Hello, all. I am finally home and slowly coming out of the travel fog. I averaged about 4.5 hours of sleep for the week I was gone. Fortunately, we were staying in an Embassy Suites so I wasn’t too hard on my roommate. For two nights, we had a third roomie, staying on the sofa bed. She had to suffer from my early morning appearances.
The Christian novelist retreat was the best ever. The theme that God wove through the entire thing was about writing through out suffering and pain, about how God sometimes blesses us with suffering and it is in that night of the soul that many of us will find our greatest stories. I was stirred again and again with the words that others shared.
I had someone (a reviewer, I think) come up to me at the Christy Awards to tell me how much she liked my blog. See, we never know who is reading us when we post our thoughts on-line.
The ICRS (International Christian Retailers Show) was exhausting with some great moments and some rotten moments. That’s kind of standard for a convention. I met with three of my editors, twice accompanied by my agent, plus I had a lunch meeting with my agent alone. I signed copies of Veterans Way in the Revell booth and copies of Loving Libby in the Zondervan booth. I chatted with a sales rep from WaterBrook who used to have Idaho as part of his territory (when I wrote my books for them). I did a couple of interviews with the media.
So here are a few photos (my apologies if I mess up the titles of their books; I’m not taking the time to look them up):
At right is the drama team who performed on Sunday morning. From left to right: James Scott Bell (Sins of the Fathers), Tom Morrisey (Deep Blue), Robin Lee Hatcher, Tamera Alexander (Rekindled), and Brandilyn Collins (Dead of Night). Missing from the photo is Nancy Moser (Sister Circle).
At left, that’s me in my full western attire. It was hotter than you-know-where on that roof where they served dinner. I was dressed in a summer sweater, leather jacket, and heavier-than-regular-Levis jeans (appropriate for air conditioned banquet halls where I normally freeze in the summer) and absolutely dying from the temps in the mid-90’s!!
Highlights of the convention…
I got to play the fan. I was in the Tyndale hospitality suite when Randy Alcorn (dear friend) walked in with Charles Colson. I screwed up the courage and went over and asked to be introduced, which Randy kindly did. Mr. Colson shook my hand, and I told him how much How Now Shall We Live? had affected me when I read it.
Later, on the convention floor, I saw worship leader Don Moen standing in the middle of an area without lots of people or booths. So I went up and introduced myself to him and got to shake his hand and visit with him for several minutes. I think I may own every CD of Don Moen’s worship music, and one of his songs is the theme song for my life and my writing:
All that I am, all that I have, I lay them down before You, O Lord. All my regrets, all my acclaim, the joy and the pain, I’m making them Yours. Lord, I offer my life to You. Everything I’ve been through. Use it for Your glory. Lord, I offer my days to You. Lifting my praise to You, as a pleasing sacrifice. Lord, I offer You my life.
There is another verse, but that gives you a taste.
This morning, in a state of complete exhaustion still, I dumped an entire coffeepot full of water onto myself and the kitchen floor. I was supposed to be turning the basket upright with my right hand and instead I turned the full pot of water upside down with my left. It took me about five minutes to figure out why I did what I did (other than just being a complete klutz!).
Bill paying and laundry and writing awaits me.