A Writer’s Conference, Friends Old and New, and More Selfies than You Can Shake a Stick At

CWCO_live_smMeet and greet: that was the name of the game at the Catholic Writers Guild Live Conference last week. (It’s called a Live Conference because there’s also an online version in the spring!)

I started right off meeting and greeting as I filled in at the registration desk, stuffing bags and checking in a few authors. My first conference selfie wound up being photobombed.

At the registration desk with Janet Willett. Photobomb courtesy of Ron O'Gorman.
At the registration desk with Janice Willett. Photobomb courtesy of Ron O’Gorman.

Why the selfies? There was a contest. That started off being just for fun, but then there were prizes!

2015-07-21 16.01.15
With Ellen Gable Hrkach, author and owner of Full Quiver Publishing, in the Trade Show booth.
2015-07-21 16.24.47
With the “Paper Pope” and volunteer coordinator Rebecca Willen. The folks at OSV were holding the “Welcome Pope Francis” sign.
2015-07-21 17.00.36
With @datechguyblog, a Catholic radio show host–who rocked the hat.

I am terrible at selfies, but it was fun.

More meeting and greeting continued at the Tuesday-night ice cream social. I got to meet my boss, Lisa Hendey of CatholicMom.com, who declared that I’m shorter than I appear on the Internet. Yes, before Tuesday, I had never met my boss or even spoken with her over the phone. Internet magic!

Unleashed-Book-Club-800-CatholicMom.com-copy-400x400@2x

I got to meet authors and an editor at breakfast the next day. I wished I’d brought along my copy of Unleashed so Sonja Corbitt could have signed it. I suppose a hug will have to do.

With Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB and Erin McCole-Cupp, OP.
With Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB and Erin McCole-Cupp, OP.

I participated in a panel discussion on third-order religious life with Benedictine Oblate Margaret Rose Realy and Lay Dominican Erin McCole-Cupp.

The conference theme was Perseverance, and I listened to two excellent presentations on that theme.

From Pat Gohn:

God’s steadfast love is the basis for our perseverance.

From Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB:

Schedules matter; if you’re consistently off-schedule that means your plan isn’t realistic.

So true. I know all about unrealistic plans.

I enjoyed lunch with Lisa, worked a couple of shifts at the Trade Show booth where I answered questions about what the Catholic Writers Guild does and recommended some of my favorite books by Guild authors.

The Wednesday dinner table included me, one kids’ fiction writer, two sci-fi writers, one horror writer, one poet, one Sherlock Holmes fanfic writer and two fiction writers. I’ll leave the conversation topics to your imagination and promise that it was even more outrageous than that.

With (rear) Nancy Ward, Lisa Mladinich, Pat Gohn, Karee Santos, Lisa Hendey, Leticia Velasquez, (front) Jeff Young (the Catholic Foodie) and Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB.
With (rear) Nancy Ward, Lisa Mladinich, Pat Gohn, Karee Santos, Lisa Hendey, Leticia Velasquez, and (front) Jeff Young (the Catholic Foodie) and Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB.

Thursday’s breakfast banquet offered an opportunity to meet some of the wonderful CatholicMom.com authors I work with. The only drawback: there was a banquet speaker, so we had to eat quietly and listen, but all we wanted to do was visit with each other!

My St. Francis "bag booster." It's even more gorgeous in person!
My St. Francis “bag booster.” It’s even more gorgeous in person!

I met an illustrator and was asked for feedback on her manuscript. I chatted with a bookstore owner about the need for good Catholic books for kids. I did a little shopping–got a St. Francis “bag booster” from CatholicArtWorks.com, a neat family business where Mom does the art and the teenage daughters do custom and unique beadwork. No two bag boosters are alike! And these are not cheesy plastic. That stained-glass piece is heavy and sturdy.

Tiny Nativity in a pottery "stable"--it fits in the palm of my hand!
Tiny Nativity in a pottery “stable”–it fits in the palm of my hand!

This little Nativity came from Ole Peru Imports. She had Nativity scenes of all sizes from Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. All are handmade and unique.

With notebooks by Jen Norton, illustrator. Her artwork is even more beautiful in person.
With notebooks by Jen Norton, illustrator. Her artwork is beautiful and unique.

And I purchased two notebooks from Jen Norton, who did the cover art for Sarah Reinhard’s Word by Word book, for which I was a participating author.

I met so many people whose work I admire, and so many others whose work I’m just beginning to know. It was a wonderful event!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “A Writer’s Conference, Friends Old and New, and More Selfies than You Can Shake a Stick At

  1. Hi Barbara — it’s Lois Rogers at The Monitor — I’m putting together page 2 and want to feature your blogs in our Log On Section — since you’re a Jersey girl could you share generally where you live (town or county is fine) — name of school where you volunteer would be nice but not necessary if you don’t want to. Thanks. I enjoyed both of the blogs

    Like

    1. Hi Lois–I’m humbled that you wish to add my blogs to your feature! Thank you so much! I am from Delran, NJ and volunteer at St. Charles Borromeo School in Cinnaminson, where my son is a student. I work as editorial consultant at Catholicmom.com. Thanks again!

      Like

    1. I really, really, really hope I can do the same! Chicago will be more of a budget stretch than NJ was, since I only live 65 miles from the conference site this year.

      Like

  2. I really need to join CWG, and I hope I can come to the next one! Also, LOVE this:

    “Schedules matter; if you’re consistently off-schedule that means your plan isn’t realistic.”

    I need to take that to heart, and remember that my kind of busy might be really different from another person’s busy. 🙂

    Like

    1. I hope you do join! There’s an online conference coming up in March and a really active Facebook group for members. Definitely worthwhile.

      Like

Golden Rule of commenting: be charitable!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s