Monday, April 18, 2005

I'm baaaack!!!
Totally exhausted, but I had an amazing time. Wow, so much to chronicle - will have to do it in stages, I think .

First, though, I was soooo happy this morning to open up my browser, point it to Màili's blog and find it updated!!!! Yay, Màili's back :-) Sorry to hear the "team-building" week was so tough :-(

Oh, and I finally got my little paws on a copy of Lydia's The Veil of Night!. Yep, found it in SLC (more on that later). It's now sitting amongst the pile of books I lugged home with me.

Historical Novel Society Conference, Salt Lake City, April 2005
Day 1
I arrived at the airport bright and early Thursday morning (5:45), only to discover that somehow my e-ticket had been cancelled. Yep, cancelled. Fortunately the flights weren't full and I was reticketed to both O'Hare then SLC. The flight to O'Hare was lovely - I've flown the smaller jets several times now and am no longer scared . And Chicago itself looked gorgeous in the morning sun. Have never been there before, but recognized it as we came in over the lake.

My flight to SLC was a little less fun - was stuck in a middle seat (had two seats to myself on the way to Chicago), but I managed. Read the latest RT then had a brainstorm for my next ms and pulled out a notebook to write everything down before I forgot! Have learned NOT to rely on my memory for things like that.

I LOVE the SLC airport - it's clean, bright, well laid out and aside from a bit of confusion about which shuttle service would get me to the hotel, I found my way around with no problem. Arrived at the hotel on the Univ of Utah campus around 1:30, checked in then called good friend of mine who had already arrived. Tamara and I have known each other online for years, but were meeting in person for the first time. We met at Starbucks in the lobby and talked for HOURS. It was so cool. Eventually we were joined by another online friend (and one of the conference organizers) Sarah, who had just finished stuffing 200 conference bags for registration!! I hadn't met Sarah in person before either - as always, I believe the topic of our cats surfaced pretty quickly .

Dinner that evening consisted of an ever-growing table down in the restaurant as pretty much everyone who came in was a writer attending the conference. Sure made the slow service much more bearable. Around 9 or so, my roomie arrived. We hadn't seen each other since last September. so of course we had to get all caught up while waiting for HER dinner to arrive. Eventually the party started to break up, so Claire and I retreated to the room, cracked a bottle of wine (we'd each brought one with us) and sat up talking till at least 1am.

Day 2

Up early. Had to shower and get ready for the planned day trip - a visit to the Family History Library. Now, for me, an amateur genealogist and unofficial family historian, this was a visit to what a friend and fellow family historian termed "the mother ship". And indeed it was. We went down by Trax - the really neat train SLC built for the '02 Olympics. It was a bright sunny day and the mountains looked gorgeous - some still with snow on them, others green. I even did the tourist thing, whipping out my camera to take a couple of photos while waiting for the train to arrive. On the ride down I ended up sitting opposite Patricia Wynn and Kathy Lynn Emerson and had a nice chat with them. Have heard of both of them, so it was fun to meet them and chat about family history stuff.

When we arrived at the Library, we were taken into the Orientation room and given a brief intro to the library and its resources along with a copy of the press packet. Then we were turned loose . I immediately took advantage of being able to access via the FHL's subscription (one of the many benefits of doing research there) and believe I found both my great-great grandfathers on my mother's side. We'd been searching for them for a while, but with direct access to the 1871 Census records I was able to pinpoint them and print off the info. The printing is another nice feature. For .60 you can buy a copy card, already loaded with .40 in credit. The copies themselves are .05, which is phenomenally low for any research library. As I'd forgotten my great-grandmother's information, I ended up printing off info on several possibly members of her family, quite happy to pay for what I might not need out of sheer gratitude!

By about 2:30 I realized I'd best extract myself or I'd be there till closing . As registration started at 4:00pm, I wanted to get back to the hotel. It was still sunny outside and had warmed up considerably, so when the train I wanted to catched went by before I could get to it, I kept walking - right to the Borders I'd seen while on the shuttle the day before. It was there I FINALLY found Lydia's book. Knowing there was a book room at the Conference, I decided not to spend any more time or money at Borders and headed back to wait for the train - met up with Kathy and Alice, another conference attendee. We made it back just as Registration opened. After collecting my bag, I headed to the room to rest for a bit and look through the conference material. Headed back downstairs about 45 mins later and met up with my roomie, chatted to her about her day, then trundled off to mingle a bit. NOT that I'm great at mingling. Despite my rather obvious ability to natter on endlessly online, like many writers I'm a tad introverted when meeting people for the first time, especially at conferences. But I soon found some people I knew online as well as a fellow Pro member of RWA and all was well :-)

Hmm - well I think that's all I can manage for today! I'm still jetlagged and my sinuses/ears haven't yet adjusted from all the flying and the return from mountain altitude. Stay tuned for more details.

À demain.



Kate Allan said...

Of course the family records at SLC. I remember consulting copies on microfiche many years ago in the national archives in Edinburgh when I was doing family history research... and they did produce some useful leads.

McVane said...

Welcome back! :) I have been meaning to ask: what is the English translation of 'À demain'? Is it 'see you soon'?

Larissa said...

Yay! Glad you're back!