Work Hard, Play Harder

by Stephanie Casher on July 16, 2006

I am so exhausted… I’ve been in Dallas 3 days now, and have averaged about 5 hours of sleep each night. Cousin Doug seems determined to make a lush out of me, LOL. But I’m having lots of fun, so I suppose that’s all that matters.

I arrived in hot-ass Dallas around midnight on Thursday night, and after staying up until well after 3am drinking and chopping it up with Cousin Doug, I crashed. Layed around the house and did absolutely nothing on Friday except eat and watch Soaps, which was LOVELY. Then in the evening, Doug took me out to a AA Baseball game. Pretty fun, lots of drank, and the Frisco Rough Riders won. Then we went to a bar where I proceeded to drink more and stay up way too late. I honestly do not know how I’m functioning. I am not in college anymore ya’ll…

The Black Writers Conference started up at 9am Saturday morning, so after a few hours sleep, I got up and hauled my sleep-deprived ass over to the hotel. Long day sitting in all these workshops with a mild hangover. But it was very informative and the people were all very nice. I just love being around writers, and with Black Writers especially you find a whole other kind of kinship. By evening I’d made some friends, and we hung out at the bar (again) swapping stories and talking about our work. Lots of business cards have been exchanged and connections made. Folks from all over the country journeyed here for this conference, so it’s cool to meet peeps from Atlanta, Virginia, Maryland, Arkansas and beyond. They all think I’m crazy for driving out here from Cali, but James Reid was so amused he decided to throw me in one of his books, lol, so if I can be an inspiration to others, it is all good. :-)

I SHOULD have called it a night after the drinking session with Max and James in the hotel bar, but Cousin Doug insisted on swooping me up once again to take me out. You know, I could really get used to this Southern Hospitality thing :-) We hit up a bar and then a club, and I got my drink on and dance on and really enjoyed myself. One thing I love about Cousin Doug — he doesn’t cock-block the way Bill and Eric do. If anything, he’ll go that extra mile to facilitate the hook-up, LOL. He was like – “Hey, you’re grown. I’d rather have you hook up with one of my friends, cause I know they’re good guys. Besides, if they do you wrong, they know I’ll shoot’em.” LOL! (Love you Cousin!!!) (B & E – take notes ;-)

We hit up Cafe Brazil after the club closed, and I didn’t get home til 3:30am and had to wake up early AGAIN for a 9am conference start. I have no idea how I’m functioning. The kicker is, I had a 10am appointment to pitch my books to an Editor from Parker Publishing, so now I’m having to pitch with a hangover… Lovely. But I did it, and not only did I do it, but I nailed it. The editor wants to see the full manuscript and even went so far as to say that she thought I wrote a good, consummate love story, and that if the writing is strong (which it is), she’s confident it will get picked up. Wooo Hoooo! I love these little moments of validation. I know this dream will become a reality soon, I just KNOW it.

I also had a potentially life-changing convesation with the agent that facilitated one of the workshops. Shopping for agents is different than shopping for publishers – you have to be a lot more picky cause these are the people who are going to be handling your money. But I really liked this woman’s vibe and sense of humor – she’s the kind of person I could see myself being friends with under different circumstances and she’s very smart and in the know… Anyway, I approached her after the workshop got out, introduced myself, and then asked if she was taking on new clients. She actually said no, but asked me what my book was about anyway. Well, I shot her my 1 minute pitch, and she got so excited that she changed her mind and was like “Send it to me.” “The whole thing?” I asked. “Yes, send it to me.”

So now I have to get my ass to a Kinko’s, print up two copies of my manuscript, and get this stuff in the mail. I’m most excited about the possibilities with the agent though, because if she loves my book, she’ll work hard for me. And she knows everyone so things should really start poppin’. She’s also stationed on the West Coast (most of the publishing industry is out of New York), and has a strong desire to put West Coast authors on the map. Could be a match made in heavan…

Okay, gotta check out and get back downstairs to wrap up the last part of this conference. I’m just kickin’ it now though – the hard part is over. And then I head down to Austin tonight to spend a few days with Nicola and Frank… You know, I could really get used to this being on vacation thang…

PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BROTHERS BILL AND ERIC!!! They turn 28 (?!?!) on the 17th. This is the first birthday I’ve missed in 28 years, so I’m a lil sad about that, but you guys know I love you!!! XOXO and kiss my nephew for me too!

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