Sunday, September 22, 2013

ACFW Conference 2013 -- Frank Peretti, James Scott Bell, and Robin Jones Gunn...Oh My!

The past week or so has been a huge blur to me. Before heading out to the ACFW Conference on September 12th, my good friend and writing buddy, Ane Mulligan flew into O'Hare on Tuesday and spent two nights with me.

We first went out for some Chicago style pizza at Lou Malnati's, and then on Wednesday I took her to Lake Geneva, WI, about an hour away, so she could see my hometown and setting for my book in person.
View of the Lobby from overhead ramp

We hit Indy on Thursday and got registered for the conference and settled in our room. A good part of that day was spent hanging out in the hotel lobby giving hugs, and having great conversations about writing.

Thursday night, we headed for P.F. Changs with several other authors for dinner. Dummy me, never brought out my camera
Robin Jones Gunn

The next day Robin Jones Gunn gave the first of her two keynote addresses. I have never heard Robin speak before, but I hope it won't be the last time I do. So encouraging, so insiteful, so uplifting. So transparent.

Me Dressed as my Character with Ane Mulligan
That night, people could dress as their character from their book. What a hoot to see all the different outfits from all times in history and even the future from the speculative gang. I dressed as Meg Alden, my heroine from my 1933 historical romance,  Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Just two weeks earlier, I'd found the coolest hat from that time period in a consignment shop in downstate IL. That hat was the hit of the evening.

Saturday I spent the whole day in James Scott Bell's Quantum workshop on setting the plot for your story. An awesome instructor. I had to leave a couple times for editor or agent appointments, and I really hated to step out.

Saturday night my Penwrights critique group went to an Irish Pub that has been featured on the Food Network and had a great time.

Sunday was more editor and agent appointments, and I ended up playing hooky from the workshops I'd signed up for. I am getting the recordings and will listen to those. So much great teaching I can't wait to hear them all.

Another highlight for most everyone was meeting author Frank Peretti in person. Frank was the recipient of this year's ACFW Life Achievement Award. He spent the entire weekend hanging out and having his picture taken with just about everyone, including me!
Frank Peretti & Me at the Gala

Sunday night was the Awards Gala and my role as Genesis Head Coordinator gave me the huge blessing of being able to announce our nine category winners and give them their award plaques! What a joy to meet most of them in person and see their smiling faces when I announced their names.

Monday, I returned home exhausted, but praising God for yet another glorious ACFW conference.

Hopefully, in the near future I can report some news here, but for now it's all in God's hands. I can't think of a better place to be.