Monday, March 31, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I want to go to the Trinity Arts Conference.  I received a brochure for it in the mail a while back, and I came close to throwing it away immediately because conferences are generally not feasible.  There are usually schedule conflicts, the cost is almost always prohibitive, and what would we do with the kids?  They certainly couldn't sit through a marathon-style writer's workshop.  No, conferences don't work for the Duncan family.

But . . .

A few days after the brochure arrived Mary Ann was cleaning some clutter--most of which was mine--off of the kitchen counter.  She was flinging junk mail into the trash rapid-fire.  Since I am the pack rat of the family she often comes across items I have senselessly kept, and in the midst of this particular purge she came across the brochure.

"Did you want to keep this?"

"Yeah, I just keep it around to torture myself," I replied.

"You want me to throw it away?"

Her arm moved toward the trash can.  I hesitated.  It's a funny thing; last year I didn't think twice about the Trinity Arts Conference.  Maybe I thought it was a nice idea, but I wasn't even tempted to go.  I was (and still am) a poor seminary student with a wife and multiple children, after all.  Somehow this year felt different.

"Let me see it."

Mary Ann handed me the little green paper and I looked it over.  $135 for the conference, housing included.  I'm also considering pursuing writing as a career, so whatever critique I could get would help.  If I saved a little money, or maybe asked for an early birthday present . . .

But what about Mary Ann and the kids?  Well, that is a problem.  On one hand, the conference is in Dallas, and Mary Ann's aunt Pam lives about a half hour to forty-five minutes away.  That could work, but that would keep us apart for the weekend.  It wouldn't be as fun by myself, and I'd probably get lonely.  Not only that, but Mary Ann ain't a bad writer herself.  Those of you who have read her blog know this.  Anyway, she has a good idea for a children's book and would probably benefit from the writer's workshop as much as I would.

I don't know if I'll go to the conference or not.  It would be sweet, I don't deny, but I don't know if I can justify it.  So, if anyone has any advice just leave a comment.  Or, in lieu of advice, send money.

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