Fog banks hung in long white ribbons marking each river and stream that snaked lazily through trees still green and lush from recent rains. The drive to Branson is a familiar one, and from there it's a short 35 miles on north to Springfield. As is my habit, I followed precise directions and promptly got lost. The GPS is so new to me that I couldn't get it to program a route outside of Arkansas. I know it will do so, but after ten frustrating minutes, I wrapped it up, stowed it away and we followed the map.
Might as well not have done that either, for it immediately led us astray when we reached the city. We wanted Battlefield Road but ended in a small suburb of Battlefield, miles from our destination. Happily, I always allow plenty of extra time when I go to speak somewhere. To be late is a no-no, though it has happened when I've driven in circles for hours. However, a kind gentleman in a Quik Trip gave us explicit directions and we were soon on our way back the way we'd come.
We arrived at our destination with twenty minutes to spare. After a delicious lunch in the Heritage Cafeteria with SWG's president Mandy Barke, a vivacious and lovely lady I've corresponded with frequently, I headed for the conference room and hubby fetched his laptop to stay occupied while I talked.
Now, if you know me you know I can talk. Sometime I'll write my experiences in front of crowds before I became a writer. It was debilitating and unbelievable. I think I became an entirely different person when I started to write some 28 years ago (for the second time.) That, too, is another story.
It was standing room only by the time 1 o'clock rolled around and I was introduced. What a pleasure to be greeted by so many eager faces. After 45 minutes of talking, I managed to shut up so members of the crowd could ask questions.
Someone took a lot of pictures, and I have been promised one. When it comes I'll post it here on this blog. I so enjoyed the hospitality of this large and very active writer's organization. We drove home with me pumped and yakking. The very act of sharing ideas always stimulates and inspires me. I'm filled with new ideas and I can't wait to get home and put them to good use.
For this reason I'm going to miss summer, because once winter sets in I'll be home working, writing but not having the interaction with others. Thank goodness for our once-a-week writer's meeting. Still, icy cold nights prevent even that. I will create a lot over the cold months, but I will miss networking with others.