Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tell Orlando Hello For Me

By Angel Smits
           This year I’m not hastily packing to climb on board a plane to fly off to the Romance Writers of America conference.  I’m still here at home.  Pretending I’m not just a bit disappointed. 
But as I look at all the Facebook posts, and see all the photos of everyone setting out to have a good time, I am a little bit sad.  I love conference.  I learn so much, and the time I get to spend with all my writer friends—many of whom I only see when I go to those conferences—is precious.  But this year it just wasn’t meant to be. 
              I started going to conference way back in the dark ages, and it’s been the primary way I’ve been able to travel and see some amazing cities.  The other day I was thinking of all the places I’d have never seen if I hadn’t gone to conference.  Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Reno, Orlando, New York City—and all the places I’ve had a layover or caught a flight, too.  Such fun!  Such experiences. 
            Several years ago I had a co-worker who used the phrase that someone was being a Gumby when they did something that wasn’t exactly what they intended.  (You remember the little green character, with the orange horse named Pokey?)  Over time it grew, and on one of my trips to RWA, I found a Gumby statue and bought it for her. 
            After that Gumby started appearing on desks when they did something--memorable.  And it wasn’t usually in a good way.  Yeah, he became the symbol for everyone when they did something that, well, wasn’t the brightest.   No one really wanted Gumby at first, but then after awhile people began to come in and say, “Give me Gumby.  You’ll never believe what I did--”  The stories got better and better. 
            At one point, however, Gumby needed to get out of the office.  I was heading out on another RWA trip, so I slipped him into my suitcase...

Ready to go!
...and away we went.  His picture started showing up in lots of place.  At meals.  On sight-seeing trips.  In restaurants (and even a few bars.)  He had some dates, and even attended the Harlequin Party.  My editor has cozied up to him...


 and a few authors may have even discussed his leading role in their novels…  Okay, maybe the last one had more to do with the bars than reality—but hey, we do write fiction…






            When life got crazy this past year, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to conference, I was almost as disappointed that I wouldn’t be taking Gumby any place exciting, as I was that I was staying home. 
            To cheer myself up, I dug out my Gumby pictures.  We reminisced a bit, as the last Orlando conference, we were there, posing by the fountains and having a wonderful time learning and seeing friends. 
            So for those of us who are staying home this year, I pulled up some Gumby pics from years past, maybe I can add a couple of us relaxing here at home. typing on my book that’s due in a few weeks and planning our trip for next year.  We will be there!



            Have fun everyone!  Think of us!  We'll be thinking of you.  

3 comments:

dstoutholcomb said...

Cute story about your Gumby times.

kris said...

Don't I have a picture of your Gumby and my Miss Piggy?

I'm right there with you on missing the fun. Denver for sure!

Angel Smits said...

Kris, we need to rectify that! Next year, it's a date.

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