My next bit is up at RTB: here. It's about being in the company of writers. I think I actually have more deep thoughts in there than what I posted but they're just not accessible this week (I have four contracts that just landed on my desk and they're going to take all the deep thinking I've got to process). Anyway, it's also me thinking about what I get out of conferences. I went through a two or three year period where I was doing at least one or two a month. I recall at least one time where I traveled for five weekends in a row, four of them business and one of them a wedding. In the last couple of years I've been cutting back a lot, and trying to decide, when invited, what the value of attendance really means to me as an agent, or, in some cases, as a fan (I sure wouldn't mind another invite to Wiscon - they had me out for workshops a few years back and paid my way which is becoming almost a must these days). Anyway, I was talking about reconnecting with writers, which I think is a necessary thing when the balance of your contact is via phone, email, and writing samples. It sets up a very insulating dynamic overall, and I have seen other agents become disenchanted on that basis, and watch for that in myself. I know writing can be a solitary endeavor in most cases, but agenting can often become that way as well. I've wondered how other people handle that, since my methods don't always yield reliable results.