Monday, August 25, 2008

Posted By:  Lisa Hendrix
Currently Working On: IMMORTAL OUTLAW
Mood: Bemused

My favorite conference moments often have to do with people. I love that I get to see old friends, make new ones, meet some of my idols, and just hang with outrageously smart people.  Naturally, touching bases with my editor and agent rank high on the list of must-do people activities, but it's the serendipitous incidents that stand out in my mind--things like bumping into Jennifer Blake in the loo and ending up sitting with her at lunch (Dallas).

But this year, serendipity slipped over into the Twilight Zone.

Since I didn't have a current book to sign during the Readers for Life Literacy Autographing, I printed off a bunch of excerpt booklets for IMMORTAL WARRIOR and started handing them out in various lines. I eventually ended up outside the hall, working the checkout line. I was merrily shoving booklets into readers' hands when a vaguely familiar face made me look at a name tag. I went back and forth a time or two: Face. Name tag. Face. Name tag. "Marion Spicher?" She says yes. "Marion Spicher from Juneau, Alaska? Who worked at St. Anne's?" Another yes. And then, "Lisa?"

Now you have to understand, St. Anne's Nursing Home in Juneau is where I worked for a year in 1982.  1982!  I was the administrative secretary and Marion was Director of Nursing. We worked in adjoining offices and became pretty good friends, but that was 26 years ago and I left Juneau for Fairbanks in 1984. Literally, I had heard not one word from or about Marion in that time. 

Anyway, much squealing and hugging ensued, and my promotional efforts were momentarily abandoned in favor of a quick catch up. It turns out that she now lives north of Bellingham and has been writing for a couple of years.  She attends meetings of the Seattle Chapter--which used to be my home chapter until I moved to southern Oregon!

Twenty-six years.  Two entire states of separation. So of course I run into her in a line of 5000 people in San Francisco! And we bumped into each other twice more.  I had people I was actually looking for that I didn't run into (Amy - signage!)

And then I get home and open my email one day to find a list of Emerald City Opener finalists, and guess who's a finalist in Single Title Contemporary?  Yep. Marion.

Rod Serling is someplace smiling.

Who did you meet in San Francsco?



3 comments:

Jessa Slade said...

Humming "It's a Small World."

Genene Valleau said...

Had to laugh, Lisa! I'm reading this and thinking, "Marion Spicher...I know that name." Not a story as good as yours--I had just seen her name as an Emerald City finalist. So nice you reconnected with her.

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Do,do, do, do. Do, do, do do. Humming twilight zone theme--though your encounter was not nearly as dark as most of those episodes. Very cool to run into someone who made a great impression on you and find you are following a similar dream.