Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Nevada Reading Week Conference, revisited
On 2/26-27/10, I was one of the authors lucky to attend the Nevada Reading Week Conference. It was my second time; the first, two years ago, was also the first time I flew anywhere for an author appearance. (It was also the first time I learned the proper pronunciation of the state: ne-VAA-duh, not ne-VAH-duh. I have not, however, learned the proper way to spell out pronunciations.)
I gave three presentations. This is one of those conferences that schedules well. All of my talks, and the other two I attended, were well attended. The conference books enough presenters to offer a good choice, but not so many (with overlapping time slots) that presenters present to small audiences. The energy was high all around.
I am good with faces and good with names. But I am not always good at matching them. I remembered the faces of all the people in this photo...
...but only one of the names. I've got to work on synchronizing these two processes.
Predictably, I greatly enjoyed meeting other authors who came in for the conference, all of whom had shorter flights than I did. (The next-farthest I met was from Illinois.) They were all warm, generous people.
I had the pleasure of having a meal with Jenni and Matt Holm (sister and brother; lunch) and Roland and Marie Smith (husband and wife; dinner). In 2002, I'd read and liked Roland's novel Sasquatch, so it was especially fun to connect the person to the prose. (This is not the same as connecting a face with a name.) Roland's kindness manifested in multiple ways, including mentioning me on his blog.
I also spent time (including breakfast on the go) with an author/editor I knew beforehand, the talented Michael Dahl. I found his presentation on the value of graphic novels polished, witty, and enlightening, and the crowded room felt the same.
The only downside to the trip was a preventable mishap in trying to get home—preventable on the part of the airline. I don't usually vent about personal issues here, but given the nature of what happened, I consider this a public service announcement.
To quote the longest Facebook status update I've ever posted: "US Airways: If you delay my flight (not due to weather), AND the kiosks don't work, AND the line is inert because you're understaffed, AND no agent prioritizes people on the soonest flight (despite polite requests), AND I don't reach the counter till 23 minutes after departure time, AND you tell me the plane is still there but the door is closed, then what you're telling me is that you owe me one free flight."