Nothing compares to being with your tribe.
A conference of (copy and other types of) editors, nearly filling a Hilton Hotel, is a breathtaking experience. Uplifting. Invigorating. And sometimes exhausting.
I arrived on Wednesday, the day before the conference officially began, but there was no lack of activities. Hallway meetings, introductions, and “Don’t I know you from X?” conversations abounded. (No one knew me from X. I’ve never been to anything like this. I had to convince Henry Fuhrmann, formerly of the LA Times, that he had never met me before. When I mentioned he’d sent me a coffee mug, he said, “Oh, right! Because you were nice.” FOOLED YOU, HENRY…)
Come Thursday, the conference began in earnest. I walked to “my” smoothie place, nine blocks one-way, at 7 a.m. and was back before the first session started. Two morning sessions, a networking lunch (we were the loudest table — I have no idea how that happened), two more sessions, and then the spelling bee. I was knocked out in round 3 by the word “clerihew.” I must now write one to prove I can do it, and I will never forget that word. EVER. Then a poolside reception, and then dinner, and then a little stop in the hotel bar with three men I happen to admire, one of whom is John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun, who calls himself “The Old Editor” and who has become an internet celebrity in the editorial world. I was the country girl with the city fellas, and I said little and listened much.
Friday (today) began with another smoothie trek, followed by two morning sessions and a lunch at a Greek taverna. Twenty of us descended on the place, and they seated us all upstairs, and our waiter was amazingly competent and thoughtful and efficient. (And he called me “miss.” I told him I loved him for that.) Right now as I type this, I’m sitting at the EFA table in the main hall vendors’ area because none of the sessions call to me, and I didn’t want to be a total schlub, and I knew that warm bodies at tables are usually wanted. I just saved Jennifer Maybin from a dead phone by loaning her my brick of a charger. That’s a few brownie points, too …
Tonight is the banquet, and then I suspect I’ll stumble up to my room (via the elevator, I’m not a total idiot) and fall over. Tomorrow’s the last day of the conference. I’ll blog again about what happens between now and Monday morning, when I head home.
My people. My tribe. This is it.