Midwest Writers Workshop: Things

Today we’re talking about the things of MWW, the Midwest Writers Workshop – if you’re just jumping in, we’ve already covered the people and places and you can find those posts just before this one.
I’ve divided this post into two sections – things I brought to the conference, and things I bought at the conference. I actually, for once in my life, felt I finally struck the perfect balance between packing light and having everything I needed, and this might be the greatest travel accomplishment of my adult life. No lie.
Things I brought to the conference:
The regular clothing things, of course, because I believe in clothes. And I think those at the conference appreciated it. I brought both jeans and shorts, as well as a skirt and dress, and I had both t-shirts and nice shirts. There was a very comfortable mix of styles, and it seemed that most people went with business clothes, like dress jeans and a blazer or a dress with sandals, but some had completely casual wear, some were dressed up fancy, and one guy was wearing a kilt. So you can pretty much bring whatever you want. Definitely bring comfortable clothes that you like and feel good in, and put those qualities above thinking you need to look a certain way. I recommend flats or sandals so you can run around wherever without getting achy feet, and bring a cardigan or sweatshirt in case of chilly buildings. Don’t forget pajamas and undergarments 😉
Make it easy on yourself and don’t bring every ounce of makeup you own or your best conditioner or anything like that. Bring what you can do quickly, because you’ll be so tired that waking up to get pretty won’t be nearly as appealing as usual, and you’ll want to be able to do everything efficiently and swiftly. Also, you always run the risk of leaving things at the conference or in your hotel room, so don’t bring things you adore.
For the actual conference I brought a notebook, a handful of pens, business cards, gum, ibuprofen, snacks, and my MS. I used my ipad for internet, and I recommend using a smaller machine if you have it because you’ll be hauling your stuff around with you all day. I brought an over the shoulder purse so I could have my hands as free as possible, and this worked really well. I wouldn’t have really needed to bring my MS because I got too sore carrying it around and left it at the hotel all but one day.
Things I bought: I got one of the sweatshirts at the conference, because I’m from Minnesota and I own more long sleeve, fleece lined garments than the average Antarctic dweller. And also, it is purple and I love it.
I also got a coffee travel mug because how can you say no to that?!
But the best things I got were, of course, books. I purchased Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger (and yes, I was too chicken to ask him to sign it, learn from my nonexistent courage and don’t let this happen to you!), All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry, and two craft books: Save the Cat and Bird by Bird. I definitely advise bringing cash to make purchases at the actual conference, because it was much more convenient than using a card, and I advise planning on buying books because if you’re like me and you can’t resist them on a regular day, you definitely can’t resist the drool-worthy titles in a place where people only judge you when you DON’T buy books!
And that’s my Things post – things bought, things acquired. One bonus item I didn’t mention – I purchased a car charger for my phone at Target in the dollar section (it was five dollars, but you know) and it was an excellent decision since travel is murder on a phone battery.
You’ve made it this far, now come back tomorrow and talk about the meat of the week: Ideas!


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