So here's how it went down.
4:30 a.m. Friday morning: Wake up with a start, heart racing, stomach churning. In other words, normal pre-conference stuff for me.
7:00: Donuts for The Kid. And the Husband.
7:10: Dogs deposited. We are officially on the road!
10:00: Arrive at Beloved In-Laws. The Kid deposited. I picked up my sister Hannah, and her husband Mr. Steve picked up the Husband. Eat snacks.
10:45: Finish snacks. Officially back on the road!
11:05: Realize The Kid's car seat is still in my car. Double back to Beloved In-Laws to deposit car seat.
11:25: Officially on the road again!
1:45: Realize there is no way in holy heck I can make the 1 p.m. meeting with my agent. Begin panicking.
2:25: Rediscover the joy of Chicago gridlock with over an hour of travel time left. Begin panicking in earnest.
3:45: Arrive in the hotel without getting lost. Victory!
3:50: Apply fastest coat of make-up and cowboy boots EVER.
4:15: Listen to the Headliners Panel, and immediately worship Julia Quinn for endorsing full-time daycare. Cherry Adair informs us that she's not supposed to abuse us on the first day.
5:30: Find my agent! Victory!
5:35: Adjourn for dinner. Sit at a table with Hannah, my agent, and a variety of women who are really excited about sitting at a table with an agent.
5:50: First dinner companion pitches my agent.
5:59: Second dinner companion pitches my agent.
6:07: Awkward silence descends over dinner table. Agent leans over and whispers "They all hate me now." I assure her that Hannah and I will still talk to her.
7:00: Move to the Agent/Editor panel. Listen to the one editor say that sometimes, she just needs a book. Watch as four agents waver between lunging at her and throwing their cards at her.
8:30: Now is officially the time for chocolate. We pick up A.J. Brower, a lovely woman named Marta Bliese, some wine, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
8:34: The following conversation (the first of many) occurs: "Hey! Sarah! It's so great to see you! Is this your agent?" Introductions follow.
8:43: My agent uses the word "anomaly" to describe me in a sentence.
8:50: "Anomaly" again.
Cast, in order of appearance: Laurie McLean, Andrea Dickinson, Sarah M. Anderson, Marta Bliese, A.J. Brower. Photo by Hannah Clampitt
9:20: Three firefighters, two EMTs, and two police officers roll in to assist someone in need. Everyone was okay, and we engaged in witty banter with men wearing sidearms.
9:30: Three 'anomalies' later, my agent goes to bed.
9:40: Marta reveals she's pitching my agent in the morning. We spend another glass of wine and half an hour workshopping her pitch. A key feature of her pitch is bringing my agent a Diet Coke.
10:15: Hannah and I realize we've been awake since four something. Have another glass of wine, just to be sure.
11:45: Mr. Steve and the Husband return from Milwaukee, flush with a Cubs Victory.
And Scene. How did Marta's pitch go? Was I an example of author branding? Did my agent describe me as an 'anomaly' again? Tune in next Tuesday for the exciting Play-By-Play for the Saturday conclusion of Spring Fling!