WHAT: Final report from Erma Bombeck Writing Conference
WHERE: Quad Cities
WHEN: Monday, April 19, 11:02 p.m.
WHY: It's over and it's just begun.
Let me take a moment to say that the Erma Bombeck Writing Conference was terrific, and I'm going back for the next one in two years. It's the only humor writing conference in the country, and if you're into that sort of thing, it's a can't-miss opportunity. I met so many funny people. Lucky lucky me.
The speakers and instructors were all top-shelf, the Tanqueray in my tonic. Bill Scheft, a writer for Letterman and the author of the book "Everything Hurts", was probably my favorite, but his publicist and a writer in her own right Nettie Hartsock was also terrific. Gail Collins, NY Times columnist and author of "When Everything Changed", which is a must-read for every woman and her daughters, was amazing, and Christian Landers, author of "Stuff White People Like" was the Cinderella story, if Cindy was smart, snarky and had a razor-sharp wit and red beard. Tracy Beckerman was great, Danny Gallagher was funny...It was all so, so good. I'll be highlighting some of the mom blogs I found there on my Facebook fan page. The first one this week is Janet from MuffinTopMommy.com, she is quite hilarious.
I am a little bit of a Techno-Granny. Until recently, I rarely answered my cell phone. I find cell phones annoying in that people don't seem to know when it is okay to use them. I also don't love the idea of being available to everyone all the time. If I'm in the bathroom at Starbucks, I'm not taking that call. Then Oldest Daughter petitioned Current Husband for unlimited texting, and things changed. I started texting people. It was fun. If you remember the tale of the U2 concert with CH last August, I sent about 40 texts, with only about 5 of them actually having any characters in them. Welcome to 2010, Julie!
I learned something about myself on the trip to Dayton, Ohio - I am more techno than I thought, and I'm not just talking about dancing. The first thing I realized as I drove into Illinois was that I left my cell phone charger at home. I was now on borrowed time on the cell phone, and I had to turn it off. Why? Because I'd clearly need to use it in the back of an ambulance or in Ted Bundy's trunk. No cell phone use. Check.
I checked in at the Marriott in Dayton, and realized when I got into the room that there was no MP3 player. Since I was missing the Ok Go concert in Chicago on Saturday, I wanted to listen to WTF? or Invincible while getting ready, which I can't do with headphones on. No iPod. Check.
After the dinner on the first night, I got back up to my room at around 9 p.m. and thought I'd do a blog post. I set up my laptop on the desk and tried to log on. No connection. I read the instructions on the WiFi connection on the desk and tried again. No dice. I called the front desk and inquired as to the whereabouts of my WiFi. They gave me some instructions and again, no luck. We prayed together on the phone. Nothing. At 10 p.m. the guy on the phone finally said, "I think we'll need to send a technician to your room, okay?"
WiFi and potential rapist or Safety and TV?
"Can I fit all of her body parts
in this box and get it out
of the Marriott undetected?"
"Send him up."
I had to have me some Internet. Facebook doesn't check itself, people.
Nettie Hartsock's session was all about social media and networking, and she was pretty adamant that writers need to use Twitter. I've had a Twitter account for about 6 months, but never really used it. I thought it was just a cell phone thing, and since I wasn't a big fan of my phone, I thought I was out. Well, I logged back in on Sunday, and now I am a big, fat Tweeter. It's great, because I have nothing but free time and I know how much the world is DYING to know what I am doing in 140 characters or less. And being such an introvert, this will help me get my thoughts and opinions out more. People will be so glad to see me come out of my shell. Give me a Holla! on Twitter, @juliethewife.
"@tedbundy, let me out of the trunk." If you see this post on Twitter, call the authorities. I've forgotten how to dial my phone.