I'm short on time this next coupla weeks, so this is a twofer: an ALA tip and 15 Words or Less prompt all in one!
ALA Tip 1: Enjoy the city you're in. Large conferences (ALA, IRA, BEA, etc.) are held in large cities, with lots to see and do. If you can eke out the money, stay an extra day before or after the conference to do a little sightseeing. Remembering Love Park and the architectural tour in Chicago, the Alamo and the Riverwalk in San Antonio, and the Museums of Natural History and American History in Washington, DC always makes me appreciate how lucky I am to get to do a bit of traveling and it makes me feel like I actually saw tiny parts of the cities themselves, not just their convention centers. If a publisher is sending you, politely ask if you can extend your stay on your own dime for one day. Your airfare is already covered, so you'll just pay the hotel and your meals/expenses for the extra day. It's so worth it.
And whether you can swing an extra day or not, at least enjoy what's unique about each city's conference. Try nearby restaurants that AREN'T chains, keep your ears open for local sayings and pronunciations, and look around to see what makes that conference center or your hotel room unique.
At the Washington Convention Center, for instance, I liked the art installations they had, especially the huge circles of bicycles, guitars, kayaks, and more over one of the giant staircases.
And now, smooth seque to 15 Words or Less Poetry! If you've never played or want a reminder on the rules, please check out the guidelines!
This image makes me think of my sister's bicycle accident, all the pants I had as a kid that had chain-grease stains on them, and slow-motion shots in how-stupid-can-this-person-be video shows. What does it make you think of? Take one of your answers and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. It doesn't have to describe this picture. Just get into poetry gear and see what comes out!
Feel free to offer each other encouragement and feedback (see the guidelines link above), and I'll be back later today to see what you've got!