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Caffeine-Free Convention

Did I meet you at the Romantic Times convention last week? Forgive me if I’m vague about this. You see, I made the brilliant decision to decaffeinate.

Yup. No caffeine for a week before (or during) the entire convention. If I DID meet you, I told you this. Repeatedly. In fact, if you’re not sure who, exactly, I am, I’m the one who told you, “I gave up caffeine for morning cardio!”

I was so self-righteous. Someone should have slapped me. Perhaps someone did. I’m really not sure.

Two former Misters Romance (Len Gunn and Charles Paz) et moi.

See that picture in which I objectify men? I repaid them the kindness of taking that photo with me by describing–in detail–life sans caffeine AND my kids’ track season so far.

I attended parties. I danced. It wasn’t pretty:

See that expression? That's decaffeinated dancing folks. I don't advise it.

I attended Jade Lee’s WEDDED IN SCANDAL wedding only to realize that these people were only pretending to get married. I cried anyway.

I spent a little time (okay, a lot of time) at the bar with friends old and new. The next day, perfectly lovely strangers came up to me and said, “You were so funny last night!” Um…was I? What did I say? What did I do?

Samhain Publishing threw a party. That's all I have to say about that.

And yet…and yet…this was one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. Because I knew I wouldn’t have four “energy drinks” a day to sustain me, I decided at the outset to be gentle with myself. If I didn’t want to attend a workshop, I wouldn’t force it. If I wasn’t enjoying the moment, in the moment, I would walk up and leave. One day, I took two naps. TWO! Did I miss the

Most Important Workshop on Writing and Social Media EVAR?

Yeah. Probably. But there’s so much of that information at my fingertips every day. This time I wanted something different. I decided my overarching goal was to enjoy my friends and make a few new ones. That’s it. No deal-making. No pitching. Just…play time.

In passing, I sold a couple copies of my book. A bookseller asked me to come do a signing. And I showed off my crappy tattoo.

Pretty successful, I’d say.

What about you? Do you attend conventions and conferences? What do you hope to get out of them for the time and money you spend?


22 Responses

  1. Keri, what the heck are you doing to that horse?! LOL

    I don’t caffeinate TOO much but can’t imagine doing a conference totally uncaffeinated. The rest of your approach sounds excellent, but I don’t know if I can do that, either. I always strive to wring every drop out of one!

  2. Keri, I hung out with you multiple times and you didn’t ONCE tell me that you’d decaffeinated. Honestly, you seemed perfectly normal to me, so that just says that you’re handling it quite well despite the photographic evidence to the contrary. šŸ™‚

  3. And here I thought alcohol consumption was responsible for all my–interesting– behavior in the past…it was a caffeine deficiency? Huh. Well, I will do the world a favor and stay on my meds: espresso, Diet Mt Dew, chewing dry tea bags (that last one was a joke. I think)…

  4. I’m sorry. I can’t answer any questions, I haven’t had my coffee yet.

  5. Looks like someone had a blast! LOL I’ve decided I like the smaller conferences better. I’m not so overwhelmed and actually come home energized instead of wiped out and trying to sort through all that great information.

    • Melissa, I am still not fully recovered – especially as is evidenced by the mountain of unfolded, unhung laundry. My “small” conference is going to have about 500 people this year (the Lori Foster Reader-Author Get Together) and to be honest, I’m not looking forward to the crowd.

  6. tattoo? What tattoo? You show pictures (particularly the embarrassing one of you trying to mate with a horse) and not one of your tattoo? What????

    Looks like you had a great time. I’m considering next year. Gotta save the $$ to pay for it. It might be drive distance for me.

    Sorry I didn’t reply until 10 a.m. Had to drink my coffee first

  7. Heh. The tattoo is a tale for another telling šŸ™‚ And I was indeed mounting said horse as I rode pony express-style…oh. Never mind.

  8. I have been too chicken to attend a conference, but I would like to maybe attend one this year. I did go completely caffeine free about 22 years ago, and haven’t fallen off the wagon since! šŸ™‚ Great post. How do you figure out what conference to go to?

    • I chose this one because of proximity, honestly. I’d been to RT before, but I could get to and from this conference for $50 round-trip AND rooming with two others saved me a ton. You can always go to a conference and “lurk” in the back of the room the first time. You’d still learn a ton and meet people in spite of yourself!

  9. I’ve met you twice. how come I haven’t seen this tattoo?!?

    glad you had fun, even minus the good stuff!

  10. Well you told me to get my ass to the gym. Maybe I should have listened to you!

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