For those of you who don’t know (which was totally me four years ago—ACFWhat??), ACFW stands for American Christian Fiction Writers. Anyway, I spent the better part of last week attending their annual conference—held in Dallas this year—where a group of about a thousand people like me convened to learn more about the craft of writing. We hang out with one another. We chat. We brainstorm. We keep each other from fainting right before agent/editor meetings. We act like we’re all normal, in complete denial that each one of us spends a good part of every day conversing with strange voices in our heads. Sometimes even out loud.
I’ve been known to argue with my characters in the middle of my living room—threatening them to behave or risk me killing them off. It totally scares the kids.
Anyway, I love this time of year. I come home with new ideas. Ready to get back to work. Excited by the things to come. But also…I come home trying to remember what I learned from the classes I took. Because, just like high school…just like college, I’m really not good at paying attention. I walk into class with the best of intentions, sit at a desk, pull out my pen and paper, lean on my elbows for a closer view…
And I wish I could say my drifting was just limited to class. It never is. Two days into the conference, I realized I’d pretty much spaced through entire thing. So I started making a list. Thought I’d share that list with you now. It’s sorta in order, from beginning to end.
Weird conference thoughts, brought to you by me:
1. It is NOT my fault that my suitcase just fell onto that woman’s leg. One minute it was just sitting there while I checked into the hotel, and the next… Stop glaring at me, lady!
2. It should NOT take this long to run a credit card! Can’t I pay another way? In cash? In free coffee? In an impromptu rendition of Wind Beneath My Wings, sung Karaoke style—by me? Usually people throw pennies at me for it. This time should be no different.
3. Two roommates, two beds. One me, who thrashes in her sleep. I’m totally getting a rollaway.
4. You call this a bed? I swear, I just spent the night on a box spring mattress. Pretty sure if I turn around, you could see coil marks branded into my back.
5. My back hurts. So does my front. And don’t get me started on my head.
6. Everyone is wearing dress pants. Maybe my jeans and Converse weren’t such a great idea.
7. Half the group has changed into jeans. I’m a total trend setter. Tomorrow, I’m wearing my Nike gym shorts and Hot Topic hoodie.
8. Think anyone would notice if I took a nap during this class? Pretty sure I could do it with my eyes open. Just like last year.
9. I want lunch.
10. I want more cheesecake.
11. Is it considered poor taste to pull out my Kindle at dinner? The conversation is good, but I really want to find out what happens to Cage in the next chapter I’m reading. Must engage in witty banter. Must. Stop. Thinking. About. Kindle.
12. I like the name Cage.
13. Writing, writing, writing, blah, blah, blah. Can someone please, please talk about something else? Like the fact that How I Met Your Mother starts on Monday?
14. Asparagus for breakfast? Again? If we must eat healthy, can’t it be something that makes more sense? Like, Krispy Kreme?
15. These pants are uncomfortable.
16. I packed the wrong underwear.
17. My hair was NOT this big in my hotel room mirror! How did it grow so large? Have I been walking around like this? I look like a 50’s bouffant disaster. Like I belong in my mom’s yearbook.
18. Roommates, stop what you’re doing! I can’t find my hairspray!
19. These fluorescent lights are no help when applying make-up. Now, I look like a clown. Worse, a Kardashian.
20. Is it evil to skip worship service and head to Starbucks instead? Because all I can think about right now is, caffeine, chocolate, my bed, and the People Magazine shoved inside my suitcase.
21. I need Tylenol.
22. Or a margarita.
23. Time for my editor appointment. I think I might die. What if I throw up on her shoes?
24. She is soooo lucky I held that down. But, wait! If I told her how close I’d been to losing it, would she have offered me a book deal just by pure gratitude? Maybe I should ask for another appointment…
25. The awards banquet is tomorrow. It’s amazing how calm I am.
26. The awards banquet is tonight. I’m totally freaking out!!!!
27. Did they just announce my name? Mine? Are they sure??
28. I have to walk up there! I have to make a speech! I have to sound intelligent! Omigosh omigosh don’t trip omigosh omigosh don’t fall omigosh omigosh my family…my friends…follow me on Twitter…blah blah blah…what did I say?? WHAT DID I SAY???
29. I won? Are you kidding?? I won?
31. I won.
32. That was so much fun!!!!!
And that sums up my 2012 ACFW conference experience. I had a blast. I met old and new friends. And a lot of fun things happened. Someday soon, I’ll share them with you.
By the way, thanks for all your encouraging words on Facebook, Twitter, and email. Y’all really know how to make a girl feel special!
Have a great Monday!