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Meet me in the bar

Janie EmausPOV. Tags. Hooks. Dark moments. Arcs.

At a conference I recently attended, these terms were tossed into the room, with everyone in attendance taking copious notes, asking questions and adding their opinions.  Now, if you’re not a writer, these expressions may mean nothing to you.

Your world may consist of such terms as: dibble stick, compost, annuals, stratification. That is, if you’re into landscaping and gardening.

Or perhaps you’re familiar with Brazilian Wax, French Tip and Egyptian Threading. And no, these applications do not apply to a foreign translator, but to your neighborhood cosmetologist.

Every profession and every hobby has its own lingo, complete with inside jokes and greetings that only those in the know will understand.

But there is one universal expression, one common phrase that everyone gets, no matter what type of conference they are attending. And that is “meet me in the bar.”

Let’s face it, a lot of great information is garnered in the workshops, taking notes and watching PowerPoint presentations. But some of the real knowledge and connections are made coming to and from the lecture halls, in the elevators and in the lobby.

How many of us have had that serendipitous moment when we find ourself in the elevator with the editor (editor interchangeable with person of power in your chosen field) you’ve been dying to meet forever? And in casual conversation she mentions she’s looking for a story about a middle-aged woman having an affair with the ghost of her first boyfriend. You just happen to have such a story. And the guts to tell her.

In that short ride to the lobby, you see yourself years from now on The New York Times’ bestseller list. Or walking the red carpet at a movie premier staring Diane Keaton.

Or perhaps the elevator dings before you open your mouth.

In any event, you see my point.

Don’t get me wrong. When I pay hard earned money to attend a conference, I want to come away feeling as if I’ve learned something new.

But I usually get just as much from the networking which takes place between the sipping of cocktails, the crunching on nuts and the swapping of business cards. I love all the schmoozing.

But that’s just my POV — point of view.

— Janie Emaus

Janie Emaus believes that when the world is falling apart, we’re just one laugh away from putting it together again. She is the author of the time travel romance, Before the After, and the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love. She has an essay in the best-selling humor anthology, You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth and is proud have been named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. To read more of Janie’s humor, you can find her every week In The Powder Room. To learn more about her crazy life, visit her website www.JanieEmaus.com.

Reflections of Erma