Thursday, July 24, 2008

Debra - What do you mean I can't check in?

For those folks who stop by but don't know a lot about the romance world, we have an annual professional conference attended by about 2,000 writers. We have that conference in July every year. I go most years.

Packing is brutal. It's a week crammed with business activities, cocktail parties, the RITA awards which are the romance writers' Oscars. You've got your field trips, workshops, breakfasts, lunches and dinners with editors and agents. My suitcase has been certified as an emergency shelter.

As many of you know, I've been up to my butt in alligators with the new imprint over at BelleBooks. I'm treading water with decreasing effectiveness. How do I know this?

Because I arrived at the airport July 22, fully packed.

The conference is next week. My plane ticket is for July 29th.

The electronic check in machine said, "Your flight is not available for check-in. Please see an agent at the counter."

I had to call my son to come and pick me up. (Yes, that was a hoot. For him, not me.) My husband was out of town in a meeting when my son tracked him down to be the first to tell him. I understand my husband laughed so loud and so long that everyone in the building ran in to see what was so funny.

I had to call the woman who works for BelleBooks part-time so she could reorganize her working schedule. I share her hours with one of my consulting clients, so I had to call her at her office. When I told her the problem, she said, "Just a minute." I can't be sure, but I'm fairly certain she got up on her chair and made an announcement to their entire staff. Well, I know she did because I was yelling into the phone, "I can hear you! You're fired." She just kept laughing. She's worked for me so long she knows where the bodies are buried. (But more importantly she knows how to bury them.)

I told the Top Down crew. Guffaws and laughter ensued. And they've helpfully been sending me reminders about the conference and various events because we all know I can't be trusted to show up at the proper time. I think Helen is making visual aids to help me learn the calendar.

I had to tell the Belles. My partners are still laughing. When they sober up, I'm probably going to wish they hadn't.

My mother called this morning to see if I'd not made any trips today. Funny woman.

I'm not unpacking. I would have had to iron regardless.

So, read any good books lately?


mslizalou said...

I've actually gone to the doctor on the wrong day more than once. I now call the day before the make sure I have an appointment on the schedule.

This week I finished Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer(can't wait for Breaking Dawn), Flashpoint by Jill Shalvis, Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart, and Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet. All wonderful books!

Anonymous said...

Debra - You started my day with a gerat laugh. I guess you'll never live this one down...

Janice Maynard :)

Anonymous said...

Ummm - that would be "great"...


Helen Brenna said...

Deb, I love your mother. I'll bring the visual aids to SF. And, yes, I'm still chuckling over this.

Wow, Liza! Your are single-handedly keeping the publishing business alive and thriving!! Go, girl.

Debra Dixon said...

Liza-- Yep. Stephanie Meyer really has great great stuff.

Janice-- This one is my big scarlet "A." (g)

Helen-- I knew I could count on you. You've always been helpful. (g)

Unknown said...

Deb, I love this! Thanks so much for sharing it with us and taking all the chuckles in stride. I know for myself I' thinking: there but for the grace of God. . .

And by the way, what's the beg scarlet "A" stand for?

;) Betina

Cindy Gerard said...

Deb - I think I've already zinged you enough so I'll just smile and say: Can't wait to see you on Thursday, (that's the day after Wednesday and the day before Friday) July 31st (last day of the month of JULY, not AUGUST) at 8:30 a.m. (that's morning not evening) for breakfast - not dinn ... well, I think you've got the picture.
And whoops, I did it again, didn't I? :o)
Cindy Gerard (not Crawford or Loffer - or anyone even remotely as famous)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Deb, I'm not laughing. There but for the Grace of God go I, and that is no lie.

I showed up for an appointment on the wrong day. The fact that I did it resides in my memory, but dang if I can remember what kind of appointment it was.

Our lives are just too crazy.

Playground Monitor said...

Oh Tuesday you commented you were out the door headed for conference. I kinda wondered about that, but thought maybe you were taking vacation before things got started. One of the Playfriends is in California now with her husband and daughter and giving us weather reports.

Anyway, good for you to laugh at yourself.

I have a calendar and a to-do pad on my desk. If I don't write it down, I'll forget it for sure. I even do a spreadsheet sort of thing for conference and put in which workshops I want to attend, when I have meetings with folks, what day I'm meeting what person for breakfast/lunch/coffee/drinks. Without that schedule I'm lost.

At least you're packed! I have to be packed by tomorrow. We're going to our weekend place and I'm just staying up there since it's only 30 mins from the Nashville airport and that's where I'm flying from. No point driving 2 hours back home and 2 hours back to N'ville.

See everyone in SF!


Playground Monitor said...

Oh... one of the Playfriends' first book hit the shelf at my Wal-Mart yesterday. There was much squeeeing and that's what I'm reading -- Whispers in the Dark by Kira Sinclair. It's a Harlequin Blaze.

pjpuppymom said...

This week I've read Gallant Waif by Anne Gracie (loved it), Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra (great start to an awesome new series) and re-read the arc of Some Like it Wicked by Teresa Medeiros (beautiful historical set in Scottish Highlands-releases 7/29).

Debra, I've been at the center of many laugh-worthy experiences over the years but I think you just topped them all! Good for you that you can laugh about it too. Hope you have a terrific time in SF!

Debra Dixon said...

Betina-- Oddly I think the benefit of being packed really made me embrace this whole screw up. LOL! My scarlett A is a bit different than Hester's. Mine is for "Adult-in-training."

Cindy -- LOL! What's a girl to do without friends to help her? (g)

Kathleen-- We do have lives that are too crazy. Our mothers kept telling us we could have it all and we by golly keep trying. They never mentioned the mental and physical price tag of having it all!

Marilyn-- Nashville is only a 3 hour hop skip and a jump away from me! I used to do a very serious calendar for National but this year I was supposed to be having a very laid back conference. That's only partially working out for me.

Tarot By Arwen said...

I had to tweet this to all my dearest and closest and then some. Hee. I actually made such a fuss once that they put me on a plane. When I got home (traveling back and forth from parent company to home) I realized I was a week early on my return. OOPS!

Yes, I actually did call and apologize. I went ballistic on the poor agent. :(

Nikki said...

I commiserate with you. And I want to add that I once showed up for a hair appointment a day early--thank heavens that I wasn't a day late. That could have turned really ugly. In more ways than one.

Anna (VampChix) said...

I used to do stuff like this quite often. Between my appointments, the kids' events and my husband's schedule... well let's just say that we were way overbooked and I would forget or mix things up. I bought a dry erase calendar for the fridge and a dry erase plain board (to write to do lists) and I was still messing up. Then my husband discovered the google calendar. He put the calendar on our homepage and it sends out text messages to our phones to remind us of appointments. It's free and a total help in managing our schedules!

Anonymous said...

That sounds like something I'd do! You are officially Calendar Challenged and can join a support group. Too funny, Deb.

Christie Ridgway said...

Son 2 and I went to a play last month a day early...we could have exchanged our tickets and watched that night, but Son 2 was mortified by my gaffe.

"You've ruined my life. This is most embarrassing thing that has ever happened." (Because of course we saw people he knew there.) So we slunk away and returned the next night.

The date was right on the tickets!

Debra Dixon said...

PJ-- I love Virginia Kantra and Teresa Medeiros. Maybe I'll grab the Medeiros book as my plane read since it and I will both be in an airport on 7/29.

Arwen-- LOL! I feel better. I didn't actually get to the ticket agent. :)

Nikki-- Thank you! Commiseration is good. LOL about needing to be on time for the beauty appointments.

Anna-- I've looked at the Google calendar and recommended it to someone. I use Outlook to keep me straight. yeah. I recognize the irony in that.

Linda-- "Calendar Challenged Outreach" That's what I need. LOL!

Debra Dixon said...

Christy-- See? I'm making it okay to confess to these little snafus. LOL on your poor son's total embarassment. Poor baby, he has no clue what you could really do if you tried.

Mary Marvella said...

After reading this one, I won't feel so bad about my CRS disease!

I can just see you giving the folks what for until you realized the mistake was yours. At least you weren't late!

Estella said...

I just finished No One Lives Forever by Jordan Dane .

Keri Ford said...

Oh, goodness! So sorry, but that's too funny! I'm manic with the calendar for any appointments to make sure this doesn't happen, but has, with a doctors appointment once.

Cheryl St.John said...

At least you dealt with a machine that couldn't laugh at you!

Once I showed up for a group booksigning week in advance. Boy did I feel dumb.

Debra Dixon said...

Mary-- Hey, girl ! I was saved from more embarrassment because I'd figured it out before talking to the agent! :)

Estella-- I haven't read Jordan Dane but I've heard and read really great things about that series.

Keri-- Yes, I understand a calendar that you look at is critical to the avoidance of these incidents. (g)

Cheryl- LOL! And you had to ask someone because you couldn't just leave! Love it.

Hot Ash Romance Novels said...


You're as bad as I am!!!


Anonymous said...

Debra, don't feel bad. At the Atlanta conference I schedule my airline ticket to come home on the wrong day. Instead of booking it for Sunday, I made it for Monday.
Luckily, they let me change it when I got to the airport.

Busy minds need a keeper.

Tina Gayle

Debra Dixon said...

Ash-- Hey! Good to know I have company! :)

Tina-- I'd love a keeper but they're so darned expensive! (g)