Went to a writer's conference yesterday. Well actually my wife was the person who (along with two others) organized it and put it on. It was put on by the writers group that I am a member of. I was day labor, so I just went around carrying things, selling things (writers love to come to a place where they get lunch for free and have a table to sell their books).
So while the writers were eating or schmoozing with others or giving their presentations, I sat at their tables and took money and sold their stuff. We discovered a couple of things that next year (this was the first year we did this) we will apply. First: only one person gets the food for breakfast (we had enough bagels to feed an army left over, there were no starving writers there). Second, brown paper lunch bags work just fine for keeping money that we've collected for each separate writer in.
It is amazing to me that there are so many real, not just wanna be writers, out there. There were twelve published -- and I mean really published -- writers there. Novelists, religious and non-fiction writers. Of course, the most popular speaker was the one who told how to make $100,000,00 a year writing. Everyone there is willing to write for nothing, but would not object if someone wanted to pay them huge amounts for doing it.
The other thing that amazes me is the number of people who can write and write well in a city as small as this one. The other thing that amazes me is that there is at least one novelist out there whose forte is writing Amish love stories. That is just weird. She didn't show, but sent some books to raffle off.
So in the end I got to see no presentation, but I did meet several writers and all were very pleased to meet me because I had money to give them.