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