Tag Archives: David Sedaris

Surrey International Writers’ Conference

I went to SIWC this year.  It was a very good time.  I got to see good friends and I got to spend a day in Vancouver where my friend and I rode a tandem around Stanley Park while wearing helmets and looking totes fab.  I’d never been on a tandem where you could change gears.  I guess I still haven’t technically because when I tried, the chain came off.  But a nice guy helped us get it back on after my friend was already covered in grease.  We only thought we were going to die twice and the poutine we had in McDonald’s afterwards was poutine from McDonald’s.

Good Times.

I’ve got to say I love Vancouver.  It has the greatest little water taxis and people are incredibly nice and the food was amazing.  We even got to walk East Hastings Street which we found out very quickly, one should not do.  And if one finds oneself on said street, one should go to another street.  But I did find a great place to buy gear if I ever decide to become a stripper.

Then we went to the conference and Jasper Fforde. was there.  I love Jasper Fforde.  He wrote The Eyre Affair and tons of other books.  You should read them.  They’re amazing.  But this was the first time I was going to meet an author I had read before finding out they would be at the conference.  And I was very excited.

And I let everyone know.

On the first day, when they introduced everyone, I watched for him and memorized what he was wearing so that during lunch I could stalk him.  But then his name tag was turned around and I wasn’t positive it was him.  Luckily the author/SIWC board member in front of me asked how I looked familiar and I said I was a Calgary writer wanna be and then I told her I was trying to stalk Jasper Fforde.  She then politely called over to him so that I knew that was him for sure and asked him a question.  It was all very well done and not creepy at all.

Then I went to the two panels he was on that day.  Or maybe it was only one.  When I saw him in the hall, I started talking to him and we had a wonderful chat and I knew that my plan to go to every one of his classes was the correct one and still not creepy at all.

And just to show how not creepy I was, I even saw him in the club room and didn’t go and try to steal the egg roll off of his plate.  (Seinfeld reference there.)

The next day I went to another panel class and then it was time for the “Lunch with a presenter” lunch.  They make the presenters sit with us commoners.  And I wanted to sit at his table.  But he kept talking to people in the buffet line.  So luckily a SIWC volunteer saw me and asked how my stalking was going and if I was going to sit at his table and I said yes but I didn’t know which one it was because he wouldn’t get out of the stupid buffet line and then he finally did and actually sat down right behind where I was standing which didn’t make it awkward at all to turn around while holding a plate of food and nonchalantly sit across from him.

Then I went to two more of his classes and then asked him to sign four books and then I walked away to never see him again.  Sort of.  I mean there was still half a day but I’m only good at stalking for two days.  Then I get tired.

Overall, it was the most successful stalking I have ever done.  (It’s actually the only stalking I’ve ever done unless you want to count volunteering for Montana Book and Toy bookstore so I could be near David Sedaris all night Tuesday, but that was more a civic duty.)

And I feel good about it.

I should get these for stalking

I should get these for stalking

Living Organically

Life has been a fascinating experiment lately. I’ve been doing my best to have fun and enjoy myself and laugh and do some writing and some reading and some daydreaming that I could go off to a beach and not have a care in the world. (When I went to the dentist and started crying as I congratulated him on the birth of his son, I realized I wasn’t daydreaming hard enough.)

Last night I dreamt I was back in school; finally getting that MA in English. It felt so natural being in school again. I kept wondering why I had ever left. And then I remembered that what I really wanted to be doing was writing. And then I remembered I had a husband and children after I was really confused what I had been doing since last graduating. Why in the world hadn’t I stayed in school?

There were a lot of weird symbols in the dream as well, but I’ve decided not to figure out what all of them mean because I got the main point. I want to write.

I have my manuscript printed off and ready to be edited.

Instead, I’ve started another manuscript.

I think right now I want to be writing instead of editing. I’ve decided that’s okay.

I’m not sure if it’s the right way to do things, but I keep hearing David Sedaris telling me that things have to happen organically.

I’ve interpreted this to mean I should do what feels right as long as I don’t use it as an excuse to NEVER edit or query or pitch.

I do plan on going to conferences to pitch and sell my soul. I just haven’t decided which ones yet. Maybe I’ll randomly find some I should go to. And it will become an organic experience. And maybe, looking back at my latest dental experience (no cavities, by the way), I will have to spend my organic conference time with a fake smile on my face and forcing myself to work past the cloud in my heart and my fear.

And maybe I will naturally work through my emotions while I keep figuring everything out. But I have a feeling I will have to push myself and fake a few things along the way. I’m just trying to lessen the pushing as much as possible by doing things that feel okay. Naturally.

I just hope this new approach doesn’t mean I have to eat organically.

I do believe Coke Zero is the basis of pure happiness and beauty, however. So I guess the main staple of my diet is an organic one.

It's like this was made just for me.

It’s like this was made just for me.