I just returned from the Christian Writer's Guild Conference in Colorado Springs. The Writing for the Soul conference was spectacular--and so were the views!
What a beautiful place!
What a headache I had!
The altitude is significantly higher than what I am used to...no mountains in Minnesota! ;)
Signs were posted throughout the conference, "Drink plenty of water"--so I did.
Day One and Two seemed to go by without incident.
Day Three however, was another story! Devotions began at 6:45 a.m., breakfast at 7:00, General morning session at 8:00 a.m. and my first workshop at 9:15 a.m. I was scheduled to meet with 3 editors in the afternoon--what a day I had planned! And yet, I awoke with a headache the size of Pike's Peak...an the altitude fog so thick, I wasn't sure I could remember my room number once I left to go to devotionals.
Moving very slowly so as not to exacerbate the loss of oxygen to my brain cells, I wandered around the conference center, struggling to force a smile when met. Thinking did not come naturally, but I knew, how I knew, I would NEVER sign up to climb Mount Everest!
While I was waiting for my first 15 minute interview with the Editor of Focus on the Family Magazine, a sweet stranger next to me asked me how I was doing. Waving the nearly empty water bottle in a salute, I explained I was feeling a little "foggy."
The news she shared with me required a News Alert scrolling across my brain. She said, "I understand; while I grew up here, our guests always have difficulty with altitude sickness."
"I've seen the signs," I said, "I've been drinking so much water, there's no sleep to be had at night! That is, unless, of course, I bring my pillow to the commode!" ;) ;)
"I know," she responded. "I wish they would suggest to drink plenty of water...and add salt."
NOW, she had my full attention.
"Yes, salt! We've discovered that our guests can drink too much water and somehow, someway, the salt adds to the mix and they feel better."
Well, let me just tell you, I raced (for the first time that day) through my interview and ran to the Gift Shop for a bag of potato chips. Carrying them to my room, as though my most cherished possession, I fluffed up my pillows and laid my weary head on the bed and began to eat my chips.
One at a time, letting the salt linger on my parched tongue.
Down to the last chip until I shoved my entire hand into the bottom of the bag and drew the last morsel of salt to my lips.
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It was a spiritual experience!
Within 15 minutes my fog lifted and the pressure in my head was gone. I had two more editor interviews remaining and I looked forward to speaking in full sentences to them! I could breathe without gasping, I could think without hurting. It was gonna be good!
I returned to the conference, but not until I stopped at the Gift Shop for two more bags of chips: one for each remaining day. Carefully placing them in my purse (so as not to be seen), I no longer feared sitting before an Editor--I had tackled an altitude fog...I could certainly tackle an interview with an Editor!
Colorado Springs is stunning and I didn't want to leave!
The Writing for the Soul Conference was amazing and I have already registered to return next year! February 18 - 21, 2010, Denver Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado!
Phillip Yancey, Liz Curtis Higgs....and my bags of Potato Chips will be there!
I'd love to see you there too! If you let me know in advance, I'll bring extra chips! ;)