Before and After – the Real ROI

 003044In May I spent a week at the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans.





In a funny coincidence, I ended up on the same flights with good friend and local RWA (LERA) chapter-mate, Darynda Jones.

This is far more of a coincidence than it might sound. While our local chapter meets in Albuquerque, Darynda and I live at nearly opposite ends of New Mexico, which is a pretty big state. Thus, while I fly out of Albuquerque – an hour’s drive south for me – Darynda flies out of Amarillo, Texas.

However, we both connected to New Orleans via Dallas Love Field. And were on the same flights both going and coming back.

Total surprise to us both.

Thus, we ended up with Before (left) and After (right) airplane selfies.

I think it’s interesting to see the difference in our faces. The light is warmer in the After pic, because it’s morning in New Orleans, versus the harsher mid-afternoon light of Dallas in the Before. But even factoring that in, I think we both look more relaxed and happy in the After pic.

Maybe a little more tired. Possibly a few pounds heavier from all the damn beignets.

But still, I look at the photo of us after a week with our tribe, talking books, reading and writing non-stop and I see that it was good for both of us. I’ve kind of been harping on return on investment (ROI) lately, because so many people seem to want to apply that standard to the cost of attending conventions. This is more of a business approach than I typically take to writing. After all, if I only cared about making money, I could have become a stockbroker. If I can make a good living as a writer, I’ll be delighted. That is, in fact, my plan. But that’s partly because writing feeds me on other levels, too.

I can see it in my face.

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