Thursday, May 12, 2011

Planning and Scheming

In early June two events take place in the Chicago area that are a lure for us to make the 10.5 hour drive there. Of course, with our son living there, attending grad school at the University of Chicago, we didn't need too many excuses. Still, the pull to make the 3.5 hour drive to Oklahoma City to see grandbabies is just as big of a lure, and the less cost and time means we make that trip much more.

The two events are the Publishers Row Book Fair and the Write To Publish Writers Conference. The book fair is in downtown Chicago, on June 4-5. We went to it a couple of years ago (or was it three?), and had a great time despite intermittent rain. Numerous publishers and booksellers set up shop on city streets and hock their wares, mostly used books, but some new as well. Some writer organizations were there, such as the Romance Writers of America. I know Lynda got to meet one of her favorite romance authors and get her purchases signed. Some readings were included. I got to talk to a couple of publishers, both of which turned out to be dead ends.

That year, on the same weekend, was a large art fair in the Hyde Park area of the city. We went to the book fair on Saturday and the art fair on Sunday. We bought on Sat. and looked on Sun. Both were interesting.

I attended that writers conference back in 2004, the first national conference I attended. I haven't been back since, partly because it's on the expensive side. It's held in Wheaton on the Wheaton College campus. I think it's a beautiful campus, though in 2004 a lot of construction meant we were dodging and weaving on odd paths and not exploring the campus. I learned a lot at that event, and have been wanting to get back to it, though our trip to the book fair a couple of years ago did not include conference attendance. This year it's June 8-11.

This year is different. We actually have three events to attend. On June 11 Charles will receive his doctorate, a PhD in Philosophy. Last week he successfully defended his dissertation, so the degree will be conferred and he'll be "hooded" on the 11th. It's been a long haul for him. He earned his masters at Tufts University in 2003, and might have finished his doctorate a couple of years ago had he not had to work to make ends meet. We're happy for him. In a future post I'll say what his disertation title is and maybe describe it. I read one of his papers derived from the same subject matter. Actually, how about I just link to his website and let you look it up.

So that's the main reason for the trip. Knowing we were going, I applied for a scholarship to the writers conference, and was one of eight to receive one. I doubt I would have applied had we not been going to Chicago anyway, but I figured why not. So I will be attending that with all expenses paid (except transportation). I have an evening event on the 7th with the other scholarship winners. So we'll go up early and attend the book fair as well, make a long trip of it. If the art fair is also on, perhaps we'll drive up on the 3rd, attend the book fair on the 4th, the art fair on the 5th, the writers conference the evening of the 7th through the morning of the 11th, and graduation on the 11th. Lynda will stay with Charles, not with me at the conference.

Planning and scheming are in progress. It would be nice to have a print copy of Documenting America in my hands to show everyone. Maybe I could even lure a publisher into picking up future volumes in the series. Although I've decided to self-publish, I haven't completely given up the dream of being judged worthy of acceptance by a legacy publisher.

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