserves a raise.

Speaking of money, I never received my 20 bucks.

Outstanding workshop, Janet. Thanks very much.

Paula Matter

Laraine Eddington said...

I am mourning your loss of lunch. I don't know if sightseeing could ever replace a good meal. What a tragedy.

Lola Sharp said...

Well the wolf pack and shark must have been VERY hungry during the afternoon, due to the lack of promised lunch attacking.

Note the important part of your story for this girl is the missing grub.

Maybe there is a lot of (tasty) fiber in a query letter, but where's the beef? (And diner chocolate cake?)

Becky Mushko said...

Your journey to find your way back sounds not unlike some of us commenters' journey on the path to publishing. Only a bunch of us are still wandering in (pick one) the wilderness, the desert, the woods, the prairie, the galaxy, or all of the above.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

LOL, I love the disclaimer!!

Something like this happened to a friend and I on our way back home from the movies one night. We got lost in the Bermuda Triangle of our city for 40 minutes!

Anon said...

I can hardly see what's in that one photo, but I'd like to believe it's a pair of feral peacocks.

Kathy Kulig said...

Thanks for making the trek out Janet. Your talk on query letters was fabulous. Very helpful and entertaining. I'll be blogging about it this week and spreading the word. ~Best, Kathy

Haste yee back ;-) said...

GPS... GPS... Global Positioning System... GPS... GPS... Global Positioning Systems! (Works for men AND women. Yes, you can even put it on your bicycle, might need e-trex to get the signal thru all the tall buildings).

Besides, anytime you're close to deer, you ain't lost... and I bet not a one of ya had a tag, permit or rifle.

Haste yee back ;-)

ryan field said...

I have relatives near there. Without GPS, I'd wind up in Canada.

Joanna said...

The important point to all of this is, we're now collaborating on a Guide to Eastern PA Guide.

And we've applied to be honorary residents.

Angel said...

As one of the attendees at the GLVWG meeting, who did not have the pleasure of your teethmarks at the afternoon workshop, let me say this blog entry brought a smile to my lips and made me realize how much I missed by not attending the afternoon session... Though I still don't know how to find the community center...

Basil Zyllion said...

Winding roads, a balloon, a canon and on the way you run into tin man, and a Pakistani Elvis. And Suzie! What a gem! Thanks for a good time.

A.S. King said...

I *love* the GLVWG peeps. They are kind, wonderful people. I also got lost on my way to Palmer library when I went to speak to them in November.

Damn--wish I'd have known you were going to be there because I'd have come with those Mai tais we've been meaning to down.

Teri said...

It was great to finally meet you. Thanks for your help with the quereies.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

If you want to re-do the trip, I have five GPS units... several hand held give you lat and longitude readings accurate to within 11 feet - now that the government doesn't dither the signal... (others are on fishfinders, too big/bulky)

Point being, you can use one for the PA guide and give lat and long numbers.

I also have several flasks dedicated to Black Label Jack, but you can desecrate them with Scotch, (if it's good stuff)!

Ladies... never leave home without the essentials.

Haste yee back ;-)