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. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Second Chances-a book review

By Julie & Mitch Kelly

Julie and Mitch Kelly have gone through a refining fire. They lost jobs, a home, material possessions and dignity. But worst of all, Mitch almost lost his life. Raised to walk by faith, Julie had stepped away from God. Mitch never knew God. But when life poured fire over them, they found out who really loved them, and that they had a second chance at life.

Their story touched me in both a personal way and as a reader. With honesty and open hearts, they shared how they moved from selfish ambition to stand in the presence of God as his saved servants. I know Julie and Mitch and many times prayed for them as Mitch’s health declined. I sat by his mom as she told us their circumstances and asked us to pray. To see how God touched their lives filled me with joy.  As a reader, I was reminded that everyday there are people who suffer and search, and when they seek the Father, they'll understand the power and love of God.

Read the brief account of Mitch and Julie’s journey to faith. You’ll find it both uplifting and a beautiful painting of the Lord’s love.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

ACFW Conference - sites in Indy

I’m looking forward to attending Saturday sessions of the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Indianapolis. Attendees have the opportunity to meet editors or agents, whoever God has in mind. I know I’ll meet some lovely writers who have a heart for encouragement and inspiration. I can’t wait to sit in classes taught by authors such as Deb Raney and Brandilyn Collins. Something I’ve learned, by attending conferences, is to take in the city where the event is hosted.

Recently, I visited Indianapolis with my daughter and her children. They have a fantastic Children’s Museum and a beautiful Zoo. The downtown area revolves around a prominent Civil War statue and fountain. Incredible art installations dot the quiet canal district. If you are attending the conference, take time to check out the city and enjoy.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman

Find a comfy chair, a cup of tea, and a box of chocolates and prepare to savor Winter in Full Bloom. Open the beautiful cover and enter a world filled with love, sorrow, frustration, anger, reconciliation and peace. Lyrical prose, filled with lively description, will carry you into Lily and Camille’s worlds. Enjoy a visit to the land down under as Anita introduces it with the expertise of a seasoned traveler.

When Lily discovers a family secret, she flies from Houston to Australia. The city of Melbourne comes to life as Lily ventures on her unexpected journey. This is not only a tale of family discovery; it’s also a story of love. When Lily meets the charming Marcus, she’s not sure whether to run to him or away from him. But he has a tragic story of his own to work through.

Winter in Full Bloom is an intricately woven story filled with flawed characters, incredible scenery and a lovely tribute to the arts. Curl up and enjoy this beautifully written book.

Visit Anita's web site at

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I Didn't Think I'd Ever Finish

When I started writing my novel, I didn't think I'd ever finish. Over the course of four years or so, I've penned more than 58,000 words and edited them at least six or seven times. I've lost count. Finally, I think I am at the point where I can say, I'm finished except for a bit of polish. 

The process reminded me a bit of spring cleaning, which I haven't done since I started writing. When I cleaned, I started with closets, pulling out everything, sorting and pitching. Gradually, I'd get to the room itself. And finally, I'd polish the furniture and mop or vacuum the floor. Creating a clean, organized place to live required work. But when it was finished, I loved the satisfied feeling. As I wrote my manuscript, I went through every chapter many times and rewrote, subtracted, added, and corrected. Again, I felt satisfied.  

When I cleaned, I needed tools. Garbage bags, cleaning supplies, dust cloths, vacuum cleaner, and mop to name a few. In my writing I also used tools. Sometimes,they weren't objects but people. Wonderful, helpful people. Aside from my computer and writing books, I had my critique group, first readers,beta readers and all the folks who helped and encouraged me. I can't forget my husband who not only encouraged, but helped me set aside time to write. 

Now, I need to prepare for the ACFW conference. I'll attend on Saturday and hopefully meet an agent or editor who believes in my story.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

National Lighthouse Day

Today is National Lighthouse Day~It was on this day in 1789, that Congress approved an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouse, beacons, buoys and public piers. In Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Act and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse, Congress passed a resolution which designated August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day.