The Surrey Adventure-Part One

I’m busy trying to finish Paladin and do revisions. I may have to bite the bullet and hire an editor as my eye about my own work is horrible.

I’d like to discuss a little bit about the weeks leading up to Surrey and then what actually happened at Surrey.

I borrowed the money from my father to get some dental work done, get my knee worked on, go see Will and go to Surrey. The check got delayed two months so the dental work wound up costing $2,000 more than I had budgeted. That put a serious kink in things and the knee has to wait.

I didn’t get the weight off I planned so clothes were a problem. Hello, Ebay! Yeah, after going back and forth to western stores, I just couldn’t justify spending $70 on pants I wouldn’t be wearing that long. Add to that the $60 shirts and $40 camisoles and the clothes budget was astronomical.

I bleached out one pair of old pants and dyed another pair so they looked decent. Then I bought some others on Ebay. I got three shirts at a used clothing store and the rest on Ebay as well as some vests. Wonder of wonders, Walmart had lace-trimmed tops on clearance sale and I got them to go under my shirts. It’s the latest rage. Wear camisoles or lace-trimmed tank tops under your shirt and unbutton your shirt a bit. Funny, I was in style thirty years ago and didn’t know it. I’ve always liked the layered look so I was happy as a clam.

So, for not a lot of money, I had a presentable wardrobe. I even made two teeshirts to slum around in.

One had this picture and the words, “I’m in your bathroom stalking your agent.”

This one had, “My inner critic hates me.”

The guys probably have glazed over eyes by now.

I had the first eighty pages of Paladin revised and printed off. Ten sets of the first five pages and ten query letters. I used none of the query letters and no one saw more than the first five pages of Paladin. Still, I’m glad I was prepared just in case.

Lisa and I drove up to Surrey from Seattle. Lisa is such a fun lady and we talked non-stop. That might be why we missed our exit and wound up two towns past where we needed to be. Then we wound up back at the border, and while the border guards were really nice, we didn’t feel like crossing again. Like Bonnie and Clyde at a roadblock, we whipped around and headed back the other way.

We arrived on Wednesday and the master classes started on Thursday so that left us time to get unpacked and go down to the bar to find some friends. Sadness, no one was there. Lisa and I were bright and chipper. Probably from all the coffee consumed, so she suggested I call Beth’s room and see if she wanted to come down and visit with us.


“Hey, Beth. This is Julie!”

Groggy voice. “Julie who?”

I’m sure I looked startled. Beth was cheating on me? She had more than one friend named Julie?

“Julie Weathers.”

I heard her yawn. “Oh, hi, Julie. I’m so glad to hear from you. It’s 1:00 am where I’m from, can I talk to you tomorrow?”

Oops. I’m sure I heard soft, ladylike snores coming from the phone as I stammered an apology and hung up.

Hmmm, well, I was going to have a drink my first night in Surrey. Lisa joined me and had a Coke. Then we went to our room and tried to get organized.

I slipped into my sleek satin jammies and sat on the bed, trying to decide a concrete agenda for the conference. That didn’t work so well, as we will find out later.

Tomorrow, Surrey, day two.


  1. I could kick myself for not reading your blog before going to Surrey!

    Of course, after meeting you, I knew that you were wonderful, funny, and a spectacular storyteller, but I would have had much more to talk to you about, instead of saving it up for the last night!

    Can’t wait for Part Two. (g)

  2. Well, Tara, you know my warped view of the world so I’m sure no one will use my Surrey adventures as a promotion.

    I really am so glad I got to meet everyone in person. I can still see your face so clearly and that raised eyebrow.

    Surrey was definitely good times. I almost feel guilty for thinking of it as a working conference.

  3. Tara, don’t be too sure — reading Julie’s blog was what convinced some of us to stay AWAY from Surrey. 🙂

    …but I’m looking forward to Part Two, too!

  4. Tara, don’t be too sure — reading Julie’s blog was what convinced some of us to stay AWAY from Surrey. 🙂

    Julie, donning her best southern accent…

    Why, John. Whatevah do you mean, sir? Ah, assure you Ah was the verah picture of southern charm and gentility.

    Ah’m shocked, sir. Shocked.

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