Oh my goodness, I can't believe it has taken so long for me to find the time to sit down and write a blog!
What a crazy summer it was. My mother-in-law ended up in and out of hospital, and we spent a lot of time worrying about her and Dad, and what the next steps should be. I found myself pulled back a few years, when my own mom was ill and we were dealing with all the unknowns of that situation. If you have not yet had to deal with caring for a parent, be thankful. There's just something about the experience that seems wrong somehow, and the world as you know it, shifts slightly. I'm happy to report that MIL is doing quite well now.
SO between that and extremely slow dial-up all summer, no blog.
And now, here I sit in The Hyatt in Indianapolis, about to embark on the first day of The American Christian Fiction Writers Conference!
I'm so excited to be here. Actually, I'm really tired right now so I'm not sure I'm excited, but I'm sure I will be once I leave the room. (I love room service btw!! So not a morning person, gotta have breakfast in my room today!)
Hundreds of fellow writers, published authors, editors and agents will gather here over the next four days in a frenzy of organized chaos. It's quite the experience. It's a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old friends, make new ones, network and pray for those divine appointments that you just know God already has planned.
This is my fourth conference, so I've been doing this a while. This year however, two things are different.
I'm not pitching - huge sigh of relief. That's not say I won't talk writing, but I'm not purposely going to sit in front of an editor and stammer my way through a 10 minute appointment. The pressure is off this year, and it feels good. I know I moan about how I feel I haven't done much this year with my writing, but that's not entirely true. I have done quite a bit, and I need to learn, every day, that it is all about being patient. So I'm really excited about what the next season in my writing life will bring, what books I will write, and where they will end up. Being here is all part of that process.
The second thing that's different about this year's conference, is the absence of my friend and critique partner. Jenness, I miss you!! We got to know each other right before attending our first conference together, and I must say it's been a wonderful friendship, and I miss not having her here. But she's getting me back for not going last year, so I guess we're even.
Truth be told, this conference is the highlight of my writing life. I come away super-charged, ready to sit down and write the next best thing since Gone With the Wind. If you like Gone WIth the Wind, then I guess you're pretty excited about that. If you don't, sorry. I could slap down a few hundred bucks, hop on a plane and go to any old writer's conference, but this one is different.
This one is Christ-centered.
Every single event that happens here has been prayed over. There is power in standing amidst hundreds of brothers and sisters in Christ and worshipping the One who brought us to this place. Whether you are a beginning writer or a best-selling novelist, there is a place for you here. I have never witnessed any sense of self-importance from anyone, nor felt any competition amongst all the attendees. I am sure there are many today who are here for the first time, and may be wondering what on earth possessed them. Within a few hours they will know. And they'll be glad they came.
If you wanted to be here this year, but couldn't make it, we miss you. If you're here and you're reading this, come say hi. Can't wait to see you!