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May 6th, 2006

Where was I?

Chicago. Last Saturday. Realizing that the world would be a better place if I stayed out of it for a bit.

The Hyatt, Deerfield, really is a great hotel. In theory, at least. Most meals came with the conference, and I’d bought a bag of cheese curds and some soda before leaving Wisconsin, so I didn’t have to face the fact that a plate of pasta in the hotel would set me back $26.

Am I remembering that right, Heidi? I got reports on other peoples’ Friday supper, having spent mine driving through Deerfield and swearing at strangers. Annoying, but very inexpensive.

Apparently, a decent scotch will set you back $16, but since I don’t drink scotch, and couldn’t find the brandy, it was not a problem.

And the room, was a suite-lette. Huge bed piled with an excessive number of pillows, a mini-fridge, and a desk/sitting area, complete with arm chair and couch/rollaway.

All for me. I plugged a CD in the laptop drive and stuck the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door. I missed my chance at a maid service, but I wrote 18 pages, which more than made up for it. Now, I can go for a week or so without the creeping suspicion that telling my editor I’d have a finished manuscript in mid-July was the first step to ending my fabulous new career.

I made it out of the room for the key note: Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer (who have a new book out, which just about everyone reading this already knows about. But for those of you who don’t, go get a copy of DON’T LOOK DOWN. It’s got guy stuff in it, Rich. A romance where stuff blows up, cars crash and people get shot. Fun for the whole family).

I made it out for lunch and saw hilarious Alicia Holliday, who is a RITA finalist and has written about a hundred books this year.

I went back to my room. I hid some more.

I was given plans for supper, which really was for the best, since decision making was not my strong suit, last weekend. First, a visit to Heidi’s room, to visit with the family and watch Doctor Who. Episode 1 from the second season (straight from Britain) of the show you should all be watching.

I’d collapsed on the floor, sitting with my back to the wall, which always feels like such a nice safe place. Comfortable. Low. You can’t fall off of it. You aren’t crowding anyone else out of a seat. Eventually, Heidi coaxed me up into the desk chair, so that I could see better, and gave me my own AVI files of the Doctor to take home.

(At this time, we cannot play them. Sound driver problems.

I told #1 son last night, that, if he was smart, he’d help me fix this today, since Ep 1 has Rose Tyler wearing a push up bra and a shirt that is two sizes too small, unbuttoned down to here.

He told me that sound was not necessary to watch that ep.)

But after TV time, we went up to Jenny Crusie’s room for supper.

Correction. Jenny did not actually have a room. She had a 4 room suite with full dining room and extra doors. I heard that Bob Mayer, her writing partner, was a few rooms short of this. I am the coordinator for a conference in Madison next month and Jenny and Bob are guests. I do not want to be outdone by Chicago. We will be renting the top floor of the hotel for Jenny, and Bob can sleep in my van.

But we had a lovely dinner of carry-out Chinese, Jen Stevenson made a special trip out to buy me a bottle of brandy, and made sure that I drank (people are always looking out for me). Alicia Holliday was there, with husband and cute kids. Heidi Cullinan was also there, with husband and cute kid, singular.

My kids are not cute. This was why I left them home and locked myself in a hotel room.

And we all had chairs, but Jenny was trying to sit on the floor.

OK. I get it now. I give up.
The floor thing makes people nervous. Crusie, get off the floor. I will, if you will.
You go first.