At this time next week I will be in the middle of living a dream of mine that I didn't know I even had until last December. I will be attending the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop in Dayton, Ohio. It wasn't until I Googled "I want to be Erma Bombeck" a few months ago that I even discovered such a thing. True story, which you can read about here. I can't even express how exciting this new adventure will be, to learn from some fantastic speakers and to associate with my peers, my people, those who 'get' my writing and express themselves in much the same way. There is one fear I have, however - one confession I should make before I step onto that plane and traipse across a third of the country to be in this strange land of humor and mockery of life.
I might sleep through some of the funniest stuff.
This is not due to my lack of interest, or because I won't be able to wake up in the morning in time for the sessions. It is because "late night" to me is 10 p.m. So I'm watching all these wonderfully witty writers saying "meet me at the bar" at the end of the day for the kind of camaraderie that only happens with off-the-cuff remarks and solidarity in sarcasm. I don't want to miss a thing. But my body seems to have a curfew that forces me to find a corner with a pillow long before the bar closes. In fact, sometimes before the band starts, which is ironic considering I once sang in a band and was out until the wee hours of the morning. Trust me, even then the idea of getting dressed up and applying a heavy coat of makeup due to the lighting was not my favorite thing. There were times I was tempted to have my pajamas with me as a change of clothing after the show... possibly during an intermission.
The point is, I am simply not a night owl. Now, tell me to meet you at 7 a.m. for a walk to Starbucks - I'm your woman. Ask me if I'd be willing to hit the road by 5 a.m. for a long-distance drive in order to be somewhere in the morning, I am on board and very happy to greet the sunrise on the journey - kind of the opposite of that famous "driving into the sunset" theme we hear so often.
So will I be missing anything next week if I am slipping away into the welcoming arms of my hotel bed after willing myself to hang around until possibly 11 p.m. just to catch whatever snippets of hysterically inappropriate conversation I can? Probably. But I have to believe that when I am walking through the hotel lobby that first morning at 7:30 or 8, with hours to go before registration and sessions, I will find a kindred spirit or two who will walk with me, talk with me, and share that almost spiritual connection we have.
Knowing we were all asleep before the 11 o'clock news.