There I was, Cincinnati, all dressed up and nowhere to go. Well, I had somewhere to go but then suddenly didn’t. It happens to the best of us so I don’t take being suddenly slighted personally. I do dare say, however, I look fashionably spiffy in my new duds standing here stood up.
It all began in April when I registered for the NSNC conference in Cincinnati. It was to be my second conference, and unlike the first one the previous year in Manchester, NH, I did not feel like an outsider, a newcomer. Why? Because the entire NSNC group and its speakers are so warm and welcoming that you’d be a fool to feel anything but comraderie.
After meeting Lisa Smith Molinari’s “presidential” side at NSNC’s 2017 Manchester, NH conference and then her “personal” side at Suzzette Standring’s summer home shortly thereafter, I was looking forward to her humorous, heartwarming, inspiring and I’m sure humbling words to fellow columnists and bloggers as she wrapped up her presidential tenure in Cincinnati. She, along with so many others, too numerous to mention here, are a true testament to the support offered the eclectic and sometimes insecure group known as writers.
My professional profile was pumped about learning from scheduled speakers Jim Azevedo (Future Book Publishing Trends), Howard Wilkinson (Interviewing), Polly Campbell (Descriptive Writing), Dave Lieber (Writing that Surprises), Carol Robidoux (Hyperlocal Stories), Bonnie Jean Feldkamp (Facebook boosting), not to mention the wit and wisdom of Jerry Springer, Nick Clooney and Connie Schultz. Oh, this was not a conference to miss. Not to mention, Nightly Brews, which would undoubtedly lead to a “daze” at the zoo followed by hoping to stay sober in the hospitality suite. Such a lovely schedule to boost writing “spirits”.
And I’m not big on blind dates. Never had one. So, why I chose this conference to engage in one is beyond me. But my blind date, sort of, Michael Leonard, who I was to hook up with to be entrusted with both his iPhone and the recording of his “Legacy Award speech”, has been stood up. My apologies to my dear friend and NSNC’s professional photographer, Cynthia Ballard Borris, for entrusting me with this arrangement after my photography lighting skills in Manchester 2017 somehow proved (to her) my ability to handle this most important assignment. Fear not, though, Michael Leonard, I have hooked you up with Suzette for this encounter – I didn’t check, but I don’t think her husband will mind.
And yes, my dear friend Suzette Standring, who I inadvertently stumbled upon in a little bookstore in Falmouth, MA back in 2009 is a subtle, yet powerful force of human nature who affects everyone she encounters. And anyone who has encountered her can attest to that affect. And I was so looking forward to catching up with her friendship in Ohio.
The affect of which brings me to another conference goer I was very excited to meet in Ohio. Grammar Guy (Curtis Honeycutt). I don’t know if both you and Suzette have affected or effected me – I’m still struggling with that issue – but I do know I was looking forward to chatting with you in Cincinnati in hopes of resolving the effect of it all. And as I look up from my keyboarding, spellcheck has informed me that MANY of my grammatical attempts at effect/affect here have been incorrect. So I definitely needed to pick your brain. Or perhaps schedule a grammar therapy session because I don’t think the effect of this deep issue can be resolved whispering between conference speakers, sipping on adult beverages. But I was willing to give it a try, Grammar Guy . . .
So, off I went on a mini shopping spree to spruce up my suffering summer wardrobe collection, especially the dress, pant, top, shoe and pocketbook departments!! Yes, the entire thing desperately needed an overhaul. The items, like myself, have moved so many times in the past few years that together we were suffering from displacement, disarray and dis is out of style. A girl don’t need more than that to send her shopping.
For those of you unfamiliar with Cape Cod, let me forewarn your financial department, there is NO shortage of places to engage in shopping sprees. The town of Falmouth where I reside offers major retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s and many “local” shops all sprinkled along the route to Cape Cod’s major mall mere miles away. “Oh, the places you’ll go” said Dr. Seuss – so I went.
And then . . . life’s left hook hit with a serious issue that that loud voice within whispered that I had no choice but to wholeheartedly stay home and help out with. So there I was, three days prior to departure, all dressed up and nowhere to go!
I am so disappointed to have missed out on all that NSNC and Cincinnati offered for this four-day foray, but so grateful to be a part of this group where learning and friendship-building never ends. So, for me from here I guess it’s NY in 2019. And as long as it’s not fashion week and there’s no fashion writers attending or speaking at the NSNC 2019 conference I should be able to recycle my new wardrobe.