Thursday, May 24, 2007


by Joyce Tremel

Seeing as I'm still brain dead from the Pennwriter's Conference, this post is going to be a rambling mess. In other words, if you're here to read something that makes sense, I'll excuse you now.

There's not much going on in Shaler these days. Most of our calls have been for EMS, lost dogs and cats, disorderly juveniles and people who lock themselves out of their cars. Yawn.

At home, I have more than enough to do. There's always laundry, cleaning, cooking, more laundry, gardening, more get the picture. But all this is boring, too. Sigh.

I'm calling it post-conference stress disorder. If it's not a real syndrome it should be. I don't know about anyone else, but the weekend was such a high for me. It was so nice to talk to people who know what the hell I'm talking about when I mention protagonists, villains, drafts and revisions. People who look at everything that happens and think, this would make a great story. People who chat about murder, bodies and autopsies over dinner without even flinching. My kind of people. This was the first conference where I felt like a "real writer" and not someone pretending to be one. I loved every minute of it.

At home after the conference, my family listened with interest--for about ten minutes. Then everyone wanted to tell me what they did while I was gone. I was back to mom and wife mode. Not a bad thing, but it was nice being a writer and nothing else, even temporarily.

Then on Monday it was back to work. I tried to tell the guys about the conference but all they were concerned about was how much overtime they were going to get working the new traffic detail where the railroad is replacing the tracks. I went back to my office where I could daydream about my next scene.

At least I had my book to work on this week. I could put to good use everything I learned at the conference. I'm itching to get it finished so I can start on the revisions and try Hallie Ephron's tips.

So, anyone who has been to a conference--either Pennwriters or another one--tell us about your experience. Did you suffer from post-conference stress disorder? How did you deal with the aftermath of real life? Who else is already planning for the next one?


Anonymous said...

Joyce, I don't have post-conference stress disorder because, boo-hoo, I was unable to attend this year. I guess you could say, then, I'm dealing with conference-envy. I wish, I wish I had been there!

Congratulations to Sandy and Kristine for winning writing awards and to Mike for his manuscript request. It sounds like everyone had a great time.

Joyce, I'd love to hear more about Hallie Ephron's tips!

Good luck with the revisions!

Anonymous said...

Joyce, I know how you feel. The mark of a good conference, I think, is when you come home feeling both creatively invigorated and physically exhausted. I'm so glad I decided to attend this year!

Anonymous said...

I crashed a lot sooner than you, Joyce, but experienced the high, too. We may be getting that feeling, too, because that is where we belong. It was a great experience, but I think my exhaustion was both mental and physical. And all we did was just sit there!

Maddy said...

Just give me the chance to go to a conference - any conference about anything!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the conference was a high and I was exhausted after. But starting my new job the next day, I can hardly say my week was boring. At least, being new there, I had an excuse for wandering around like a zombie: I didn't know where anything was!

I can read the blogs from work, but not the comments and I can't write back. I have to say, it makes me feel very disconnected.