You’re excited. You’ve finally arrived at a big-name writers conference. After braving fog delays, torrential rains and that couple with the wailing baby in seat 17D, you’re glad to be on dry land again. Plus, your luggage has arrived with you for a change! This is going to be the best conference ever!
Not so fast, Miss Crankypants says. While all your friends are matched as roomies and have in-room gab-fests with tons of chocolate, you get that one author nobody can figure out.
TOA (That One Author) never talks to anybody and has been using the same author photo since 1972. In fact, no one is exactly sure TOA is still alive. But after the first night as TOA’s roommate, you are certain of one thing: there must have been an earthquake in the area, because your entire room shook for hours. Only in the bleary-eyed morning do you realize: Your roomie snores like a chain saw and holds one-sided conversations in her sleep with Abraham Lincoln . You wish you’d brought a secret tape recorder to prove it.
You get exactly three and one half minutes of sleep.
Just as you’re drifting off, TOA leaps out of bed and turns on the lights. She gets the single-serving coffee maker going and before you know it, she’s whistling in the bathroom while blow-drying her hair. Only after TOA heads down to breakfast are you able to crawl out of bed. The coffee is all gone and used towels are piled in the bathroom like a herd of wet cats. You are not amused.
When you finally show your face, breakfast is over and you’re late for your pitch appointment. Your friends are laughing and snapping pics of each other with their new iPhone 5s, and when they invite you over for a group shot, you’re only able to get one of your eyes to stay open. Great. You look drunk, plus your blouse is buttoned crooked and you’re wearing two different shoes. Then someone asks if you’re sick or just crabby.
Miss Crankypants would tell you to bite that person, but that’s naughty. The best you can hope for is that NEXT YEAR, That One Author will inconvenience some other poor writer. And don’t forget the secret tape recorder.