Well, I did it! Who would’ve thought it? Certainly, not I.

I’ve just returned from the Florida Christian Writers Conference at Lake Yale, just outside of Orlando. It was truly a great opportunity and one for which I am so thankful.

Everything came together in the last month making the unbelievable, possible, for me! God is opening doors and I’m continuing to walk through them…amazed at His leading.

I took the advice of a literary agent friend who blogged saying all conferees should leave their ‘introvert’ at home. You see, most writers are heavy on the side of being an introvert, and rarely lean toward being an extrovert.

Ooooh. That’s a tough one, but I did it! I didn’t allow my introvert to show up in Florida, at all! I rather like it when she’s packed away!

I had a prayer team of friends supporting me from around the country, and I remain so thankful. My confidence and poise (as an extrovert!) were a definite answer to prayer! You know who you are – thanks! You’re the BEST!

As a people-watcher, I found great delight in those who attended. Brightly colored, unique fashion. Eccentric fashion. And, even multi-colored hair – turquoise, lavender, pink, and more! What a hoot! I loved it all!

Hours and hours of intensive training. Great one-on-one time with other authors, as well as acquisition editors, publishers, agents, and representatives of so many aspects of the publishing world. Truly a great five-day adventure.

And, on top of it all, I was able to leave behind the icy blast of winter with negative temperatures. The airport windows were coated when I left, and for several days I got to enjoy the unseasonably warm temps of Florida – nearly 90 degrees there while in the teens (and below) at home!

That, in and of itself, is a blessing for this weather wimp! And, who wouldn’t love the hues of pink and blue and yellow that foreshadow an amazing sunrise over Lake Yale. Worth rising early, no doubt!

I’m not a newbie to such conferences, but the more I go, the more value I find in going. The networking is phenomenal. The relationships and contacts made are a huge boost to any writer’s career. And, as a lifetime learner, the skills I’m honing as I attend are invaluable. There’s just much to be said about stepping out in faith to attend any and all conferences you possibly can.

Exhausting? Yes, for sure!

Exhilarating? No doubt!

The conference staff always reminded us…we can sleep after we get back home, however, I think – instead – I have too much on my plate to DO after I get home. Agents have asked for submissions. Editors have asked for emails of introduction to pass along to others in their publishing house. There are proposals to update. Drafts to rewrite. Query letters to polish. So much to do, and only 24 hours in each day.

As I’m waiting for my flight (Orlando to Kansas City) I’m thinking I can just sleep when I die! Right?

Thankful, I am!

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