It's Tuesday already? So not fair. Honestly I could have done another two days easy. So, here is my recap--I ask in advance that you forgive me for not linking--it takes too long and I've already spent a couple hours at work catching up with the e-mail that piled up (disclaimer: I don't get paid and I'm sleeping with my boss so I can take such liberties. I do not recommend that you take advantage of your employer in this way--or that you sleep with him for privileges unless you are legally and lawfully married to him/her.)
Before leaving home I set up a treasure hunt for Breanna (also called Jeanie on this blog, but since she's on facebook and linked to me I decided the pseudonym wasn't necessary any more) It was her 16th birthday that day and although we celebrated the night before and she was okay with my not being there, I felt aweful and thus the treasure hunt made me feel much better about myself. That's what it's all about, right? After setting it up I headed to Salt Lake where I picked up a case of books and headed to the airport. I picked up Nephele Tempest (prounounced Neffalee--not that I said it right all weekend, grrr) and we spent the next few hours touring Salt Lake. We went to Saltaire marina (thank you Wikipedia for teaching me all about Saltaire so I could sound like I knew my landmarks) and then we went to lunch with Lisa Mangum at The Garden and had deep fried pickles. Not bad. After that we toured Temple Square, then headed for Provo.
After getting early check-in (thank you Marriott!) I ran some errands, got checked into the hotel, helped put together syllabus binders and then went to dinner with Nephele Tempest (agent Knight agency), Laura Rennert (agent Andrea Brown), Krista Marino (editor Delacort), Annette Lyon, Heather Moore, Julie Wright (three of my favorite people in the world), Marion Jensen, Jeff Savage, and James Dashner. We went to Tucanos--a low-carb girls dream restaurant! and had a great time getting to know one another. After that it was back to the hotel, chat time with Heather and Annette who were my roomies for the evening and to bed.
Friday night was full of great conversation and camaraderie and just added to the high I'd been on all day. I worried I wouldn't sleep well that night, but I slept like a rock--apparently 14 hours straight of high energy takes it's toll. The next day was bootcamp again at 7:00 and then more pitches and another class, this one on Characterization where I told a particular story about myself that has been bugging me every since. Sigh. I talk too much. Anyway, I think it went pretty well and when it was over I was back to pitches again. When the pitches finally came to an end I had the chance to sit in on the entire agent/editor panel, which was awesome and the only class I was in for its entirety, and then it was time to break the party up and get ready for the Whitneys.
HERE. The picture of Stephanie is priceless.
The rest of the evening was wonderful. I was at a table with Brandon Mull, Lisa Mangum, Gerald Lund and his wife Lynn, and Chris Schobinger and his wife Jennifer. It was very cool to tell Elder Lund what an impact his books have had on me, specifically The Kingdom and the Crown series to which I attribute 75% of my understanding of the New Testiment. The speeches and acheivement tributes were amazing--reminding me of how powerful words can be and what a gift it is to serve by teaching, both through books and actually teaching skills and craft. I left feeling even more uplifted and validated in the area I've chosen to invest to much of my life within.
All in all it was a wonderful, fabulous weekend. A few other hightlights?
Hugs from Laura Elliot--she gives the best hugs ever and is just such a ray of sunshine in my life.
Luisa Perkins sharing with me her excitement to have had her manuscript requested. I laughed because she was telling me how the book was a dark, dark, dark YA thriller, and I couldn't get past the strand of pearls around her neck and little black dress she was wearing. That's what we call irony :-) But I was touched that she shared that with me--I admire her very much.
Kim Vanderhorst brought me Canadian candybars, which no longer exist. They were DIVINE and I was just so touched to be one of the people she thought of as she got ready to come to the confernece. I feel very out of touch with some of my favorite blog-writer-friends and was glad that she still has warm feelings toward me. And, it was Canadian chocolate, I mean THAT is love.
Shanda, Hillary, and Sheila with the LDS Women's Book Review podcast. They are phenomenal cheerleaders to have on the side of LDS fiction and I just love the opportunity to spend time with them.
Becky Clayson took second place in the First Chapter Contest! Becky has been in my writing group for four years and she's very talented but like many of us wonders if she can compete. Well, she can--I already knew that--but the judges validated that for her and I about shot out of my chair in excitement when they named her book.
Don Carey--one of Sadie's Test Kitchen Bakers--brought me guava jam! GUAVA! Is that not the coolest? He made it himself and brought it all the way from Texas. He's a class act and I'm glad to know him.
Stephanie Humphries and Margot Hovely also won and I was so very glad to hear their names announced. I'm sure I forgot some others, my apologies.
Rooming with Annette Lyon and Heather Moore is, as always, an absolute highlight. I just love those women so much and feel like I just soak up confidence and elegance by being in their presence.
I'm sure I'm missing many things and many people, forgive me, but know that I"ll remember later and feel like crap for forgetting in the first place so justice will be served. I'm already counting the days until next years conference and hope that if you didn't make it to this years, you'll be able to attend in 2011. It's worth the juggling it takes to get there, I swear it is.