All Star Authors Event

Last week’s post about updrafts, those key moments when your New Beginning gets a major boost from a circumstance or meeting, brought one for me with wonderful Starley Murray. On the exact day for our eight-year anniversary of losing everything in the wildfires of 2007, I was invited to a super author’s event in Los Angeles. It felt like time slowed down when I got to share our story and how I use all the challenges we’ve had to help others now.

I thought you’d like to come backstage to watch it happening!

Starley was so encouraging, and reminded me to bring items that would be helpful for the audience, but also said she had a surprise in store. When I arrived I found my picture on the banner and other items there, quite a boost right now.

I love being in a room full of authors, so many of whom also have amazing stories of survival and hope they want to convey. It was thrilling to discuss the upcoming website launch, resilient life work, and different ways of reaching today’s youth and families with great fiction.

Next week, we’ll explore how you Press Through The Net, those times when some big block to your dream lands right in front of you with a delay or detour. How do you handle those moments with grace and yet not give up your deepest desire? What is the one thing you MUST have in order to succeed?

More next week!

ACFW 2015 Writer’s Conference

Magical Moments

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.

Pre-conference fun with Brandilyn Collins and writer friends.

Pre-conference fun with Brandilyn Collins and writer friends.

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!

Meeting Francine Rivers with writer friends was a truly magical moment!

Meeting Francine Rivers with writer friends was a truly magical moment!

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.

Visiting with Cara Putman.

Visiting with Cara Putman.

DiAnn Mills is so encouraging.

DiAnn Mills is so encouraging!

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!

Bestselling Author Bill Myers encouraged all of us in our writing journey.

Bestselling Author Bill Myers encouraged all of us in our writing journey.

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.

Great seeing other young adult and middle grade authors!

Great seeing other young adult and middle grade authors!

Special visiting with Nadine Brandes. She makes you smile!

Special visiting with Nadine Brandes. She makes you smile!

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.

Wonderful meeting Mary Weber at the conference. She is amazing!

Wonderful meeting Mary Weber at the conference. She is amazing!

Dear friend Sara Ella at the awards banquet.

Dear friend Sara Ella at the awards banquet.

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!

My wonderful roommate Natalie Monk. She's a bit sneaky, though!

My wonderful roommate Natalie Monk.

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.

Visiting with Edie Melson was a huge highlight of the conference for me.

Visiting with Edie Melson was a huge highlight of the conference for me.

Have you ever met an author that influenced your life? I’d love to hear about it!