The first day, I ran boot camp with the beautiful and smart Rebecca Talley. She's amazing to work with and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. She was the brains of the outfit - I'm just the tolerated sidekick. We had quite the adventure trying to check in, however - we piled up all our luggage on a cart and then learned that the cart we had chosen wouldn't fit in the elevator we needed. A very helpful employee showed us a secret passageway (sort of) that led from the big elevator to our rooms. It was most secret and mysterious, and it almost made us late for boot camp, but it's all good, right?
I wish I had a picture of Shirley Bahlmann helping me out at boot camp. We didn't have a microphone, and so I was standing on two chairs (one for each foot - Jaime Theler only needed one, but that's because she's skinny) so I could (presumably) be heard. When I looked down, I saw Shirley sitting on the floor holding on to those two chairs for dear life so they wouldn't slip out from under me. I always knew Shirley was a sweetheart, but now I know she'd risk her life to save mine.
That night, we went to dinner and ate marvelous Italian. Here I am (right) with Shanda Cottam and Carolyn Frank.
That night, I filmed some interviews with some of the talented authors of LDStorymakers, and I got to spend the entire evening being snarky with Terri Ferran. There's almost never enough time to be snarky with Terri, so spending the whole evening at it was way cool. (Keep your eyes on the Storymaker site for those interviews to be posted, probably edited for snark.)
Now, look at what the ever-incredible Erin Summerill did! I think this is one of the best pictures of me ever taken - she's so talented.
Tanya Parker Mills, LC Lewis, Pam Williams, me, Karen Dupaix, Deanna Henderson, Cindy Anderson, and Cindy Hogan.
Friday afternoon, I taught a class on setting up blogs, and live and in person, we set up this one for Elizabeth Hathenbruck. That was fun! Almost couldn't get on the Internet from the classroom, but one of the class participants got it going. Thanks, Jan! (AKA Lee Lindsey)
Friday night before dinner, we had a mass book signing. I got to sit with Aubrey Mace (left) and Don Carey (center). That was a lot of fun, especially throwing Don's paper airplanes across the aisle at Heather Moore.
Me at dinner on Friday night with the awesome Renae Mackley and amazing Melissa Cunningham.
Friday night was a fun get-together for Authors Incognito, the online support group for persons who have attended the conference in the past. This is a mighty large group of people, so I marked myself with an arrow. No way you'd see me otherwise. You couldn't ask for a more enthusiastic, supportive group of friends.
After that, I was interviewed for LDS Women's Book Review along with Christine Bryant, Danyelle Ferguson, Heather Justesen, and Karen Hoover. Shanda, our interviewer, was taken by surprise when she mistakenly believed I goosed her. Note that - mistakenly. This was after Karen ran around shooting everyone with her Nerf gun. And a good time was had by all.
Saturday, the merriment continued. I taught a class on what is expected within each genre. I was so determined to be on time to teach that I actually showed up early ... like, over an hour early ... and tried to steal Rachelle Christensen's class time. But a kindly person with a class schedule set me straight and I got out of that one without embarrassing myself too horribly. I mean, it's not like I'm going to post that on my blog or anything ... oh, wait ...
Right about this point, my body just plain gave out. It let out a little sigh and a zap of lightning, and out it went. The wonderfully kind Josi Kilpack hunted me up some ice packs, and the very gentlemanly Josh Perkey allowed me to make him my errand boy (which is completely different from my cabana boy, who is Jerry Borrowman - wait until the video is up on LDStorymakers. Then you'll understand). Thanks, most kindly persons!
Saturday night was amazing. The Whitney Awards gala brings together writers from everywhere to enjoy a nice meal, visit with each other, and celebrate the best in fiction written by LDS authors. This year, I was privileged to present the award for General Fiction with Danyelle Ferguson.
We were so excited to give the award to Annette Lyon for her novel, Band of Sisters.
Another awesome moment was meeting Susan Evans McCloud, who was there to receive a Lifetime Achievement award. I read her books over and over again as a young teenager, especially For Love of Ivy. That one was my favorite.
After the gala, I met up with my amazing critique group, who keeps me on track in so many ways.
L-R: Heather Justesen, Nichole Giles, me, Danyelle Ferguson, and Keith Fisher. Our sixth member, Kimberly Job, wasn't able to come to the conference. We're going to have to see what we can do about that next year.
And then, as Danyelle put it, "It's not really a conference without a little kissy action for Keith."
Here's the traditional "After the Whitneys All Dressed Up Picture with Don Carey."
And some serious fun with the ladies of Walnut Springs Press - L-R: Theresa Sneed, Betsy Love, LC Lewis, me, Amy Orton (who typesets, markets, and makes awesome covers), Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen, and Linda Mulleneaux, my amazing editor (who actually edits).
Us again, just standing in a slightly different order.
More pictures coming soon ... stay tuned for updates. I'll have a picture of me with Rebecca Talley, one of me with Annette Lyon where we can see her face, and all kinds of other awesome things!