If you’re a reader, then I hope a few books have come into your life, helped you open a vision to a different way of thinking, and made you consider your course. It’s one thing to read them, another to meet the authors in person. I’m back home now, reading books with the kids, helping with homework and chores, regular kinds of things. But if I shut my eyes, I can remember the moments that seemed surreal this week. I wanted to share a few with you.
Last year I went to this wonderful writer’s conference for the first time, and was welcomed warmly by writers in all different fiction genres. I had positive feedback on my work and requests. This year, I went to renew and grow writing friendships, deepen my marketing savvy, find new ways to reach kids with the message of resilience. It’s funny how sometimes you have a goal and yet what you could only dream happened like…
Hoping to catch a glimpse of Francine Rivers, whose early series the Mark of the Lion, literally changed the course of my life. Instead of just seeing her from afar, friends Lindsay Harrel, Jeanne Takenaka, and Gabrielle Meyer encouraged me to walk up and thank her. I hoped for a smile, but received a warm hug and a nice memory instead, telling her how her words and characters were so encouraging when I was on bed rest for months during my first pregnancy with Jonathan. Very WOW!
Getting to talk about resilience with wonderful authors from all kinds of genres for an upcoming project, like Cara Putman, DiAnn Mills, Pepper Basham, and many more. It was an honor to hear their stories and felt like time slowed as we genuinely connected amid the hum of busy moments. Stay tuned for a special project with them and several other authors.
Having lunch seated next to Bill Myers was a thrill, since my kids are avid Adventures In Odyssey fans. Watching him encourage others around the table with their projects, too. His humor is so infectious!
Meeting up with friends that also write young adult fiction, like Nadine Brandes, Raylene Burke, Sara Ella, and many more gave us the chance to connect about issues that are flaring high like rockets in a dark sky for today’s youth.
There’s something about being with others that care so deeply for kids, and also have fun characters running through their minds, that makes for instant joy. It’s the extra spark that makes your own work a bit brighter.
Another special time is watching friends have magical moments and celebrating them together, when Lindsay Harrel, Nadine Brandes, and new friend Mary Weber all received awards for their writing. So happy for them all.
Spending time with Mary was so informative and special, too. She makes you feel so welcome, like you’re sitting in her living room giggling together. It was wonderful to see Sara Ella and celebrate her contract too!
A fun surprise was finding out my wonderful roomie, Natalie Monk, was secretly writing for Seekerville, you can check out her article here: Seekerville
Getting to know Edie Melson was also a big highlight for me.
Have you ever met an author that influenced your life? I’d love to hear about it!
Emilie Anne Hendryx says
Great update here! I too LOVE the Mark of the Lion series – definitely my top favorite books! I loved the conference as well (you may have seen me behind a camera here and there). 🙂
Thanks for your thoughts and I did spot you here and there! A great experience. Those books are life-changers.
kelly @kellyblackwell says
Such a lovely post full of beauty and gratitude for the experience. I came here via a Seekerville link and I am so glad that I did. I love seeing and reading about everyone’s wondferful ACFW Conference experiences. Thank you for sharing your time so beautifully. I hope that I can one day attend as well.
Thanks Kelly! It was super experience and the people make it so meaningful!