While this event does take place directly after the Lori Foster Get Together and thus can be considered part of the “Cons 2008” label, it is not part of the convention and in fact happened AFTER the convention on the way home.
Stephanie “Flash” Burke’s Moutaineer crapped out. The alternator died. She thought it was the battery but it turned out to be the alternator.
We (Flash, Joy of Joyfully Reviewed and me) were booking it down I-70 East, with Camille Anthony ahead of us in her minivan, when the iPod started playing funny. The music would get louder and softer on it’s own. Then different things in the car started chirping right before the entire electrical system cut out.
Flash is still able to drive, but there is no speedometer or AC and we can’t get the windows down. When the car started coughing, she pulled off on the side of the road. She called Dennis, her husband, for some advice on the situation. There was no help there except for the suggestion to call AAA. While she was looking for the card, I called Camille and let her know the problem. She headed back.
Now, in my first Lori Foster post on Day Zero, I mentioned we were originally supposed to take one car, Camille’s, but had too much stuff and had to take two. If we’d taken Camille’s minivan (somehow), then this wouldn’t have happened until later. So I’m very, VERY glad it happened while Camille was with us.
It only took an hour for the tow truck service to get to us. I rode with Camille and Joy in Camille’s car while Flash rode with the tow truck guys. The tow truck guys actually went above and beyond and made sure we arrived at a place that could work on the car. However, the place didn’t have an alternator for the Mountaineer and wouldn’t be able to get one until the next day, Monday.
Luckily, Camille had made a friend at the Marriot who said if she ever needed it, he could get her a discount. Boy did we ever need it. She called him up and he got us a Marriot hotel room at a really good rate for 4 adults that night.
Flash spent the better part of the night beating herself up over the breakdown even though we all told her it wasn’t a big deal and wasn’t her fault.
The next morning, while we were getting ready to leave, Camille had this idea for a book. We’d been brainstorming all weekend for some joint ventures already and this was another one. By the time we got to the car, we had all of book one in a series completely figured out.
Before we got out the door, the car people called to let us know the car was ready. So we headed in that general direction looking for food. We stopped at a Big Boys. Very good food and a really nice waiter by the name of Trent.
Well, Trent gave us the idea for another book — this would be book two. While waiting for Flash to pay for the car, once we got there to pick up, Camille and I had brainstormed books three and four. We all hashed out book five before we got on the road again.
For everyone who ever says things happen for a reason, they are right. If we’d taken one car to Lori Foster’s, Flash, Joy, and I might have ended up stranded further along I-70 East. If Camille hadn’t made her new friend, we would have gotten gouged on the hotel room cost. If the mechanics hadn’t taken until Monday afternoon to fix the car, Flash, Camille and I wouldn’t have brainstormed all those books.
All in all a very lucrative trip (we hope) and we can’t wait until the next time. Though we’re hoping we don’t have transportation trouble again. ;P
As for the books we brainstormed, you’ll have to wait and see.