Tangential to writing: In a couple weeks, Milwaukee, Wisconsin will host a mystery convention called Bouchercon. I went last year (Chicago, that toddlin' town) and it was heaps of fun, exciting, informative and one got a bag of free books. The convention is at a hotel, with panels, banquets, book sales, schmoozing, lots of schmoozing and talking about writing.
I belong to a listserv, the topic of which is mystery writing, and there are lots of questions about Bouchercon from those who will be going for the first time. I am always amazed at the naiveté of first time conference goers, and the advice they receive. O.K., have fun hanging out at the bar seems like good advice. Relax, enjoy yourself, likewise. But stay hydrated? Eat oatmeal for breakfast? What are we here, in second grade. Are we adults or what?
I say burn the candle a bit at both ends. Sheesh! Grapeshot's idea of fun in not a wine cooler and oatmeal for breakfast. The hotel in Chicago had tremendous sticky buns. Those were the ONLY sticky buns I ate all year, but I certainly let myself enjoy them. Every meeting has water. O.K., drink some. But that would not be my advice to a first-time attendee.
Have fun! Have a blast! Live it up! Forget your goddamn cholesterol count and eat something that tastes good.