My brain still hums with the "I-overload" I experienced at this year's ACFW conference in Dallas:
Industry Information. . .
Ideas. . .
Interviews. . .
Inspiration. . .
and, thanks to all that great food--Insulin-Infusion.
Here are a few highlights:
Thursday. Thanks to road construction and stand-still traffic, I arrived at the conference site at 11:30--half an hour late for an agent appointment. From there, I went straight to a faculty orientation session, followed by the conference opening ceremonies.
I sat on an editor-panel discussion followed by a keynote address by James Scott Bell. That evening, Becky Germany and I led a "Late Night Chat" in which we gave participants an "Inside Look at Barbour." (A big thanks to all you published Barbour authors who gave input as well.)
OH! And I can't forget to give a shout-out to my dear husband, who had a dozen red roses waiting for me upon my arrival at the hotel in celebration of my birthday!
After the Late Night Chat ended at 10 p.m., I enjoyed the company of some of my longtime friends until the wee hours of the morning.
Friday. When I arrived at my assigned table for breakfast, only one empty chair remained. The rest were filled with my dearly beloved contracted mystery authors. We no doubt took the prize for the rowdiest table. Dana Mentink awarded me with a big honkin' plastic NOSE (in honor of her Finny's Nose series.) Then, I was able to sit in on one session of Colleen Coble's class, "The Suspense Thickens," before lunch.
After another great meal, I had the special treat of presenting author Cynthia Hickey (in front of around 500 of our writer friends) with a contract for her cozy mystery, FUDGE-LACED FELONIES. Becky Germany then shocked author Marcia Gruver with a three-book contract for her historical-romance series. What fun!
After we all recovered from the contract-presentation excitment, I headed into an afternoon of author/editor appointments. After our last appointments of the afternoon, Becky and I barely had time to load our boxes of goodies into Janelle Mowery's van and head over to Truluck's restaurant for our Barbour Author Appreciation dinner. Judging by the volume of chatter in our close-quarters room, I do believe a good time was had by all 45 of us.
If memory serves me correctly, I managed to get to sleep before 1 a.m., after visiting with friends new and old.
Saturday. After another mystery-author breakfast, I headed back to the Mezzanine level for a morning filled with author/editor appointments. After eight or so of these back-to-back, fifteen-minute sessions, I'm afraid my eyes began to glaze. However, my trance-like state was due only to sleep depravation, NOT lack of interest. So many great ideas under one roof! And I loved being able to talk writing and mysteries with folks who really understand my enthusiasm for these topics.
We had a short break from appointments in order to enjoy the huge book signing event, then it was back to the mezzanine for more one-on-one time with authors.
Among the highlights of the ACFW Annual Awards banquet were the many Barbour authors whose names appeared on the list of winners.
Go to the ACFW blog for a look at the names of those unpublished authors whose work received recognition. http://acfwconference.blogspot.com/2007/09/genesis-award-winners.html
I believe they'll be posting the Book of the Year award winners soon (for published authors).
After the banquet, a small group of friends held a surprise "intimate" shower for one of the gals who is getting married soon. This party turned into a heart-to-heart sharing time and I didn't get back to my room until 2:30 a.m. Poor Becky had to catch a 4:20 a.m. shuttle, so I tried really really hard to tiptoe and not disturb her as I plopped into bed. (I took my contacts out via the light from my cell phone.)
Sunday. We shared an awesome time of worship prior to the 11 a.m. dismissal of the conference. My husband--who had been to Kansas City and San Antonio during the three days I was attending conference and had flown to Dallas late Saturday night--arrived to pick me up in our son's Mustang soon after the sad farewells. I had the fun of introducing him to some of my cyber-pals before we headed out. That afternoon, I enjoyed watching my 4-year-old grandson, Kaden, play soccer and smothered his 2-year-old sister, Kinsley, with kisses. Then, yesterday (Monday) morning, it was up at 4 a.m. to catch a flight home to Ohio.
Just sign me--Sleep Deprived, but Riding High! Susan