I had some ambivalence about attending only because I have wanted to attend for soooo long, but as a wife and mother first and foremost, it seemed every year one of our daughters was graduating, had end-of-the-year programs, dance recitals and more. In 2008, we sent the last one off to college and I started looking forward to BWRC 2009 immediately. Then, the economic crisis hit us hard and money became an issue. My husband finally found a new job, but I did not want to ask him for any money, because he was holding down the fort on the homefront. The Census Bureau hired me part-time and temporary and I began saving for BWRC right away. Every time I asked my husband if he wanted me to pay a bill or two, he said, “Save for your writers’ conference. You’ve been wanting this so long.” I have attended other conferences years ago but never one run by US, for US and about US in this crazy writing/publishing business, not even one where we were even a half or a third of the participants.
As June ’09 got closer, I started wondering if there would be all these sharp, young sistahs there and I’d feel out of place. Yes, there were a lot of you, but I never felt out of place. I started wondering if everyone would be reuniting from past conferences and I’d feel alone. Yes, there was plenty of reuniting, but I didn’t feel alone. I thought I might be the only Muslim woman there and I was, but that was okay too. I realized at some point that satan was making me second-guess my plans and I had to stop and pull myself together. To get the least expensive flight, I flew from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Fort Lauderdale and had a five-hour layover before my flight to Las Vegas. On the way back, I had a seven-hour layover, but that gave me time to see my grandson, who lives in Miami. In the end, I had such a wonderful time, was so inspired and met such beautiful women (and a few great brothas too). I have organized conferences before and I know how much hard work and commitment it takes to make everything run as smoothly as you and your team did. BIG CONGRATS!!! BWRC ’09 was well-organized, the presenters were excellent and the facilities were very nice.