Send This Little Poet To The Sewanee Writers’ Conference!!

Remember that time when you sold wallpaper or lemonade or that awful boy scout popcorn in the hopes of greasing your fiscal wheels or at least coming away with bragging rights and a stellar CD player?

We all did that when we were too young to get jobs. We sold things. We wheedled our parents. We stole from our kid sister’s piggy bank.

Now, here I am, a grown woman, bargaining once again. I shouldn’t be here, right? I should have $1900 just lying around to be used for prestigious writing conferences that I get into. But I don’t. Why? Well, I just shelled out $____________ to buy a new house, and I believe we should selfishly keep what we have left in our savings in the event of a meteor collision, appliance termination, or loss of health.

So, I don’t have the discretionary funds to blow on a fancy writers’ conference. No, no. I’m also too responsible to dip into our savings hoping the wind would knock the bills off the money tree and blow them our way. I’m a fearful paranoid person by nature. It’s scary enough this morning to click a button that said “accept” and then wonder where in holy heaven that extra money was going to come from.

So I did and will do what had been suggested: do odds and end jobs for friends and kind strangers and then do a Gofundme. Therein lies the lemonade metaphor. Gimme $60 and you get a typewriter tote bag sounds a lot like lemonade only 25 cents! It’s funny to think about how the skills we learn when we were young, like how to get that bald man down the street who once yelled at you for throwing a stick at his car to pay for another cup of your watered-down slightly warm lemonade, can continue to work for you later in life. Like remembering to smile and look unsuspecting and remark on how hot the day is and how wouldn’t another nice COLD cup of lemonade taste so good? Doesn’t matter that the product isn’t great; you matched it with enthusiasm and gumption and everything right in the world your mother taught you.

So, my products are postcards and manuscript critiques and typewriter tote bags and writer mugs and copies of my chapbook and love, great great writerly love. I’m nervous and skittery about asking, but the thing is, I really want to go, and sometimes when your spirit calls and God answers, you have to take some uncomfortable risks in the process, like asking for help, like knowing “thank you” and all sorts of items won’t make you square, but it will make you feel loved and supported.

So if you have $5 or even $0.50, I’ll take it gladly and I’ll answer with “thank you thank you thank you” and “wow the kindness of people.”

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