Well I'm back and my brain is swimming with information. I've got so much I want to tell everyone. I think I talked my friend's ear off last night filling her in on all that happened.
The conference was beyond anything I could have ever imagined it would be. When I first walked into the conference area I was like a deer in headlights. oooh, that's a writing cliche' I learned I'm supposed avoid useing them. Oh well, I can't think of any other metaphor to use, or is simile? hmmmm.
Anyway, it was much bigger than I thought it would be. How I thought 600 women would be anything but big, I don't know. But it was BIG. I was nervous and scared and ALL alone. And I just knew I made a mistake in coming. All I could think was "What am I going to tell my husband if I ruin this opportunity?" It was not cheap to go and I couldn't bear to disappoint him.
So I squared my shoulders and went in determined to make the most of it. I sat down at a table and had dinner with women I didn't know. About half way through I realized that one of them was a very prominent literary agent. At that point I didn't even want to eat anything else for fear I would spill, or drop my fork, or look like a pig for eating to much, or God forbid choke or something. So I just sat there sipping my ice tea quietly and letting the condensation drip onto my lap, hoping by the time I got up it would be dry.
Then it started and I have to tell you it was like seeing your favorite celebrity. Just picture in your mind what famous person you'd like to see and how it would make you feel, and that was I was feeling. I felt like a 12 year old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. I even started to cry. I've been following most of them for about 3 years on their blogs and websites and to finally meet them in person was a big high for me.
But you want to know something? The women from Proverbs 31 Ministries were just as emotional as everyone in the audience was. They were hugging women and laughing and shaking hands and most importantly they were telling everyone in the audience how happy they were that they were there.
The entire weekend was like that. The women of Proverbs 31 Ministries said in the beginning of the conference that they were there for us, and they meant it. Not one of them didn't have time for a question, comment, picture or to pray.
Every speaker that took the stage during the general sessions gave a powerful message that made me want to become a better christian woman. I don't even know why I bothered to put make up on, it seemed every time I turned around I was crying. I couldn't even introduce myself to some of them because I would start to cry and couldn't even speak. Good Grief!
Each of the breakout sessions was informative. I have a notebook full of notes to help me get started writing.
The food was very good, not your typical banquet food. We had filet mignon Saturday night.
The hotel room was luxurious!
And the other woman in attendance were not like I expected. Many of them were there with there book proposals and had meetings with publishers and others were like me, needing to learn where to begin. But all of them were friendly. Women sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to relating to othere women. I didn't find that to be the case at all here. People genuinely wanted to know about you and your projects.
It's funny though, I don't know how many times someone asked me "What's your book about?" And I had to sheepishly say, "Well, I don't really have a book yet" or they would ask me "What is your message? or platform?" And again I would just pause and minute and then blabber on about what I thought my message was, or what I felt I wanted to try to do, but without a definately answer. It didn't matter though, people were gracious and encouraging and didn't make me feel like I shouldn't be there.
Most importantly God showed up for me in an amazing way this weekend.
Me, the ordinary woman who never went to college, and has fumbled her way into wanting to write. He was with me. I wasn't alone.
I felt his presence with me many times.
I heard his word speak straight to my heart.
And thank goodness I was there at the conference to hear it.
I have so much more to tell you about some of the speakers messages and my meeting with Cecil Murphey but I think I will spread it out over the next few days.
One of the things I learned is I need to start bringing people back to my blog more often as a way of getting my message out and gain a following, which means I need to post more often,
which means you will have to come back to tomorrow to hear more.