Writing Fiction posted July 29, 2020

This work has reached the exceptional level
It Could Happen, Right?

Finally We Meet

by Beverly A McBride

"Hey, Bev, you've got a letter here from FanStory. It looks important," my husband called as I came through the door, slammed down my purse and stood up the umbrella to dry.

"Thanks, Darlin', I'll open it now. It's raining cats and dogs out there," I sat down, ripping open the envelope to read the contents. What I saw was unbelievable.

"Oh my gosh, this is great! They're going to have a Writers Retreat for mostly FanStory participants, in The Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, next March. I am invited. There's going to be people there I've been reviewing all along! There'll be workshops on writing, and readings from participants, and from well-known authors. There's going to be publishers, and agents all over the place! Listen to this, in the next month, there's going to be a random drawing prize for five scholarships to the retreat, all expenses paid. I just have to enter! I want to go, I want to do this, whether I have to pay or not. This sounds wonderful! I'm going right now to apply for the scholarship. Don't bother me for a while, will ya? I've got to make this good."

I entered the contest and waited for the drawing. I'd had my fingers crossed for weeks. There was excitement on the site, too. People were promising to look each other up at the retreat, for coffee, drinks, dinner, or just a chat. This would be epic.

It was another rainy day outside when the scholarship winners were announced. Bingo! I won a scholarship! What are the odds? That meant I'd be going to this long-awaited retreat. I had to pinch myself to believe this was actually going to happen. I packed my suitcase, not sure what I'd need at all. Should I take a gown for the fancy party? Or just jeans for the workshops?

It was all going to unfold at this fancy but relaxed retreat center. That meant pools so swimsuit is required. The retreat has walk and bike trails, spa, golf and of course the workshops, parties and receptions. There's so much to anticipate around the activities they have planned for us. My conference schedule listed readings, and lectures I don't want to miss. This is going to be a real highlight in my year.

Today, I arrive in Sedona for my conference of a lifetime. Just checking in, getting my name tag was exciting. I met two of the photographers I'd used from FanArtReview to illustrate my writing. They were awfully nice. We shook hands and chatted. It was a pleasure to finally see them face to face.

I was standing in the lobby, going over my schedule, next to some new/old friends, when I heard one of them say, "That's LisaMay. She's one of the top writers on the site. I can't wait for her presentation tomorrow. Look, she's got her cat on a lead. I heard she brought her pet with her all the way from New Zealand. I hear she has a sitter for her cat while she's enjoying the conference, and that she intends to read a poem her cat contributed during her presentation. Can't wait to hear that! There's receptions and events just for the presenters and VIP's at this conference, you know. And their trip was all expenses paid. Lucky them."

I didn't know whether to own up that I was a scholarship winner, too. I realized others might not be thrilled for me if they had to pay out of their own pocket. Oh well, luck of the draw.

I participated in a writing workshop and signed up to give a brief reading of my new work. I wanted to do it, right up until it was my turn to read out loud before an audience of writers. I shook through it, only because I had it written down, and read it word for word. Only after I was done did I squeeze out a smile for my supportive audience.

After I read, I was awed as LisaMay came up to me and introduced herself, as if I didn't know who she was. "I enjoyed hearing you read just now, Bev. I usually enjoy reading your stuff on the site, but it's got some special oomph when you read it aloud to us. Good job on that story. I'm glad to have met you and will look forward to reading your next project on line. I won't keep you, so perhaps we'll talk to each other later in the week."

"Sounds great! I'd love for us talk. Let's do coffee tomorrow?"

"That would be nice," she offered. "But, I don't do coffee, how about a beer, mate? I'm on New Zealand time, so having trouble getting to these events which are in the middle of the night for me. But I'd enjoy talking to you, so let's make it happen. "

So that's how I met LisaMay, and many other of my on-line friends.

How would it happen? contest entry

I'd be pretty excited to get together, especially at this beautiful place in Sedona. I love writer retreats, I always learn and make new friends. I've yet to have a bad experience at a workshop. Think about it, wouldn't this be great?! PS: I cleared this with LisaMay. Thank you for being such a good sport!
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by MKFlood at FanArtReview.com

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© Copyright 2020. Beverly A McBride All rights reserved.
Beverly A McBride has granted FanStory.com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.