SIWC gave us a live security demo just like TV, for Master Class Day

Juneau AK Mendenhall Glacier with Fireweed in the foreground

The expected arrival of two former US presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush, at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel on the same day of the master classes of the SIWC gave a live demo of the security set-up for such an event. Why did the presidents come to the Sheraton Guilford Hotel? For an economic summit.  An story there somewhere!

Roads closed, parking compromised, guards at the elevator doors and populating the lobby, and a heavy presence at every entrance. Secret service, Security, RCMP, crew cuts and suits, everywhere … casting eyes to and fro and maintaining that special blank blind look.

I had waited too long and barreled toward my favorite bathroom, suddenly blocked by two guards. As I pleaded with my eyes, already tinged yellow, a tall buff ‘suit’ wearing a squiggly wire leading from his ear to the back of his neck, and tucked down behind his open size 17 collar, gave me the, “One more word and I’ll shoot.” look.

Rumors? The Surrey Fire Department Hazmat team was on the way. Thursday slipped into the late afternoon, and they all disappeared.  Not a trace. Thankfully.

The writer’s conference rose above the milling ‘suits,’ limitations and elevator delays. Workshops, presenters from Canada, the US,  Scotland, and beyond, the MC nicknamed ‘Betty White of the North,’ the food variety served buffet style, the sharing at the round tables during keynotes and meals, the entertainment in “Shock Theatre” provided by presenters, and the hotel Sheraton Guildford service—all drew over 550 attendees into camaraderie—as we absorbed the full circle of instruction of immense value to writers.

Saturday night’s highlight, with a Royal Canadian Mounty standing on stage for protection, began as the audience buzzed with anticipation. Robert Dugoni, best selling author and presenter, stood beside the auctioneer, watched and perspired, as KC Dyer she auctioned off his T-shirt, the winner to strip

1958 photo of Mounties in Uniform, Musical Ride Cranbrook BC

the shirt away on stage.   The crowd cheered and laughed until muscles couldn’t bear it.  We heard a few bids by men and female shouts, “How much for the Mountie?” Bidders hiked the price to buy the symbol of the black T- shirt, “This day, we will write!” Our motto after his keynote speech Friday brought us to our feet. KC Dyer managed, using innuendo, to get the bidding up to $400, the final bid echoing through the banquet room from a male voice. Anyone want to guess who got Robert Dugoni’s T-shirt?  We laughed long and hard, loving every minute.

Congratulations all who put the conference together—atmosphere warm, superb education, agent/editor appointments plentiful, blue pencils with authors reading our work valuable, and workshops to hone our skills in writing, business, social networking, films and the future.

Many writers and presenters are heading to ECWC.  Wishing you in GSRWA another “best conference ever.”  Sorry I’ll miss it this year.

Last year I won a raffle basket.  Anyone who comments will be drawn for a free book, Donald Maass “Writing the Breakout Novel.” And if you guess the specialty item I won, you get an extra ticket in the draw pot to win.

My Blog plan is to write once weekly on a variety of topics,  so I hope you’ll stop by each Tuesday.  Cheers!

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