Chocolates in the Snow

I just received an email about a writer’s conference to be held in Kauai in November.  Generally I stay clear of writer’s conferences because they include meets and greets with agents more interested the anguished memoirs of bi-racial transgender youths than anything from a boring old white women.  Some of them reject you nicely but most have a look that reads: “what a complete waste of time it is to even look at you.”  I get enough rejection for free; I don’t need to pay for it.

But Kauai beckons.  I’ve only been there once and the purpose of my visit was definitely not fun and games, but I felt at home, at peace there.  And so I told my husband that for my looming and hideously repulsive birthday I wanted go to the conference and I didn’t mind going alone.  He’s not an island person.  He claims island fever drove both his brother and nephew to drink. 

“Oh no. You’ll attract someone.” Poor fellow is on the waiting list for much needed cataracts. 

I had to explain to him that not even Danielle Steele would try use a literary conference as a setting for one of her romances. Imagine this entirely believable synopsis:

Trevor couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the beautiful and sexy Dinah Dimlight of Dimlight Productions sitting in the audience listening to his reading from Forty Years of Hell, My Life Fighting Ebola.  When she said she could sell the concept to Disney with a few slight changes, he fell instantly in love. But she had more than a few slight changes in mind and so, enraged, Trevor turned to Sophie Goosebury, a fellow writer, for solace which she happily provided on the beach that night, under a thousand stars and listening to the barking sands.  But Goosebury had an ulterior motive – she wanted Trevor to promote her manuscript Kitties Armed With Assault Weapons to Dimlight as a possible cartoon series.

After I explained to Joel that two writers could never make a relationship work because the weight of propping up ailing egos would destroy at least one of them,  he said to me: “But you’re so confident.”

Holy Crap.
holy, holy crap
piss into the wind
unholy crapola

My husband is making the same assumption as many people:  I know what I want to do and I’m doing it. But being a writer in the age of a billion blogs, when you can’t go to a party without running into someone who is also a writer or wants to be a writer is like standing in line waiting to be chosen for a basketball team.  If you’re the last chosen, you’ll be sitting on the bench. But you keep on improving your skills.  You support the team and try not to be negative.  You have confidence that you’re doing what you want to do but uncertain you will ever have a chance to play on the court.

I’ve had old friends say  “I don’t have any special gifts or talents like you.”   They act as though I’m writing and blogging because I think I’m special. I am not special. I was the last kid chosen for basketball.  I was the girl whose guidance counselor suggested might make a good housewife.  I was the child whose father threw a birthday box of chocolates into the snow because she was getting chubby.   I am nothing special. 

I can still see those chocolates in the snow.