Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ACFW - Conference Indianapolis - 2013 _ RECAP_

Have I got a story for you. . .

Nope this isn't a pitch - this is all about real-life connections I made in Indianapolis, IN Sept 12-16, 2013

I'd start from the very first thing and go to the last - but you'll be blind from reading the print by the time we're through the entire post - I've asked God to give me highlights to share with  you. . .sigh. . .still gonna take a very long blog post to get it all out there.

Might just have to do this outline style - BORING - but effective? Ah. . .I know. . .better yet. . .Let's do a post per day and use each of the days at conference as separate posts. Some posts will by virtue of the amount of things crammed into a particular day,  be longer than others. There are some days I have LOTS of pics and some days I didn't take many - if any. With a tremor in my left hand too bad to hold a camera for candid shots any more, I missed some terrific things I could use to blackmail dear ACFWers. I'm pretty sure.

 I'm going to give you readers what writers call an INFO DUMP - yes -  DREADED BACKSTORY  -  NOT APPROVED BY AGENTS OR EDITORS - and as a Critter - I SHOULD Know better than most. . .but it gives you what you'll need to understand the rest of the posts to come this week and why the weekend became so much more to me than pitches and workshops.

APRIL 2013
All the goals were on target for the year leading up to Conference 2013 in Indianapolis. I’d entered the Genesis Contest, I’d written the first 1/3 of my second novel in my INTENDED FOR HER TRILOGY, managed to have a proposal written for the first story and a Sell-sheet for it, and was preparing to teach a workshop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My CRITIQUES BY JOY business was booming and had received one of the nicest Critter-Compliments a professional critter could possible desire – especially unsolicited- and the author was generous with a full paragraph on the Acknowledgment Page stating I was a great help to her as a writer and how much she appreciated what I’d done. My head and heart swell with all she said. Hmmmm - PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FALL?????

MAY - Sept 2013
            The bottom dropped out of my world within the first couple weeks. I won’t bore you with all the things that hit me over the head that month, but I didn’t meet my writing goal for May by a very very long way, and that was just the last straw in the stack of physical, emotional, spiritual and even mental irritants. Even recognizing I’d hit a ditch under spiritual attack and knowing how to pray about it, didn’t give me the umph I needed to climb out of the slippery gully. It seemed someone was at the edge of it pushing back every time I got above that muddy lip.
            When my husband, who'd not been my biggest supporter when it came to writing and critiquing (often calling me obsessed with the computer), saw what was going on, he prayed with me, asked me if I intended to give up, and then calmly – but firmly – stated, “You’re going to that ACFW Conference this year if I have to find a way to pay for it and drive you there and back myself.”
            The following week he brought home a sales bonus check – the largest he’s ever received at one time – and handed it to me. He told me to put it in my writing fund and register for the ACFW Conference. Once I’d followed through with that, he put in for two vacation days. The first to take me and another writer on Thursday, Sept 12th to Indianapolis and the second to go get us and bring us home on Monday, Sept 16th.  I worked hard on critiques and redid my one-sheets with the graphics and layout help of Crystal Barnes in exchange for some critique work for her.
             Getting ready for the conference, keeping up with some extra critique work for others, planning to pitch in Indy, and trying to polish my first book of a trilogy, kept me hopping, and heat and humidity took a huge toll on me physically over the summer months.
            Just as I saw things coming together for the conference, my dearest informed me his vacation days had been taken away. His boss was to have a knee replacement the week before the Indianapolis conference, and Jerry had to be at the store to help prepare for the county fair exhibit and work in his boss’s place, both at the store and at the fair grounds. That meant I had to get a rental car, and I managed to finally get that money together.          
            Whew, I was going to make it. Then, two and a half weeks before I was to leave for Indianapolis our five-year-old, five-pound Yorkie, Otis, got gravely ill. Nearly hemorrhaged to death. By the time I saw he was sick (evidently had been bleeding internally for some time), called and got him into the vet, he’d dehydrated drastically as well. He spent thirty hours in Doggie ICU, and before I could take him home I had to pay the money I’d saved for the rental car, part of the hotel bill and the gas money just to get him out the door. That was a bit scary since our budget couldn't afford to use a credit card to pay for anything. I managed to reserve the hotel room and the car rental with our credit card, but fully intended to pay cash at each place when I was done.

SEPT 12, 2013
         And then it was time to pick up the rental car, meet my passenger, Peggy Bennitt, a fellow-state-chapter member at my house and load our things before leaving. Packing the car with ALL the extras I'd promised different ACFW members I'd haul so they didn't have to try to check special bags or try to get foodstuffs through Security, took up plenty of room. A large cooler and a medium suitcase with my printer for those who'd not want to try to carry One-sheets, Proposals, Sample chapters and the like. Our mid-sized car was plenty full.
       We managed an uneventful, good trip to Indy with only one stop in a five hour trip. NOT BAD for this woman who normally has to stretch the leg muscles every couple hours. The Lord granted good travels and our conversation was fantastic fun. 
       Our arrival at the HYATT REGENCY INDIANAPOLIS was nearing five o'clock in the evening and our Valet checkin, the Room registration check-in, and even with a fifteen minute window to claim our Registration packet, it all went flawlessly and we headed with the luggage cart and a great bellhop first to Peggy's room to drop off her belongings and then on to my room to drop me and my belongings. It was as smooth as any check-in I've ever experienced. I'd been in my room all of five minutes and got a call from Crystal Barnes, then one from Jodie Wolfe, my room mate, informing me her flight had been cancelled due to a lightning strike to the airport tower in Baltimore, MD. She didn't think she'd get in until Friday mid afternoon and that disappointed us both.
       Then I received a call from Lena Nelson Dooley, one of my goody recipients expecting me with her packet. We made plans for later evening and Crystal came to meet me for our group blog dinner at Johnny Rockets - a 50s diner on the mall connected to the Hyatt by a skywalk.



Crystal L Barnes said...

I know you told me, but I didn't realize how big of a blessing your hubby's response was. Wow! I know that blessed your socks off. :)

I'm so glad I got to meet you in Indy. You're truly a beautiful blessing.

journeystojoy.net said...

Thanks, Crystal.
Meeting you has given new meaning to the ENERGIZER BUNNY INCOGNITO - girl you have more bounce to your few ounces of weight than any one woman deserves - can you share?
Love you bunches and appreciate your friendship very much!

journeystojoy.net said...

OK - I've gained FOUR followers but not one of you has left a comment with your email address so I can send you the book list to choose your free book.

You don't all four think you've won - do you? ';D

FESS UP - who was no. 100?

Jillian Kent said...

I'm so glad you got to attend ACFW this year, Joy. I'll be listening to it on the flash drive they are selling and hoping to pick up some extra writing tips, encouragement, and inspiration. Love listening to you share about your experience.



journeystojoy.net said...

It was an amazing experience - I'll always hold St Louis 2011 as top bar for now, but I did have another GOD CONNECTION that will have to last me till Conference 2014 as it can only happen in just that way at those places in time ';D

I look forward to meeting you in person this side of Heaven at some gathering such as an ACFW Conference in the future, Jill.
Super hugs and Mighty prayers for you and your writing projects.

journeystojoy.net said...

Still waiting to hear who Follower no. 100 was - I have a book for you!

There have been six new people signed up to follow Journeys to Joy this week and I need to know which of you was first. PLEASE - I really want to give you a FREE book. . .