All Good Things…
Posted by Susan Sey Jul 29 2012, 12:10 am
You know how that one goes, right? All good things must….come to an end.
What goes up must come down.
RWA 2012 Anaheim has come to an end.
I’m flying home as you read this–exhausted, worn out & happy. I’m probably snoring on the guy beside me or reading one of the new-to-me authors I picked up at the conference. It’s possible I’m happily scribbling away on a fresh inspiration I took away from a workshop, or texting my new besties. Because it’s not a conference unless I’ve found myself a new bestie.
Not that she’d ever replace my old besties. No, the banditas are the constellation around which everybody else I meet through RWA spins. And I missed the absent this year as much as I delighted in the present. (Next year, y’all! I demand it!) And connecting with Bandita Buddies, giving real hugs and putting faces to email addresses and avatars? Priceless!
But I’ve decided that this yearly meet up of beloveds works for me on another level. It satisfies a deeper need than just seeing people I’ve missed. And why? Because when I was a kid, I was a die-hard summer camper.
Oh, yeah. I was a Camp Kid. (Holla, campers! Let me hear you rock this campfire!)
For me, Camp (and, yes, I do capitalize it on purpose) was akin to Prom. A thing so important and defining that it doesn’t require a preceding the. We went to Camp, not the camp. Just like we went to Prom, not the prom. And I lived for those two or three weeks in the summer.
Why? Because of the homogeneity. And not racial or socio-economic or anything like that. No, we were all different colors and creeds. There were rich kids and poor kids, city kids and country kids. But we were truly and uniformly nerdy. It was like Camp was a dog whistle for geeks with good hearts who wanted to do goofy skits and sing songs and dance in the chow hall. Only we could hear the siren song of Camp, & boy did we turn up.
I made friends I have to this day at Camp, people I love & understand though we haven’t spoken or seen each other for dozens of years. Here’s me in 1985 (see if you can pick me out!), when I first shared a cabin with my best friend from middle school. My counselor that year on the far right went on to room with my sister in college. I’ve hugged both of them within the last calendar year.
So I’ve decided that RWA is my new Camp. It’s chock full of people who hear the same song I’m hearing, & we’re all just geeky enough to turn up for the dance party. And being in a whole crowd full of folks who unabashedly love what I love? Who dig a happy ending, and weep delighted tears when an apha male is brought to his stubborn knees? Who love those stories enough to bleed them onto the page year after year?
Pure bliss. So thanks for coming out to play this year, everybody. And for those of you who missed it? I’m saving you a dance. Next year, ‘kay?
So tell me, were you a Camp kid? What kind? (Mine was a low-budget, liberal-minded church camp with a lot of spontaneous singing. As if you couldn’t guess.) Did you love it? Or did you–like my sister–hate every buggy, dirty second? Share!
Posted in RWA conference, RWA12, Susan Sey