Charging Forward

Typical conference purse

I attended the Malice Domestic mystery conference this past weekend. Malice lasted four fabulous days, and if you know anything about math (or me), you understand this four-day event required four bags: one medium-sized purse; one small clutch for the banquet; one large tote for my panel; and one getting-bigger-every-trip zipper bag for chargers.

The perfect bag must be practical, comfortable, attractive, and functional. Since these four requirements never seem to appear together in any single bag, one must buy multiples, for multiple occasions. This is not news.

malice handbag 2
Who doesn’t love velvet?

What’s news—to me, anyway—is that I now own enough electronics to require a bag just for chargers. These cords and plugs can’t be let loose in the wild kingdom of my office or suitcase, can they?

(I could stop here and ask why no one has invented a universal charger that would fit all electronic devices, but that is way too rational for a blog post about bags.)

malice handbag 3
Big bag for panel books!

I have been on the hunt for the perfect charger bag. I had one but it was too small, then I bought a larger one but it was too big, and now I have one that seems right. I say “seems” because Malice was its test run. I’m going to the Pennwriters conference in two weeks, so we’ll see if the bag passes the long term commitment test.

A plug and a cord, tucked into a cute bag, takes care of charging a device. Pretty simple, and it if doesn’t work, you buy a new one. When that device is your brain, it’s a little more complicated. You can’t buy a new brain, even when you wear the one in your head down to a nub.

I adore conferences, and Malice is like Mardi Gras: big, loud, colorful, and friendly. I loved every moment, from the Vera showing on Thursday to the New Author Breakfast on Sunday. I did not, however, write one word those four days. I got the sprint threads posted in the mornings, but I was usually packing a bag and taking off for the day after it posted.

charger bag 1
Too small
Too big

I am writing this on Monday. Regular life has resumed, and my brain must get back to the routine. The wonderful thing about a rigid writing habit is that your brain knows what to do when your body is placed in a particular chair in a particular spot at a particular time of day. Four days of disruption, however, and my brain still wants to think about handbags and panels instead of my work in progress. I could sit in my writing spot and fight to get my mojo going, or I could take one more day of reprieve and recovery to bridge Mardi Gras to work day.

I took the day. I discovered, though, that while I took photos of my bags and unpacked my new books, the little pings and pricks of writing began firing. This premise looks interesting. What an intriguing setting. I’ve never heard of this historical event! Oh, I love this author….

The right size–and perfect theme!

It doesn’t take much to lure a writer back into the fold, does it? Panels and parties are great fun, but stories are the raison d’etre. When this posts on Tuesday, I’ll be moving forward, getting back to storytelling and my writing habits.

How long does it take you to recover from a conference? Do you have any tricks to get your brain back into work mode? And, how do you store your chargers when you travel?