There were so many choices, my head actually hurt at the number of possibilities. I could probably have thrown a dart at a wall map and made it easier on myself, but then I'd chance having to commit to causing the End of the World. And I really didn't want to be responsible for that. People are just starting to like me and stuff.
So I had to narrow down my choices another way. Distance in the opposite direction was a good place to start. And a writer's conference in New Mexico? For Latino writers? That sounded right up my ally.
#1: I'm a writer.
#2: I'm Latina.
#3: It wasn't California.
Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I have nothing against anything, any part, or anyone in California. I've never even been there. And until we moved from Michigan to Arizona a little over a year ago, I really didn't think I'd ever even be within driving distance of what I have since come to refer to as The Cali Curse.
I hadn't even thought about it in forever. It wasn't until Bloggy Bootcamp and hooking up with another writer, Mary, that it even came up at all. See, she lives in California and wants to talk book projects with me and thought it might be a good idea to meet up. I said sure. But you have to come here because the minute I cross the state line, The Big One will probably hit and well, that just wouldn't be good.
I got a "blink, blink?"
So I explained how once, when I was 21 and stupid because it's really not possible to be 21 and stupid which you won't realize till your at least 31 and smarter I went to see a psychic with a few sorority sisters. I only remember three things that she said.
#1: I had a very long life line that split in the middle, which meant my life was going to change drastically in my future and by drastic, she didn't mean I was going to grow up, graduate, get a job, and get married. She meant BIG big...but I didn't get any other details.
#2: I was only going to get married once. She didn't tell me if that meant I could start planning my 50th wedding anniversary party the moment I got engaged (because I wasn't at the time) or if I was gonna crash and burn so hard on the first attempt that I wasn't going to bother trying again. I'm trying to be optimistic, so I agreed to change my name when The Husband and I said "I do" almost eight years ago.
#3: I could never go to California. If I did, something very bad would happen. And bad as in very very very bad. I asked if I was going to get murdered or if the world was going to end or if Tom Cruise would one day jump on Oprah's couch, but she couldn't say. She just took my hand, looked me in the eye, and flat out told me to never go to California.
And I believed her.
A lot of time has passed, but I've never forgotten that visit. Because really, do I want to be responsible for the unknown? Even The Husband is perfectly content to avoid disaster. If we ever want to go see Mickey Mouse, we are flying to Florida even though we can drive to Cali that much faster. And if I happen to get a book made into a movie and am asked to walk the red carpet on premier night the entire world will have to sign a release form promising not to get pissed should The Big One actually occur when the plane touches down in Hollywood.
So you see why I selected The National Latino Writer's Conference for my first shot out of the gate. I'm on my way to New Mexico in a few days, and the world can sleep better knowing I'm that much further away from the California border.