Thursday, August 18, 2011

10 Ways to Survive Crazy Conference Roommates (and other hopeful advice from a newbie that has never gone)

A very confident title wouldn’t you say? This year will be my first time attending the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) nationalconference in just FIVE WEEKS!

Are you excited yet? If you’re going I’m excited to bump into you, which I am sure there will be a lot of that with already over 600 people registered to attend. WOW! Hope you aren’t prone to claustrophobia…

If you’re not going…I know what you’re going through and I hope you’ll take a second and read my encouraging post on my personal blog from last Wednesday. Commiserate, we get it!

This year I took a deep breath, gulped down ALL common sense and told Pepper, Mary and Carol Moncado (of Pentalk Community blog) I would room with them.

Crazy. I know. Don’t remind me. And I’m more scared since I was recently reminded that last year Pepper and her roommate had a TOILET explode in their room.

I’m shakin’ in my Harney County FatBaby© boots!

Thus my ammunition in this list. Read it with caution and print it out and staple it to your suitcase in case you end up with crazy roommates! (plus a few extra credit ideas to surviving newbie-ness at a huuuge conference)

1.       Learn where ALL the exits from your room are. And rehearse a quick, short, give no-hints-of-where-you’re-going speech when an escape is in instant demand.

2.       Take a deep breath, walk up and greet someone you don’t know. Don’t think about it being 600 HUNDRED people. Think about that one person looking a bit lost and needing help (that would be me)

3.       Keep a steady supply of chocolate in your room. It works well for bribes. Like extra shower time. Or more blanket space. Or an extra pillow. Or the TV remote. Just hide it, or it might be used against you.

4.       Don’t stress the appointments. Look at it as a chance to network and talk WRITING. I mean we ALL love to do that right?? Write??

5.       When in doubt when security knocks on your room door, roll over and feign a stroke, heart attack, sleep, ANYTHING to prove you didn’t do it.

6.       Be willing to deviate from your rigid schedule to take a moment in the prayer room, chatting with a new friend or visiting with your favorite author. God knows where He wants you to be and nothing that happens is not without His stamp of approval (unless it’s rooming with those crazy people!)

7.       Beware of high-pitch giggles. Girly TMI (unless you’re a guy rooming with guys, then have no fears). Long showers. Bathroom counter space fights and pantyhose and other such articles flying across the room. Watch out and DUCK!

8.       Remember this time and the opportunity to attend the conference is a gift from God and He wants to be part of the time you spend socializing. Pray, worship, praise! You wouldn’t be here without Him.

9.       When your roommates want to introduce you to someone they are sure you are going to LOVE, always take their word with a healthy dose of salt. You never know when they might be setting you up with what THEY think will make your “Mr. Write”. Don’t always believe everything they say. They may seem sweet, but remember the title of this post??? Just trust me.

10.   Learn and learn lots. Take notes, laugh, enjoy, don’t stress. Thank speakers. Greet others with courtesy and have a business card ready at the flick of a wrist when someone asks.  If you’re carrying a bag or purse with you, keep all  your writer’s utensils within easy reach and organized so you don’t have to dig. Keep smiling!

So now that we have woven to the end of this crazy maze, I ask only one thing of you: if you think of me between September 21-25th, please say a prayer and hope I packed enough chocolate!

Any helpful conference tips (funny or otherwise) you would care to share? I would be greatly in your debt!

(Oh and btw, if you happen to attend and hear a high-pitched scream, just ignore it, that would be me, being mauled over my overzealous and ever-so-CRAZY roommates. ;-)


Kav said...

LOL -- I don't the the conference knows what they are in for this year!

Enjoy your time...good luck on the not stressing...unless you are a no-stress kind of gal. I'd be a basketcase if I were going!

Keli Gwyn said...

Casey, I'm eager to meet you and have a hug ready and waiting. I hope you have a fabulous time. If you pack your wonderful sense of humor and winning smile, I'm sure you will. Here's to a great conference, one free of commode catastrophes and filled with plenty of connections and chocolate.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Casey, I love your humorous voice. :) You are going to have a great time! I hope that the Lord fills it with many fun memories, new friends, lots of learning and tons of chocolate. Enjoy some for those of us who can't go this year! :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Casey, what a fun list - and infused with such good advice, too! It's such an amazing and unique experience, it's worth it to take part in every ounce that you can :) I'm so happy that you get to go this year and can't wait to hear all the fun stories and divine appointments from God.

Casey said...

KAV, I *try* not to stress. It can be a characteristic though I have to fight against. :) I'm just excited right now!

KELI, meeting wonderful people like YOU, I know I will have a fantastic time. :)

JEANNE, you won't be forgotten! I saw your comment on my other blog post and just know that your time IS coming. It's always hard to know what you're missing, but God knows the PERFECT time for you. It's coming, He promises. :D

Casey said...

CINDY, I had such fun writing this and I know in the coming years I'll have more sound advice since I will have gone. So disappointed to miss you this year! I'm excited to see what God has in store too. :)

Carol Moncado said...

Oh Sweetie.

With regards to number 5... The plans are already in place for the cops to KNOW it's ALL your fault.

But if I told you what they are, I'd have to kill you.

And then the cost for the hotel room would go up unless we could con someone else into sharing with us.

So plan how you'll look in stripes or florescent orange and it'll be all good.

Casey said...

Carol, seriously. Do you expect me to fall for that one? I already have escape plans in place and I'm not advirce to the window. I have been watching CHUCK, don't ya know.

Yes, just remember that. The cost goes UP if I'm not there. ;-)

Carol Moncado said...

The windows don't open, dear one. And if they did do you really think we'd let you get out them?

Julia said..., there'll be a lot of giggles coming from that room I'm sure :)

Good list :)

Casey said...

Carol, where there is a will, there is a way!

Unknown, Oh I'm sure! :D

Beth K. Vogt said...

I'll be looking for you, Casey. Any favorite chocolates?
If you want a little late-night variety, you are welcome to drop in at my room--I'm rooming with Roxanne Sherwood Gray and Evangeline Denmark & we have a "the more the merrier" policy!
Conferences are all about workshops--sure. But connecting with other writers--that's the best!

Casey said...

BETH!! You've just given me my ripe escape plan. ;-) I couldn't agree more with you, there are so many wonderful people (yourself included!) I can't wait to meet. It's going to be fun and go. way. too. fast. :)

Pepper said...

I decline to answer any questions about the exploding toilet.

Pepper said...

And the high-pitched squeal could vERY WELL be our response to CASEY WINNING THE FRASIER!!!!!!

Pepper said...

And the high-pitched squeal could vERY WELL be our response to CASEY WINNING THE FRASIER!!!!!!

Pepper said...

And if the cops show up, it is mostly likely Carol Moncado's fault.

If it appears to be my or Mary's fault, it is most likely Casey doing a 'cover up' for her own sneaky personality which she hides quite well under that cute little smile

Pepper said...

Oh - and someone needs to frisk Carol to remove any permanent markers from her person.


And we agreed to this? What was I thinking?????

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh my goodness, too funny! Maybe I'll hear you

Pepper said...

Beth's room is full.
She just told me.

You're out of options, Casey :-)

Guess you'll just have to bite the proverbial bullet...
(insert evil laugh here)

Pepper said...

Okay, everybody needs to applaud Jessica Nelson.
Not only is she a Genesis finalist, but a NEW LoveInspired Author!!!!!

wooohooooo!!! Go, Jessica Nelson!!

Carol Moncado said...


I shall bribe any cops with my cookies and they'll leave me alone. And if you're not nice, you won't get any. So there.

Jessica - I think all of St. Louis may hear us...

My CP is also a Frasier finalist. I'm so torn!!!!!!!!

And you will never, ever find the markers Pepper. Not even after I use them.


Pepper said...

Don't worry.
If you hide the markers THAT well, I don't want to know where you put them.

Krista Phillips said...

This is what I got from that post: Pepper and Mary need to be ware of Casey's flying pantyhose... And Casey is under the delusion that there will actually be time to USE the TV remote at conference... *grin*

LOL! The tips were good though, am praying you have a FABULOUS first time at conference and am going to be sitting here green with jealousy the whole time!!! :-)

Pepper said...

We'll text you, Krista - and tell you all about Casey's romantic interludes.

Krista Phillips said...

Thanks... I appreciate that Pepper!!! That way I can give advice from afar!!!!

Casey said...

Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard when I saw all these comments!
PEP, a-hem. But it was YOUR room, ‘nuff said. And don’t count those chicks too soon, it ain’t happened yet. :) Have you got YOUR acceptance speech ready?? I’ll write mine when you write yours. ;-)

Cute little smile?? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

What were YOU thinking??, what was *I* thinking!!

Casey said...

JESSICA, saw Pep’s comments below, congrats, lady!! So excited for you! I’ll be looking for your name in lights. ;-)

PEPPER (again :- ), Beth and I have already talked chocolate and escape plans, I’ve got this covered.

CAROL, you’re okay! I’m not going to win anyway, so we’ll be cheering extra hard for Debbie! Such a sweeeet lady!

Casey said...

KRISTA, I HAD to laugh when I wrote that suggestion, because well if there is time to use the TV remote, there are simply too many hours in a day and I should be down at the “bar” with the Seekers. ;-) You are SOOOO going to be missed!!

PEP and KRISTA, romantic interludes….WHAT?!?!?

Pepper said...

Oh dear, Casey....we will both be without an acceptance speech!
No need for me. Have you seen the stellar competition? I've read your stuff.
Good stuff.

And don't go playing coy, Cutie...we know you're after Mr. Write

Casey said...

Pep, the same is said for you and I will HOUND you until that speech is written. Or I'm writing it for you. Never know what this head will dream up. ;-)

And (sigh) yes, I am. Patience, patience, patience. If it only were a stock, I'd be rich. :)

Tracy Krauss said...

Argh! I'm so jealous !!!

Casey said...

Oh, not going this year, Tracy? I'm sorry! :( Hopefully you can jump on with the recordings!!

Charity Tinnin said...

Such a delightful post. Your humor couched those helpful suggestions so my climbing panic over preparations actually receded a bit :)

As a fellow newbie, I'll keep my eye out for you and say a pray for us both! Thanks Casey :)

Casey said...

LOL Charity! I am glad I could be of help. There is SO much to do to prepare, but don't panic, this is meant to be a wonderful experience!

We'll probably meet at the newbie orrentitation! :)