I licked my wounds for the next week and a half, as I geared up for Sewanee. I had no idea what to expect from the two-week long writing conference. All I knew was that I had been accepted, that my friends and family (including many of you, dear readers) helped pay my way, and that I was going no matter what. Who cared if I hadn’t written anything since May and felt like an imposter? It would be two weeks of not thinking about jobs.
Angie dropped me off at the airport. It took a ridiculous two flights to get to Nashville, where I met the group that was waiting for the conference buses. It felt like I was eleven and at summer camp all over again. I got suddenly shy, didn’t introduce myself to anyone. These other attendees lingering around the baggage claim area must’ve felt the same. Only a handful were already chattering away like they were old friends. Me, I needed more coffee to make that transition.
The bus broke down only once on the 90-minute drive to Sewanee, and it’s probably a good thing it did. There was suddenly an occasion for people to toss each other glances: bewildered, bemused, impatient, accepting, or humorous. And once that dam was breached, people started talking more. The remaining half hour on the bus I talked with three other writers.
This isn’t the place where I’ll be talking about my time at Sewanee in great detail. Maybe I’ll post that story here, or maybe I’ll just keep it to myself. It was a magical couple of weeks, and I made about a hundred friends and, on the professional side, new contacts. Doors opened. Okay, maybe a little detail: