Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finally! A Conference Report...Of Sorts

Dear Readers, forgive my prolonged absence! Mrs. Wells has monopolized the lapdog [LapTOP. LapTOP!! How many times? ~Ed.] day and night, racing towards her deadline. Today, I asked if I could use this ingenious machine to tell you all my news and she turned to look at me with a glazed yet harried expression in her eyes, her fingertips glued to the keys.

Mrs. Wells's coiffure, I am sad to report, rather resembles a bird's nest. Her children are fortunate if they are shod and fed. Her husband looks like a sad canine hungering for crumbs of attention at his mistress's table. A sadly undernourished one, I'm afraid. If only I'd thought to bring my French cook!

I coaxed Mrs. Wells to rest, in the gentle way adults do to small children when they're frightened, but to no avail. Mrs. Wells remained frozen in place. Finally, I discovered she was asleep with her eyes open. I gave her a tiny shove and she fell sideways out of her chair and onto the carpet with a dull thud. She is now dozing quite peacefully on the floor. A gentle snore rises now and then as I type.

Well! San Francisco was quite an experience. I was previously acquainted with many of the Banditas, those brazen temptresses who are as sirens to my dear Lyle. I must hope that like Odysseus, he will stop his ears and lash himself to the mast to escape the lure that is the Bandita and rush to my side. [This foray into the realm of fantasy is most entertaining to your readers, no doubt, but it will not move me, madam. While the Banditas' beauty and intelligence is legendary, it is their chains, not their charms that hold me. ~Ed.]

I must say, I found myself quite at home at the historical conference, where I attended various lectures and gave the audience the benefit of my experience. Except in the lecture on costume, where a number of rude individuals poked and prodded at my gown and then requested me to strip so they could examine my undergarments! When one of them had the temerity to ask if I wore drawers or went without, I departed from that session with more haste than tact!!

The evening brought a very select and genteel soiree, unlike the rowdy and vulgar Bandita party conducted abovestairs. I did attend the Bandit Bash, as it was so elegantly called, for I had hoped to find Lyle there, but he was nowhere to be seen. [A mercy for which I thank Providence daily. Two rooms full of rowdy romance writers. Haven't they tortured me enough?~Ed.]

The rest of the conference passed in a whirl of parties and new faces. I do not believe I have seen so many women speak so loudly all at once in my life, except perhaps at one of Lady Durham's petticoat parties. But brash vulgarity has much to recommend it, when carried out all in good spirits and fun.

I think, perhaps I shall attend next year, too. But next time I shall devise a strict itinerary. Any suggestions for events not to be missed?