Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Part Two
So what happens when Dorothy gets to fly beyond the rainbow? One Dorothy met a band of new friends, squeezed into a pair of sparkly shoes and followed a yellow brick road to adventure. For this Dorothy the story is similar. (Ok, indulge me here a little.)
I must admit, a pair of ruby slippers would have been a fabulous welcome to the 2010 ACFW conference in Indianapolis, but I won't complain, as a lanyard with my name and details, set the mood with equal flair. Tucked inside the zippered pouch, I slipped my meal tickets and the fluro pink note with my editor and agent appointment times. Yes folks, I was on my way to meet some very special people.
Writing giants roamed the halls and foyer, mingling with old friends and generously embracing new ones. Squeals of recognition and rapturous delight announced the arrival of delegates, some like me, who had come to met their writing buddies for the first time.
The pleasure of spying and then being introduced to some of the voices of Christian fiction never got old. Names like Kim Vogel Sawyer, Cindy Woodsmall, Tracie and Jim Peterson, and Kaye Dacus, came alive, as Facebook friends reached out to become kindred spirits.
During the 3 day conference, I discovered firsthand the generosity of established, multipublished writers, who remember what it's like to step into the world of writing with a heart full of dreams. Their encouragement to persevere and work diligently built upon the teaching of mentors, craftsmen and craftswomen, who taught workshops and presented seminars. By the halfway mark of the weekend, I found myself like the much talked about teacup, struggling to cope with a deluge of information delivered by fire hose.
Thankfully, my roomie, the gorgeous Jalana Franklin from Tennessee, listened while I tried to unpack all the wisdom about to topple me over, and together we sifted through each day's golden nuggets.
We worked late into the night, tweaking the stories of our hearts until plots fell into place and characters matched themselves with just the right name and motivation.
Exhausted but happy, I couldn't believe we never managed lights out before 1:30 am and with the alarm set for 5:30 we slept soundly, like we'd been tucked into a field of poppies in the shadow of the great Emerald city. For that is where I was headed in the morning - to meet with the wonderful world of editors and agents ... in a land that I'd heard of... once in a lullaby.