As an author, the most fun I have--aside from creating really awesome plots or characters--is going to author conventions and sitting in a large room with a group of people who also hear voices. Where else outside of an asylum can you have that experience? It's fantastic!
Financially I've had to make some hard choices this year about which conference I can attend and which I will have to miss. The biggest chunk in my budget was taken by BEA in NY, but it was an experience like none other. And even though Storymakers wasn't as fun as I'd anticipated I really learned a lot. That was an enlightening weekend.
I'm not the person who calls attention to myself or, in the case of Storymakers, speaks to anyone (except Tristi), but I love soaking in the atmosphere and hearing how much alike we all are--which makes the fact that we all come up with different, original story ideas all the more amazing.
But really I'm still just a novice at this whole thing. There's so much to learn, and I'm grateful to all of those who have gone before me and let me soak up their wisdom.