I carried two bags to school every day. One was my backpack, which was adorned with keychains and patches because it was 2000 and that’s what we did back then, and the other was this awesome white leather messenger bag, the coolness factor of which can never be replicated.
In this messenger bag was everything I needed to write my novel–notebooks, printed pages, pens. I wrote in math class, during study hall, lunch. My whole world was consumed with my writing.
So when I was accepted to the Pen in Hand writer’s conference in Little Falls, I couldn’t believe how fucking lucky I was. Finally, my writing was being taken seriously! For 24 hours, I would be surrounded by other writers. I would get to meet authors and they would talk to me! It was everything I’d hoped for and more. I made friends there that I still have today. It’s where I first drank coffee. It was better than my prom.