My stay in the Alternate Universe began in my hotel room. Originally, I was going to stay with my friend June, because she lives in New York City. But my friend Deborah Blake, a fellow Betty, lost her roommate. Never to be found again. Nah, her buddy just couldn't attend, which left Deb in a bind. I considered the benefit of having a place to crash between volunteering gigs, and signed up. It was a wise decision, most notably because Deborah is a good woman, and an easy bunkmate. Wait-that didn't come out right. Although she did say she's available.
We had fun. And we learned the most important lesson of all: order one meal, and share it!
At the end of my first, long day, I was sitting in Orientation and got a text. It was an empty thought bubble. Naturally, I wanted to know who was bursting at the seams to tell me...nothing...so I wrote back. It turned out to be Colette Auclair, my fellow contest slut, who reached out to me after we finaled in the Winter Rose. Actually, I'm much more of a 'ho than Colette, who won first place in our category. She's lovely and talented, so in the future I will know not to compete against her. I ditched the orientation in favor of food and company, and quickly hijacked the conversation, plus the chair formally occupied by her friend, Kimberly Savage. The conference provided different opportunities for each of us, so we weren't always together. But here we are, looking glamorous after the fancy schmancy Awards Ceremony.
Megan Coakley, Colette Auclair, and Kimberly Savage: Future Award Winners.
When I was in Salem for the NECRWA conference, I was determined to hand out my business card to every woman I met. The first two victims of my blitzkrieg were Serena Bell and her best friend, Ellen Price. Ellen and I kept meeting up in the restrooms, where I would invariably give her another card. Both she and Serena are dedicated and knowledgeable about their craft, supportive and helpful with their advice. Also, it's just fun to listen to them finish each other's sentences. They're like a married couple. Or sisters.
My new peeps: Serena Bell, Ellen Price, and Kimberly Savage.
That is what the conference felt like-a huge gathering of all the women in a family-mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins. Strong, independent females, striving for individual and collective success. Listen, I really want to be published. But I also want that for Colette, Kim, Serena, Ellen, Delia, Lora, and anyone else driven by the need to share their stories. The Lone Woman is surrounded by penii, but believes in the power of the vagina. If RWA is any indication, sisterhood can change the world.
Come join us. Positive attitude required. Blonde hair, not so much.