I can't begin to distill this day into something readable and not 400 pages long, so let's do this via a list:
1. Serious blogging/social media tips from the Queen of this stuff, Debba Haupert, founder of Girlfriendology. I filled pages of notes with stuff I didn't know or was fuzzy about. She defuzzed with enthusiasm.
2. I had such a great time in Dave Fox's session on travel humor writing that I signed up for his online humor writing class starting in a couple weeks. So excited that the class is limited in size and will be filled with people from this conference.
3. Lunchtime speaker: Connie Schultz. I won't embarrass us both by gushing as much as I want to, but wow. I want to award her the Pulitzer for making everybody in the ballroom feel like she was having a one-on-one conversation with her. Sen. Sherrod Brown is a lucky man and the Pulitzer people are smart puppies. I'm excited that I have so much to read by her that will be new to me. So funny, kind, smart... alright I'm starting to gush so I'll reel it back in for now. But wow.
4. You know that blog Lost in Suburbia, the mommy blog that became enormous and has a massive audience? I went to Tracy Beckerman's session for nuts and bolts tips that I can actually use (turns out she got her start at an Erma conference several years ago and has made it a habit to make an ass of herself at each conference, which I can absolutely respect).
5. Then I napped and ate pretzels, though not simultaneously. What kind of freak show do you think this is?
6. So then, somehow, things got even better. Erma's son Andy read a column she wrote about him and the different beat of his drum. I love that the Bombecks are so involved with this conference. I'm not into mystical woo woo stuff, but her kindness and earnest belief in all people shines through so clearly here. The people involved with putting on this conference are doing good, and needed, work.
7. But then, it got even better. Adriana Trigiani, fiction bestseller and longtime TV comedy writer, gave the most inspiring, wackiest, funniest, completely real speech I've ever heard. I wouldn't even call it a speech. She said she wanted us to use her in whatever way was the most helpful, and she actually meant it. Her stories were hilarious, obviously, but she gets like 45 Brene Brown stars for her authenticity. She left her dress shoes in a hotel in the last city she was in, and had to deliver her speech in black sequins and brown booties, and it was awesome. I got to talk to her briefly about painful shoes, too.
So, the word of the day is wow. It will take a long time to digest this weekend, and I am sore and I am beyond tired and I am surely skipping words and getting the details wrong all over the place at this point, but I am so glad I did this. I'm energized and ready. I may actually die by the end of tomorrow, but let's hope not because I have so much to do now. So much I truthfully feel I'm supposed to do.
Day 1 wrap up
Day 1 preview freak out post