I had a lovely time at Deadly Ink this past weekend--it's a very nice small conference, and I'm glad that for the past couple of years Patty Biringer kept twisting my arm to attend, even if the arm-twisting didn't work until after Patti had turned over organizing the event to Christine Erny and Debby Buchanan. Had fun doing panels, meeting other readers and writers--hoping my schedule will let me do it again next year. (Especially if they hold it again at the Shereaton Parsippany, which is not only a very cool hotel--see the photo at left-- but has one of the most friendly and helpful staffs I've meet in a long time.)
Especially since I now know how to get to the conference--Yahoo Maps gave us confusing directions, so Noreen Wald (aka Nora Charles) and I had to stop and buy a map book. Nine times out of ten, I run directions from one of the mapping sites AND study maps, just in case the directions were flawed. This was that tenth time, unfortunately. But now we know. And Noreen's the perfect passenger for a trip like this--we had plenty of time to catch up on news and discuss upcoming events, like the MWA Mid-Atlantic chapter's Dying to Write conference (October 28 in D.C. More on that later.)
Coming home wasn't as much fun as it should have been, either. I actually like driving. Unless it's raining. And I positively loathe driving in the rain after dark. We left Parsippany, New Jersey at 6 p.m. Saturday, which meant that most of the trip was in rain and at least half of it dark. But I had fun at the convention anyway.
Heck, I had fun even though Saturday morning I woke up with a swollen and infected ear. I already knew something was wrong with the ear, and had made a Monday appointment with the ENT, but since I am prone to hypochondria, it was nice to be able to say, "See! I wasn't imagining it!" The ENT confirmed that yes, I have a middle ear infection. He also tested my hearing, and I was relieved to find that it's pretty good--not just pretty good for my age, but pretty good in general. Possibly better than good when the ear's better.
Of course right now, I still have this ringing in my ear--ringing isn't quite the word for it; it's more like I have a tiny white noise machine in there. And my stomach isn't crazy about the antibiotics that are supposed to help the ear. And I haven't really had much of a chance to whine about it, even to friends, because for the past few days, everyone I know has been pretty immersed in weather. Sometimes literally.
Reston, my neck of the woods, probably got over a foot, and we weren't the hardest hit. I kept reassuring my mother that the fairly nonstop flash flood warnings don't really affect me as long as I stay in, and I've been doing my best to stay in. I have a little dampness in my basement and lost power briefly a couple of times. I feel lucky.
And the roses were thrilled. Nothing like buckets of rain with the occasional stretch of sunlight to encourage the roses. Dozens of blooms. I was looking forward to photographing them when we had a little sunny weather again--or better yet, a little bright cloudy weather. But alas, with the sun came the Japanese beetles.
Ah, well. The early season, when the roses can bask unmolested, has passed. I am rediscovering the joys of drowning beetles. And there are joys. As I flick them off the roses into the plastic bowl of soapy water, I imagine that they are people I don't like. No, I'm not saying who. My politics are not your politics; my hot buttons are not your hot buttons. Let's just say that at the moment, bugs christened after prominent political figures are trying to scramble onto the backs of bugs representing notoriously evil criminals, while floating all around them are a lot of bugs named for rude or thoughtless people who just plain pissed me off. It's my way of venting the poison of anger without hurting anyone--myself included. It's the rage you bottle up that will kill you. Maybe I should be thankful to the Japanese beetles for giving me the opportunity to perform this valuable psychological cleansing!
On second thought, no. I just wish they'd go away.