Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday on the Writer's Alley-Cats and Pals Braggin' on God's Blessings

2016 ACFW was the conference I did't think I needed to attend this year. Talk about attitude. I confess, I was wrong. Completely and totally wrong. I'm so glad God knew what was best for me.

This was the gathering of 3-D friends. You know, the people you met on FB, have chatted with for hours, have seen their picture and were convinced you'd recognize in a crowd until they appeared one foot shorter than you expected. 

Meghan Gorecki

We heard their laugh rather than read LOL. We saw their smile complete with dimples rather than an emoji :).  We saw their aching heart, their bubbly spirit, their hopes and dreams and found them more vibrant than we thought. These 3D friends...are gems created by God.

So, my husband asked me what I liked most about the conference. How did I love it? (instead of like it) let me count the ways.... 

Ted Dekker
*Ted Dekker's key note messages. I must have talked about a half hour about Ted's strategy for writing from the heart. Hubby politely nodded not understanding what on earth I was talking about. I also told my sister, and my daughter, each had the same deer in the headlight response. That's okay. I understood.
*Allen Arnold's continuing education class--equally stirring. Dig deep into your soul. That is when the story will truly come to life. 
*Erin Healy's How to Think Like Your Editor. Powerful. Packed with tons of information helping writers understand the editing process and how we can edit our manuscripts.
*The Don't Lie to Me class taught by a forensic artist wowed me. These tips, facts, clues were not just for mystery writers. Every genre benefited from knowing how to accurate portray a character who is not telling the truth. Much more than body language. 

And these were only the tip of a magnificent iceberg conference. God blessed above and beyond what any attendee expected. 

Notable News: 

Krista's book, A Side of Love, is on sale for ninety-nine cents through Sunday. Click here.

FANTASTIC NEWS: Pepper was a Carol award finalist for her debut book: The Thorn Bearer. Click here. Pepper also says, "I had two editors request two manuscripts each and made some great contacts with Tyndale editors. I was reviewed by Romantic Times." We are also not surprised that she was swamped with raves about her books!!

Pepper and Mary

Mary received a request for a full manuscript and full proposal from an editor from Revell.

Casey and Sue (Mom)

Casey, director of the Carol Awards, presented the winners. Her mom, Sue Herringshaw was able to attend the Gala.  Casey says, "I survived." We knew you would. :)

Amy, Krista, Mary, Julia

Julia says, "I was able to connect with two women who had been mentors to me and get some new story ideas." I happen to also know that Julia interviewed a few VIPs for an article. Way to go Julia!

Matt and Nate came along to support Ashley.

Ashley says, " I had a full request from my dream publisher and a partial from another!! I am just so thankful for the time spent in community and encouragement among some of the dearest people in my life." Sounds like triple goodness, Ashley!!

Jessica Patch and Laurie Tomlinson

Laurie had a great time connecting. She signed a contract earlier this year. We are so excited about her new book! 

Angie's fabulous news was already shared!!!  CONTRACT!!

Amy and Krista

Amy claimed to be a lurker at the conference in her post yesterday. I beg to differ. She touched so many lives. Networked with writers. Shared her experiences. Laughed. And cheered for winners at the gala. To me, she gave a lot.

Ashley, Sarah Ladd, Courtney Walsh, and Cara

Cara whisked around, helping first timers and most likely a thousand other jobs during the conference. She is a multi-published author.

Now it's your turn! 

You didn't have to attend the conference to receive a blessing from God!

Let's do this! Share your blessing in the comment section.

Time to brag on what God did for us!

Let's fill the page with His blessings!!


Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

So happy for all the blessings on my Aleycats! 💜

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are an Alley Cat, too...and we are so excited that you are. How has God blessed you?

kaybee said...

I am blessed by sites like this. It really makes the difference between this and secular writing, and gently nudges me back to where I need to be.
Kathy Bailey

Julia M. Reffner said...

Oh, missing it all so this was nice to have the flashback and praise God once again for all my fellow cats!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Aww, this just makes me want to go back! Love it, Mary!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks, Kathy. The fun part of participating in this group of Alley Cats is each of us benefits like our Alley Pals, being nudged not only send back where we need to be, but deeper. Thanks so much!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I just loved talking with the writers at the conference. This year I reached out to the first timers, and wow...what a blessing. Such enthusiasm and drive. It was contagious!!

We praise God for you, too! Your interviews mean so much. You share the inside story many of us don't know. And, now...for your new manuscript. I'm going to love this journey with you.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Dallas bound, Ames! A year of fruitful writing in between. Planting good seed words in a garden of stories to be harvested in, hopefully 2017. Let's do this.

Amber Schamel said...

I was bummed that I didn't get to go to conference...especially since I didn't know why. It just felt like God said "no." I found out why later. We ended up taking a missions trip instead. The week of conference, my family and I were flying back from sharing the gospel with people in the Northwest. It was such a blessing and it equipped us to do more outreach in our local area as well.

As for ACFW...maybe next year. ;)

Unknown said...

Cara also met with me for a planning session! She's AMAZING!!!

My favorite part of ACFW is seeing the Alleycats and so many other people in 3D. Hands down FAVORITE!!!

Mary, as usual, you shine with encouragement!! You are so wonderful

Robin E. Mason said...

I attended vicariously through others—seeing all the great and fun pics, and all the great posts and comments!!! Makes me more determined to be ready next and attend for "realz"
See y'all then!!!

Anonymous said...

It was so great to meet you, Mary! <3 SO so blessed by also "lurking" at ACFW last week.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Talk about blessing, girl! A mission trip is so amazing! You are probably still living the memory. Years later I still am. I'm so happy you had that God opportunity!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Pepper, I was waiting for someone else to weigh in on Cara. Every time I saw her she was scurrying to another location...but always stopped for a quick how-ja-do.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I've been in those shoes Robin. But yah know, God blesses whether you attend or do something at home. God loves us when we are following His will. Sounds like you did :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Wowsers, what a joy to bump into you. You have such a contagious smile. I was so happy to get to chat with, and in person...3D style.

Jessica Kate said...

So wish I'd been there! Maybe next year.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I'll look for you, Jessica :)