Two years ago, I may have inadvertently agreed to something I am now seriously re-thinking. Actually, I don’t remember agreeing to this thing or even thinking about it to begin with, so I am left questioning my sanity. My friend, Kari Collins, is a wonderfully witty woman and writer. She writes for a local newspaper, authors two blogs, various books, post-it notes and birthday cards. She is undoubtably one of the funniest people I know. If you need proof, check out one of her blogs at karilynncollins.com. If you are drinking anything, and why wouldn’t you be, you might want to swallow before you start reading or your drink might come out your nose.
I know Kari because she is part of Champagne Thursday, which is a group of girlfriends that get together on Thursdays to…wait for it…drink champagne. Our name is catchy but admittedly lacks imagination. We came up with it before Kari became part of our group. She would have probably campaigned to call us Bubbles & Broads. Hey, I think a name change may be in order. Anyway, one such Thursday in April 2012, two long years ago, Kari came in brimming with enthusiasm, ideas and stories of a whole bunch of new writer friends. She had just returned from her first Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, held bi-annually in Dayton, Ohio and she was as excited as a 12 year old girl at a Justin Beiber concert. Sometime during the evening, she may have mentioned something about me attending with her next time around. Sometime later, after an undetermined amount of champagne, I may have said “sure”…or not. We have only Kari’s word to go on, and she might be fudging the truth a bit.
There are so many things wrong with this scenario, I hardly know where to start. First, I don’t consider myself a “real” writer. I certainly don’t get paid for it. I don’t have the great American novel residing in my bosom, waiting to be set free. I have an accounting degree for God’s sake. I’m pretty sure the two are mutually exclusive. I write on a modest scale, mostly grocery lists, text messages, Facebook status updates and the occasional blog post. Every so often I have a friend tell me I should write a book, but I consider that more a compliment made out of politeness rather than an actual career suggestion. In truth, I know nothing about the business of writing.
Kari has a way of making you agree to do things that you have no business in hell doing. You probably have a friend like this yourself. Kari has raised the whole concept to an art form. You’ll think that not only is it a fabulous why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-myself idea, but you can’t wait to sign up. I’m positive this trait served her well in high school. She has had years to perfect it and it’s the reason I ended up, to my somewhat stunned surprise, registered for the 2014 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. This is not going to end well. I’m not a writer, I don’t work, and I don’t think they’re going to let me shop.
There are only 350 spots for the workshop, and they sold out in twelve hours. Getting one of them has been referred to as akin to having scored “the golden ticket.” I know this because there is a special Facebook group just for workshop attendees, which has only reinforced my certainty of fraudiness (no need for a dictionary, I just made that up). There are real writer-type author people attending. When they find out that I, a blasé blog poster, garnered a spot they are going to be p-i-s-s-s-s-e-d. I am in much the same spot Kari’s high school friends found themselves in on Sunday morning…big trouble.
On the bright side, Kari has promised to introduce me to her writer friends who will hopefully become my writer friends as well. She says I will be inspired. Plus, she totally owes me a few drinks for tricking me into this. Dayton is involved. There will be laughter, really top notch speakers, faculty and sessions to attend. Who knows, I might come back a writer.