Taking my first step out of the car upon arrival, a wash of emotion fell over me. Was it the sun shining through the towering redwoods or had the long desired arrival (over three years) solidified passionately into reality? I don't know. I suspect there is a spiritual element here that is palpable. More on this later.
I came a day early and was glad I did since settling in took more time and energy than I imagined (it didn't help that I locked myself our of the cabin first thing and had to hoof it back to the main office for a spare key.)
I can see I will have no trouble getting in some much needed exercise since I also arrived at breakfast this morning without my name tag and had to return to my cabin for that. The camp is carved into a hillside and so every trip is a hike.
Many people have been extremely friendly. The greeting question is not, "How are you?" but "What do you write?" or "Where are you from?" I've already learned to shorten my answer to "A little bit of everything..." and "No, not from Texas, that's my name."
Most participants are women. I was worried that the average age of the "campers" would be younger than my housecoat, but there are MANY women here whose children have left home. It seems most men who are here are editors, agents, or writers who are part of the staff. What does that mean? I'm forming my theories.
People think they know me, either from my name or my face. This has been my blessing (or bane) for years and in this setting these traits might work toward my advantage. I don't know yet. So far, erroneous interest remains polite, but distanced when they realize they don't know me--rather as if I had played an adolescent joke on them.
I attended a session on how to make the most of the conference last night and left more overwhelmed than before. Seems the main thrust of the woman speaking was, "Don't be rude--desperate or cloying." LOL! I admit after one pays a month's mortgage payment to attend a conference like this the idea of tackling the first real editor one meets may have flashed through my mind. But I think I can restrain myself to more appropriate responses.
I did have a vision of Jesus walking through the crushing crowd and turning to the woman who had 'touched Him' to say, "Don't be so needy." I don't think so. So, the editors are just people too. And sinners like me. How does God stand us?
I woke this morning realizing two things fully. 1) I need to grab another 3" mattress from an empty bunkbed to place under my own measily mattress. 2) I have no idea why I am here. I talked to Lauraine Snelling this morning at breakfast who helped me think a bit clearer. I wondered out loud about writing even though I felt called by God. She asked me if I needed a "come to Jesus" talk because she was ready to give me one! A delightful woman.
So, we'll see.