My first big trip in years! (a personal post :) )

I just went to my first ever author conference. It was for the Stormy Night’s Publishing conference in Texas, and boy, was it awesome! I made new friends, and met friends I had talked to online; I got some fun new story ideas… it was a fantastic experience

I even left my kids at home –  for the first time in ten years. It was kind of exciting and scary, but the trip was amazing! 🙂

So in honor of my “first” of several things, including my first time meeting some really cool people, I decided to write a list of Do’s and Don’ts for myself. Just in case I get to do this again.



Katherine’s list to self for future “Author trips”

(in somewhat random order):

DON’T – disregard your husband’s advice when he tries to tell you, 12 skirts, 4 shirts, 6 tank tops, jeans, yoga pants, and 4 pairs of different shoes are too much for only two nights of travel.

DON’T –  forget to take a picture of where you parked, including the sign for the parking lot, to avoid asking help from nice airline guys who drive you around for an hour searching for your car. (long story short, this happened to me, several years ago, when I was traveling by myself with two “under three year olds” in car seats.)

lost my car pic


DO- try to keep the wide eyed, “OMG”, this airport is so cool, but overwhelming…” look off your face.

DO – zip up your purse

DON’T – freak out, because it is the first time you have ever left the kids. They will be fine. Even if they have blue lips and dirty hair after the weekend (I have the text pic to prove it 😉 )

DO – remember that your husband is a grown man, who has successfully led troops in the military and owns his own company- he is quite capable of taking care of your children while you are gone.

DO – confirm if your roommate has the same body temp needs, to avoid freezing her out at night

DO – take lots of pics of all the cool things you are doing, and text them to hubby every 20 minutes

DON’T – forget that there is a time difference, and he might be asleep

DO – sit next to the college student, who has great note taking abilities (and much better handwriting than yours), and ask if you can have her notes. (you might be able to bribe her)

DO – if you burp really loud, blame it on your table mate (she will probably be very busy taking notes, and won’t even notice when you keep shrugging and pointing at her)

DO – save your receipts so you can deduct it as a business expense

DON’T – put your receipts with your dirty clothes

DO – Enjoy yourself

DON’T – get too insecure about the super awesome group of talented authors with lots more experience than you, and think you don’t belong.

DO – Remind yourself, everyone starts as a newbie with something to learn, and you have worth.

DON’T – forget your inner filter, and tell your new friends every TMI embarrassing moment you can think of, once you get back to the hotel

delicious bass pic

DO – keep a glass of wine next to you at all times, so if you do accidentally tell your new friends about some random bodily function that shocked you, they will just assume you are drunk.

DO – Write down all the cool ideas that come to you from the event (asap, before you forget them)

DO – wear a short skirt combo with boots that looks totally awesome, for your first rodeo. (Yeehaw!)

DON’T – forget to get a picture of how totally adorbs you look 😉

DO – make sure to pack pasties if you are not going to wear a bra

DON’T – freak out when you sit on the metal bleachers at the rodeo, and your skirt doesn’t cover your booty because it is too short. (you’re just going to have a few funny marks on your backside. no worries)

DO – take lots of pictures and make notes of awesome cowboy names (and how good their booties looked in their jeans), when you go to your first rodeo.

bull riding

DON’T – send the cowboy pics to your husband. He might not appreciate them as much.

DON’T – try to steal a pregnant woman’s cotton candy (I did not do this at the time, but considered it for a few minutes. It looked really yummy)

DON’T – forget to put on deodorant

hot as heck pic

DO – be yourself

DON’T – forget the hotel walls are really thin. Any discussions about pasties, hot cowboys, and possible spanking scenarios… well, since you could hear your neighbor’s tv both nights… yeah.

DO – thank your hostess for making arrangements for dietary needs, like gluten free eating

DON’T – forget to tip the hotel cleaning staff, and the nice driver who carries your suitcase onto your bus to and from the airport

DON’T – forget to buy gifts for your kids

DON’T – forget to thank your hosts after the awesome trip

DON’T – start crying like a baby, and hug your new friends, and say you will miss them- without explaining first, that you are just empathic, and not a complete psychopath.

DO- Give the gifts to your kids when you get home. (Yes, they look super cute and cuddly, and remind you of your first trip, but the kids won’t appreciate the “almost” gesture, if you keep them for yourself.

stuffed friends

DO – be prepared to do a bit of extra cleaning when you get home (this includes washing hair dyes out of the kids ears and hair)

DO – be thankful for the awesome trip, and look forward to doing this again.

DO – start writing, ASAP! You have lots of ideas and energy from the trip. Use it before school starts.


I’m sure I forgot a few things, but these were the biggies. I had a great time, and am so happy to be back home.

Thanks for stopping by!

hugs and blessings ❤

21 thoughts on “My first big trip in years! (a personal post :) )

  1. Megan Michaels

    What an awesome post!! It makes me sad that I didn’t go–you wouldn’t have been alone crying when you said goodbye–I do that too 🙂 Next year, I HAVE to go–I want to meet you all. Thanks for sharing, Katherine, it was awesome to read!!

    1. katherinedeane Post author

      Thanks so much, Megan!
      I wish you could have gone too. Hopefully, next time. I can’t wait to meet you 🙂
      hehe, I’m glad I’m not the only crier.
      hugs ❤

  2. Patricia Green

    I’m glad you got so much out of the experience. A list like that is worth something! I would have loved to have been there. Maybe next year. Now, don’t stress out over catching up. I know you.

    1. katherinedeane Post author

      Thanks, Trish. It was a great trip in many ways.
      I cannot wait to meet you someday.

      LOL, you totally called me on the catching up part. 😉 you know me well
      hugs ❤

  3. rozharrison

    I love your list Katherine and wow, your first rodeo too! Glad you had such an awesome time. Sounds like so much fun.


  4. Alex

    I’m so glad I got to meet you! You were so much fun and so sweet in person, just like online. 😀
    Also, I totally stole cotton candy from a pregnant woman. Guilty!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s