By Annette Dashofy
I have a structural defect in my brain. Whenever I’m confronted with the prospect of taking on a new responsibility—one that takes place six months or a year from now—I gleefully accept the challenge. After all, it isn’t happening NOW. The future seems so far away. And, I dunno, maybe I expect the world to come to an end before it’s time to actually do anything about the new responsibility.
A little over a year ago, I did it again. On the final day of the 2007 Pennwriters Conference, I volunteered to head up the 2009 Conference.
What the hell was I thinking?
The 2008 Pennwriters Conference is now listed in the history books as the most successful one ever. Nothing like a little pressure to perform.
But still, the event is eleven months away. I have lined up Lisa Scottoline as our Friday night keynote speaker. Local favorite Tim Esaias will be our Saturday lunch keynote. John Lamb and C.J. Lyons are on tap as special guest speakers. Hey, I’m ahead of the curve here!
Or so I thought. Then came (cue spooky organ music) the grant application.
I was given the news last Thursday that I needed to gather a long list of detailed information on the conference in order to apply for a grant. And I needed it by Monday. Not wanting to be responsible for losing a shot at free money, I scrambled. For ten hours on Saturday, I sat at the computer pulling rabbits out of hats and spinning straw into gold. These were details I thought I still had months to leisurely work on. Months. Not days.
With the help of our Pennwriters president and the 2008 conference coordinator, the information and numbers for the budget were neatly compiled and presented to our treasurer.
Then I learned that since it appears that we stand a pretty good chance of not losing money on the project, we don’t qualify for the grant. It seems we did too good of a job of budgeting.
Which is good thing, I think.
Ah, well, the work wasn’t all for nothing. I am now even further ahead of the curve. I can almost relax and breathe. At least until the next fire drill.
And mark your calendar: 2009 Pennwriters Conference: A Writer’s Tool Chest takes place May 15-17 at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott.