I went to the Pen to Press Writers Retreat in New Orleans in May. That was great. Besides getting to meet F. Paul Wilson, which was basically the Jen equivalent of Judge Harry Stone getting to meet Mel Torme (yes, I'm old, so sue me), I crammed tons of publishing-industry stuff into my brain and learned not how to write great literature but how to tell a good story. And yes, I took scads of notes. I'm a paralegal. I take notes. It's just what I do. So do I have an agent yet, and am I on my way to mind boggling success in the New York industry corridor? Uh, no. But I am getting rejected on a higher level and by more important people. Stay tuned. I also met two really cool people who have become good friends - Rhett in Jinks, Oklahoma and JulieAnne in Ogden, Utah. Get this - JulieAnne and I knew each other in junior high school. Small world? Or small script? You tell me.
The City of Dallas, in a budget-balancing exercise, laid a bunch of people off. Then it said it was just kidding and hired most of them back. Then some departments were eliminated. Then they weren't. It was a bad time to be working for the City. We didn't really think Joan was going to be laid off - she's sort of the last woman standing in her department - but stranger things have happened, so we were pretty nervous between, say, June and October. This ended happily; Joan didn't get laid off. But her salary got cut. Which is not a happy thing. Meanwhile, Jen got a new job, which is a really good one.