I returned last night from the big ACFW (for those of you who don't know, that's the American Christian Fiction Writer's) Conference in Dallas, TX.
What an amazing experience! This is my first time at this particular conference, but it won't be the last. Here's just a few things I experienced:
Red HOT workshops and speakers. Our keynote speaker was a well known author, James Scott Bell and he kept us laughing or thinking each time he spoke.
The workshops left nothing to be desired where the quality of teaching was concerned. The worst thing about them being the need to choose between so many valuable titles. Authors, editors and agents taught eager writer's more about their chosen craft, and I soaked up as much as I could in the limited time we had, then ordered the MP3/CD of the entire conference as back up.
Warm friendships that were deepened, and many new ones created. What a joy it was to meet many of my online friends for the first time, face to face. I 'clicked' with a number of women during my 4 1/2 day stay, and found each person I spoke with to be a potential friend.
Excellent times of ministry....both to myself and given out from myself to others. What a joy it was taking part in the worship service and focusing my thoughts on the Lord. Besides that, I had at least three different opportunities to help someone else, or minister at a heart level and speak into another woman's life. God is SO good!
How do you color laughter? I have no idea, but I'll call it violet for the color of pansies, one of my favorites. My room mate Kimberly and I talked and laughed while curled in our respective beds, long after we should've been sleeping. What a joy to have a roommate who doesn't snore, LOL!---who's time and company you thoroughly enjoy, and who helps drag you out of bed in the morning when you really want to sleep, but need to get to breakfast and class.
Amazing encounters with some of my favorite authors....and having more than one of them tell me they plan on reading MY book! Now that's intimidating! While I happen to love my book and am thrilled that others seem to want to read it, I can't help but tremble when someone like Kim Vogel Sawyer, who's writing I greatly admire, tells me my book has been on her "to read" list for 2-3 months now and she'll be buying it when it releases.
And last, the opportunity to network with others who are readers as well as writers, and talk about my new book, The Other Daughter, releasing in just FOUR weeks! Can't believe it's finally almost here! Ane Mulligan created some buzz about my book during the conference, as she'd just read it and is planning on posting a very positive reveiw Oct. 4th on the Novel Journey blog. The woman is an amazing person....when she gets in your corner and believes in your work, she tells everyone she meets...and I do mean EVERYONE. I had an abundance of people glance at my name tag, then state..."oh yes, I've been hearing about your book from Ane...she tells me I need to read it." Thank you ANE!!!
Next year's conference will be held in Minnesota and I'm already counting the days....well...maybe the months, LOL! But after experiencing this one, I plan on attending each year, Lord willing!
Hopefully I'll be able to post a few pictures when friends send them my way. I didn't bring my camera and relied on the kindness of others to take a few of me with friends.