Google+ Followers

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Conference Memories


Today is my day to post about Conference. I've been to all of them and want to share some of my memories with you.

Some of my most favorite memories occurred at ACRW/ACFW conferences. From meeting wonderful authors for the first time to being recognized by Debbie Macomber in her speech at breakfast on Sunday, lots of good things, funny things, and crazy things have happened to me as well as lots of others.

One year one of our members forgot to bring her underwear. I won’t mention any names, but she knows who she is. Right CW? I forgot my makeup one year and had to buy some EXPENSIVE stuff from the store in the hotel. Another year I left some of my clothes in a drawer in our room and my roommate had to mail them back to me. I’m glad she found them.

2002
The first conference in Kansas City was so much fun. It was small, even mini, by today’s standards, but we had a great time meeting and hugging each other. I met Linda Windsor the first day, fell in love with her, and decided I needed to read her books. I also met Tamela Hancock Murray who became my agent a few years later. No appointment, just sitting with her at the dinner table and remembering her wonderful smile.
Brandilyn MCed and did such a great job it became a permanent position. Karen Kingsbury was our keynote speaker and I learned so much about adding emotion to the plot. I was a finalist for the Noble Theme that year and that was exciting. Also met Rachel Hauck, Allison Wilson, Tiff Miller (and her Tiki Bird slippers), and Andrea Boeshaar. We shocked other guests with talk of WIPs, how to kill off a character and various other writing ideas. Some funny goings on happened in the café/bar in the hotel, but I wasn’t there and don’t want to spread rumors.

2003
In 2003 we met in Houston and I was on the Conference Committee and helped line up speakers and workshops. DiAnn Mills and I roomed together and were two of the busiest people at the conference. I met Jeanne Marie Leach who headed up the bookstore and fell in love with her and the same with Kim Sawyer. Deb Raney and Brandilyn Collins had a competition going that really livened things up, and Anita Higman won the hog calling contest. The night before the conference began, I hosted a dinner at my home for a number of those who had come in early. Kristy Dykes was one of the guests, and I liked her immediately. Her warm, southern charm really grabbed me. Robin Lee Hatcher was our keynote speaker and she did a magnificent job. On Sunday she had an alter call for those wanting prayer. ACRW leaders were at the front to pray with us, and Patty Hall prayed with me. I’ll never forget it.

2004
We were off to Denver and Francine Rivers as our keynote. I had met Francine in Tulsa years before and she is a wonderful person to know. Colleen Coble was named our first Mentor of the Year and that is when the great announcement about our name change was made. We became American Christian Fiction Writers so we could include all genres of Christian Fiction. Again I served as a volunteer and worked in the bookstore and hosted several workshops. That’s one of the most things about conference. If you can, volunteer.

2005
Some of my most favorite memories occurred at ACRW/ACFW conferences. From meeting wonderful authors for the first time to being recognized by Debbie Macomber in her speech at breakfast on Sunday, lots of good things, funny things, and crazy things have happened to me as well as lots of others.
One year one of our members forgot to bring her underwear. I won’t mention any names, but she knows who she is. Right CW? I forgot my makeup one year and had to buy some EXPENSIVE stuff from the store in the hotel. Another year I left some of my clothes in a drawer in our room and my roommate had to mail them back to me. I’m glad she found them.
2002
The first conference in Kansas City was so much fun. It was small, even mini, by today’s standards, but we had a great time meeting and hugging each other. I met Linda Windsor the first day, fell in love with her, and decided I needed to read her books. I also met Tamela Hancock Murray who became my agent a few years later. No appointment, just sitting with her at the dinner table and remembering her wonderful smile.
Brandilyn MCed and did such a great job it became a permanent position. Karen Kingsbury was our keynote speaker and I learned so much about adding emotion to the plot. I was a finalist for the Noble Theme that year and that was exciting. Also met Rachel Hauck, Allison Wilson, Tiff Miller (and her Tiki Bird slippers), and Andrea Boeshaar. We shocked other guests with talk of WIPs, how to kill of a character and various other writing ideas. Some funny goings on happened in the café/bar in the hotel, but I wasn’t there and don’t want to spread rumors.

2003
In 2003 we met in Houston and I was on the Conference Committee and helped line up speakers and workshops. DiAnn Mills and I roomed together and were two of the busiest people at the conference. I met Jeanne Marie Leach who headed up the bookstore and fell in love with her and the same with Kim Sawyer. Deb Raney and Brandilyn Collins had a competition going that really livened things up, and Anita Higman won the hog calling contest. The night before the conference began, I hosted a dinner at my home for a number of those who had come in early. Kristy Dykes was one of the guests, and I liked her immediately. Her warm, southern charm really grabbed me. Robin Lee Hatcher was our keynote speaker and she did a magnificent job. On Sunday she had an alter call for those wanting prayer. ACRW leaders were at the front to pray with us, and Patty Hall prayed with me. I’ll never forget it.

2004
We were off to Denver and Francine Rivers as our keynote. I had met Francine in Tulsa years before and she is a wonderful person to know. Colleen Coble was named our first Mentor of the Year and that is when the great announcement about our name change was made. We became American Christian Fiction Writers so we could include all genres of Christian Fiction. Again I served as a volunteer and worked in the bookstore and hosted several workshops. That’s one of the most things about conference. If you can, volunteer.

2005
We met in Nashville and Janice Thompson was my roommate. She didn’t feel well. Mama Martha made sure she had enough rest and ate properly. Karen Ball was great as usual. Who can forget “It’s all good” or “I have a castle.” We had a scare the last day when her father was taken ill and went by ambulance to the hospital. Right before my editor’s appointment, Kim Sawyer prayed with me. All of our conferences offer a prayer room, and it’s a wonderful place to go to unwind and communicate with the Lord. Volunteers are there to pray with you if need them or want them. On the last day Meredith Efken drove up in her new convertible and we had lunch with Stuart and Tiff when they were friends before lovers.

2006
Dallas was the destination for 2006. Sydney Zech, our Conference Director, did a wonderful job of organizing everything for us. Liz Curtis Higgs was our keynoter and taught us all to say “Ta Da” in front of our mirrors. The Barbour dinner on Thursday night was hilarious with Anita Higman and Janice Thompson cooking up a skit to introduce Barbour’s new Cozy Suspense line.

2007
We stayed in Dallas this year and had a great time as James Scott Bell made us laugh as well as think about our writing. My good friend Linda Kozar was named Mentor of the Year. Kathleen, Janice, and Linda drove up with me and we had a blast when we stopped in Fairfield and had lunch with Eleanor Clark and found fodder for a book in the local newspaper.


2008
We went to Minneapolis. My greatest thrill happened before the conference when my friends banded together and made it possible for me to attend. Angela Hunt shared her wisdom with us as keynote speaker, and Brandilyn once again did a great job as MC. What a wonderful time that was with the Book Signing in the Mall of the Americas. I got to sit by Cynthia Ruchti. I was leaving an appointment and heard the busses were boarding to go to the mall so I ran to get on. Got there for the book signing with NOTHING!!! No chocolates, no bookmarks, no postcards, and one copy of my book. Very dull book signing for me. After the banquet on Saturday night, Linda brought out a beret and we all had our turn at being Mary Tyler Moore tossing her hat. Janice was named Mentor of the year.

2009
We were back in Denver last year and Donald Maas led the early bird. Debbie Macomber entertained us with stories of her writing journey. This was an exciting conference because I had just signed a three book contract with Strang. Then on Sunday morning, Debbie used me as an example in her presentation. Donita Paul was named Mentor of the Year. The book signing stretched up and down the hallways and on to the other side of the lobby. The walk from my room to where we had meals was the longest I’ve ever seen.

Meeting and getting to know “Mama” Ruth, seeing Chip McGregor in his kilts, Deb and Brandilyn’s “feud”, getting to meet face to face with Tamela, and old friends are things I will never forget about conference. All the wonderful workshops help me to improve and grow as a writer. Thanks ACFW.We met in Nashville and Janice Thompson was my roommate. She didn’t feel well. Mama Martha made sure she had enough rest and ate properly. Karen Ball was great as usual. Who can forget “It’s all good” or “I have a castle.” We had a scare the last day when her father was taken ill and went by ambulance to the hospital. Right before my editor’s appointment, Kim Sawyer prayed with me. All of our conferences offer a prayer room, and it’s a wonderful place to go to unwind and communicate with the Lord. Volunteers are there to pray with you if need them or want them. On the last day Meredith Efken drove up in her new convertible and we had lunch with Stuart and Tiff when they were friends before lovers.

2006
Dallas was the destination for 2006. Sydney Zech, our Conference Director, did a wonderful job of organizing everything for us. Liz Curtis Higgs was our keynoter and taught us all to say “Ta Da” in front of our mirrors. The Barbour dinner on Thursday night was hilarious with Anita Higman and Janice Thompson cooking up a skit to introduce Barbour’s new Cozy Suspense line.

2007
We stayed in Dallas this year and had a great time as James Scott Bell made us laugh as well as think about our writing. My good friend Linda Kozar was named Mentor of the Year. Kathleen, Janice, and Linda drove up with me and we had a blast when we stopped in Fairfield and had lunch with Eleanor Clark and found fodder for a book in the local newspaper.


2008
We went to Minneapolis. My greatest thrill happened before the conference when my friends banded together and made it possible for me to attend. Angela Hunt shared her wisdom with us as keynote speaker, and Brandilyn once again did a great job as MC. What a wonderful time that was with the Book Signing in the Mall of the Americas. I got to sit by Cynthia Ruchti. I was leaving an appointment and heard the busses were boarding to go to the mall so I ran to get on. Got there for the book signing with NOTHING!!! No chocolates, no bookmarks, no postcards, and one copy of my book. Very dull book signing for me. After the banquet on Saturday night, Linda brought out a beret and we all had our turn at being Mary Tyler Moore tossing her hat. Janice was named Mentor of the year.

2009
We were back in Denver last year and Donald Maas led the early bird. Debbie Macomber entertained us with stories of her writing journey. This was an exciting conference because I had just signed a three book contract with Strang. Then on Sunday morning, Debbie used me as an example in her presentation. Donita Paul was named Mentor of the Year. The book signing stretched up and down the hallways and on to the other side of the lobby. The walk from my room to where we had meals was the longest I’ve ever seen.

Meeting and getting to know “Mama” Ruth, seeing Chip McGregor in his kilts, Deb and Brandilyn’s “feud”, getting to meet face to face with Tamela, and old friends are things I will never forget about conference. All the wonderful workshops help me to improve and grow as a writer. Thanks ACFW.


3 comments:

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar said...

I have had some of the times of my life at the ACRW/ACFW Conferences!

Anonymous said...

This year will (I hope) be my very first ACFW conference and I can see that I have a LOT to look forward to - thanks for sharing your memories of past conferences and providing a glimpse of what to expect.

Jan Marie said...

Anonymous said...
This year will (I hope) be my very first ACFW conference and I can see that I have a LOT to look forward to - thanks for sharing your memories of past conferences and providing a glimpse of what to expect.


Hmmm... not quite sure why this comment was listed as being submitted by "Anonymous" - this was my comment and should have reflected my name on it. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated your overview of what to expect from the conference.

Jan Marie