Networking is another aspect of the experience. I've often figured this type of gathering would be one group you could call the heavy hitters, surrounded by a perimeter guard wanting to earn their way into the inner sanctum. That misconception was crushed the first time I asked a question. I wasn't treated like an interruption or a nuisance. My question was welcomed and answered, and then I was probed for information about my own writing, where I lived, who I was... The entire weekend was like that.
Why does it always surprise me when 'people of power' turn out to be so human? Interesting, often funny, many of them as quirky as I am, I found that even suffering severe brain overload, I was having a ball.
Strangely enough, one of my sweetest conference memories came from someone who wasn't there; not even a writer. During three days so filled with wonderful conversations and classes, I got a bonus. Late last night I received an email from a mother in New Delhi, India. Her son was being asked to learn a poem for school, and she wanted him to memorize something special. She remembered snippets of a poem she had learned as a child, but could only remember the beginning. She did a google search, and found it on my web site.
As a writer, you have no way of knowing how far your words will travel, or who will be happy to read them. Click here to see that blog and poem. I didn't even know you could find me on Google...