I'm staggering from exhaustion, but I'm back! Another year of exhilarating workshops, moving keynote speeches, long sessions in the bar with new friends and old, and a general recharging of the batteries. There is nothing like a few intense, whisky-soaked, chocolate-filled days with people who love and understand the power of the written word.
There were small moments, like the giggles we got when we spied the guy behind us wearing a tee shirt that said:
Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense
(You can buy it here and what's that you say? Would I like it for Christmas? How did you know? You must be psychic!)
Or when I shuffled over to the mall, lost in my own thoughts and only half paying attention to where I was going, once again wracked with self-doubt and tuned in to what one of the presenters referred to as "shit FM." I asked myself should I really continue with this writing business? I mean, if only I had a sign, some signal of some sort that I should continue to pursue this, that this is really what I'm meant to do.
I looked over at that moment and saw this:
...and doubled over laughing figuring the only thing missing was a smack upside the head.
And there were big moments, like Jacqui Banaszynski's moving, thoughtful keynote speech about the death of a gay farm couple featured in her Pulitzer prize winning story AIDS IN THE HEARTLAND and her coverage of the Ethiopian famine that left not a dry eye in the house. It was one of those time stood still moments.
Then there was Michael Slade's SHOCK THEATRE featuring Jack Whyte, Diana Gabaldon, Anne Perry, Sam Sykes and kc dyer that....well, that simply defies description. You just had to be there.
The magic of the Surrey Conference is very real.
Do you believe?