To find out about my weird superstition story, you’ll have to keep reading, because I went to two conferences, and it happened at the second conf. But for now, here’s what led up to it…
I am home!!! You have no idea how happy I am to say those words. For the last two weeks, I’ve been attending back-to-back conferences. The first conference was in Oklahoma City for OWFI (Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Inc.)
I had such a fantastic time at the conference, but the best part was meeting some great people. In fact, I met so many great people, they decided to buy my books, and because of all those fantastic people, Dreamthief was the #3 bestseller in the entire state of Oklahoma! I’m still walking on clouds. It’s the first time my print books have been on a bestseller’s list. My digital books have made it big (sort of) on Amazon, but now my print books have made it too, and it’s such a fantastic feeling to have people reading and loving my books.
Honestly, this was the best conference of the two, even though it was smaller. I really learned so much, and felt so welcomed. It seems that smaller conferences have the advantage, because you get to meet and connect with people on a more personal level. I’ll definitely come back next year, and maybe they’ll even let me teach again if I ask nicely enough.
The second conference was hosted by the LDStorymakers in Provo, Utah. This was such a HUGE conference, with close to 800 attendees, and I admit that I felt a little lost in such a big crowd. Plus, there was some kind of weird karma or something going on. Let me list everything here:
- My flight got delayed by four hours, causing me to miss the LDStorymakers annual dinner at the Mexican restaurant. (And I love Mexican food! Plus, the storymakers are sort of cool, too.)
- I got to my hotel, got checked in, and parked on level 6. When I lugged my two heavy suitcases to the elevator, the door wouldn’t open. I pressed the button and nothing happened. Finally, when I pushed the up button instead of the down button, it worked.
- When I got to the doors leading into the hotel, the sliding doors opened a quarter of the way open, making me have to squeeze through, with my two heavy suitcases, until I made in inside.
- I got to the elevator leading up to my room on level 7. Since I was on the top levels, I had to use my card to operate the elevator. Card wouldn’t work. (Of course!) A lady enters the elevator and uses her card, so I make it up to my room.
- At my room, finally, standing at my door, and you guessed it, card wouldn’t work. I tried a million times, but nothing.
- I go back to the elevator, still lugging around those two clunky suitcases, and the elevator WOULD NOT WORK! I stood there for five minutes pressing the buttons, I pressed up and down buttons, I heard the elevators moving, BUT THEY WOULD NOT WORK!
- I left my suitcases outside my room’s door, climbed down seven flights of stairs, and made it back to the lobby. I told the receptionist about my card issue, so they “fixed” it.
- Standing outside those cursed elevators again, I use my card to get up to level seven. Still not working.
- (Repeat number 7 and 8 three times.)
- Finally, the receptionist goes to the elevator with me, to show me that I must have just been using my card wrong the whole time, when, behold, he realized my card was actually not working. His words were, “I’ve been working at this hotel for five years and this is the first time this has ever happened!”
- Made it back to my room, got inside. No one stole my luggage, and pray my bad luck doesn’t stay with me. It does.
- Day two. At the conference bookstore, trying to buy a book by James Dashner, and the book is not in their system. I have to stand aside while they key in the bar code numbers by hand, wait another five minutes for the book to get loaded into the system. Finally, it gets resolved, and I’m now the proud owner of James Dashner’s The Rule of Thoughts.
- Number thirteen. So this happens to be number thirteen, and I didn’t realize until now that there were thirteen bad things that happened to me. And that is so weird, and a little bit creepy, even though I really am not a superstitious person. Okay, here goes…number thirteen….I got to the Whitney awards on Saturday evening, the last event of the conference. To get a ticket to the Whitney’s, you have to pay $50 ahead of time. I did. I paid through PayPay, and I have my receipt to prove it. Standing in line to get in, you have to walk to a desk where your name is on a list, tell them your name, they find it on the list, and then you can get inside. Guess who’s name wasn’t on that stupid list? Yep, mine. I was all dressed up fancy and ready to go inside, and I had to dorkily step aside while everyone else went in. Thankfully, the gracious Stephanie Black let me inside anyway, but I felt like a real moron. I felt like I’d got in illegally or something, and had visions of security running inside and dragging me out of the room, United Airlines style. They didn’t. I had a great time.
After that, my luck improved. In fact, the next morning, while on my way to the airport, I stopped at a gas station to fill up my rental. I needed directions to the airport, so I looked it up on my phone, only to find that my wi-fi wasn’t working. I thought, I could really use a McDonald’s right now. And would you believe there was one right across the street? So, I pulled into the parking lot to use the wi-fi, and then I realized I was starving hungry, and it was 5AM, and McDonald’s had just, that minute, opened. I was able to get my fruit and maple oatmeal. And I was just so grateful for McDonald’s and oatmeal at that moment that I may have shed a few tears of joy.
With all that said, I really enjoyed the conference. Here are the highlights: