Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blessed by the ACFW Conference

Saturday September 14, I stepped into the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Indianapolis. I couldn’t believe I was finally attending the writer’s conference that I’d prepared for for months, years really. Even with all the preparation, I still had butterflies fluttering.

At breakfast I met several writers from Ohio and Kentucky. What a joy to meet folks who live in my area. When we finished eating, the worship leaders led us in uplifting praise that echoed the reason we met together. 

After breakfast, I made my way to the third floor where classes and appointments took place. To calm my nerves, I sat in the hallway organizing the information for my appointments with an agent and editors. As I sat on the hotel’s bench, doubts crept in—did I really think I was ready to talk to editors? God heard me. He sent a lovely woman who sat with me and lifted me in prayer. She even let me practice my pitch. She’d come to the conference with her writer husband. Earlier she asked God to lead her to people she could pray with, who might need encouraged. I think I encountered an angel in disguise. What a blessing.

My first two appointments were in the morning. As I waited in line to meet with an agent, I ran into Anita Higman, a very talented author. She wished me well as I walked down the hall
Anita Higman & me
to the agent appointment. I wasn't a fit for the agent’s author list, but she did compliment my writing. Anita was kind enough to check with me after my meeting. Another blessing. I met with an editor just before lunch and I’ll just say that one was good practice. 

At lunch, I decided to sit at a table in the back of the room and prayed God would send me who I needed to meet. He sent two lovely young women and the editor I would be meeting at the end of the day. We all chatted about what we wrote, where we lived, movies and books and enjoyed the good company. God knew that I needed that boost of confidence. 
After lunch, I sat in on a class about the first fifty pages. The teacher shared with honesty and humor how to capture the reader’s attention right from the beginning. Then I met Deborah Raney, another wonderful, seasoned author. She’s as sweet as I imagined, and her class met all my expectations. I left Deb’s class for my last appointment of the day.
Deb Raney & me

Talking with the editor was fun. She asked me several questions about my characters and where they lived. I loved telling her about them. The people I’d imagined for years came to life. I walked away with a feeling of peace. The blessings continued. One of the ladies I sat with at lunch checked to see how the interview went. She did not know me until we ate lunch together. Yet, she cared enough to see how my appointment went. God's people are amazing. I walked away from the conference blessed in ways that I never dreamed.

In all of this wonder-filled experience, I can’t forget the people who prepared the conference, those who prayed for me for weeks or my husband who chauffeured me to Indy and back. We had a great time. Without a doubt I would love to do this again.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

ACFW Conference, Here I Come

This is it. I have less than a week to complete everything I need for the ACFW Conference. As much as I wish I could attend all three days, I'm grateful I will be surrounded by authors, editors, agents, and new friends all day Saturday. 

The prayer warriors for my writing journey have been praying for me. They've lifted voices to God for everything from my confidence to my printer working, and every time I feel God moving. He's provided me with the funds, the time to prepare, a super supportive husband, an amazing critique group and so much incredible support from the ACFW first-timers loop.

As I finish the preparations, I trust God to continue to guide me. I know that I've chosen the editors and agents I'd like to meet, but He knows who I will meet. I pray that I show a good first impression, but He knows that I seek a humble heart. I'm excited about the classes I get to take. He knows what I need to learn. I pray that I get out of my own way and follow the One who knows what's best for me.

 Looking forward to a wonderful day with awesome people.