If you're at all plugged into the book world, especially anything to do with romance, you probably noticed that the RT convention was last week. I've been wanting to go for a long time, but with one thing or another-- the expense, travel, work, being sick and having no money-- I just haven't made it. Next year it's in Chicago, and I really want to go.
There are a couple of things holding me back at this point. One is the expense. This is not a cheap convention. It's almost $500 just to sign up. If I don't have a roommate, which with my weird sleep and bathroom habits would probably be best, I'm looking at about another $800 would be my guess. Transportation shouldn't be a biggie. Amtrak has a train that runs from Indy to Chicago, and the schedule looks like it should work well for me. Only $50 round trip, and I don't have to borrow one of my parents' cars for almost a week, pay for parking, and then be alert enough to pilot it for several hours. All together, I figure this thing will cost me $1,600. If the social security comes through between now and then, it might be doable. If it doesn't (and I've learned at this point not to bank on anything when it comes to the government turning over the benefits I'm owed), then there's no way in hell I can afford to go.
The second problem is as much a deal breaker as the money. Can I physically handle it? At this point a trip to the grocery store wears me out. I only leave the house on average about once every 3-4 weeks. Am I going to be able to manage 5 days of workshops and brunches and chatting in the hotel bar? I can tell you right now that there are some events I'll take a pass on. The cover model pageant? No, thanks. The awards ceremony? If an author I really love is up for an award, and present to accept, maybe. But I'll likely skip that, too. In fact, I'd probably skip most of the evening parties. I expect to be nearly comatose from exhaustion and over stimulation by dinner time most days. I don't know if I can do this, and I'm afraid that it will end up making me really sick. But I still want to go.
Why? I want to connect with readers in real life. I'm getting active on Goodreads, and I have all my Betty friends. It would be beyond awesome to get a chance to meet a few of them. And then there are all those other people out there who love to read and talk books. There will be authors there. Maybe I'll get a chance to meet some of my favorites! And as much as anything, it would be amazing to go out and do something like a normal human being. A late-thirties adult woman who actually goes places without her mommy and daddy taking her. Adult socialization with someone I'm not related to. NO Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons on TV in the background. Does that not sound magical?
So, all I have to do is convince the government to give me my money and then somehow find the energy to manage a five day conference. Yeah, not likely to happen. But I still really, really want to go.