Storymakers--*sniff, sniff*. I want to go back RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW, DO YOU HEAR?
That was one of the best events I've ever gone to. It was life-changing. I'm already seeing a big difference in my writing, and in my mind and confidence as well.
I got to meet so many wonderful people I knew online, and some new friends: Kimberly, L.T. Elliot, DaNae, Dedee, Tristi, Annette, Elizabeth, Brillig, Kazzy, Sue, Terresa, Elizabeth, Aimee, Danyelle, Wendy, Keith, Don, Tobyn, and on and on.
I'll give you a brief overview. Sorry, no pics yet, they're in James' phone.
Thursday morning we left for the airport. Three of our children had Grandma stay with them, Bean came with us.
It was my first time on a commercial airplane, and I discovered one thing--I like mild turbulence. James thought I was a bit off my rocker because of it. I think the actual exchange went like this:
James: "You actually like this?"
Rebecca, noticing the mild bumpiness again now that James mentions it: "You mean the turbulence? Yeah!"
James: Shakes his head at his crazy wife.
Seeing the Rockies from the air was a spiritual experience, and I admit to shedding a few tears. I got some great pics of them too, all in James' phone.
Bean traveled well. We were supposed to have a mid-size car, but since Enterprise was out of mid-size cars due to BYU commencement, we got a free upgrade to a shiny, black Ford Expedition. It was nice, and by the time I got into the SUV for the last time before we returned it, I had figured out how to climb in gracefully. The other times? Not so pretty. My behind, showcased by the black door frame, must have made a lovely target.
The event on Thursday at Borders was so fun! I admit to being pretty nervous at meeting bloggers in Real Life, but they were all so lovely, friendly, and sweet, and I felt right at home.
The workshops at the conference were spectacular. I didn't enter any contests as I wanted to attend the most basic workshops to improve my skills first. Next year I plan to enter, though!
All the presenters and people in charge were incredible people and did amazing jobs! I thoroughly enjoyed the bit of visiting time I had with Annette Lyon, Julie Wright, Heather Moore, Candace Salima, Karen Hoover, and others. Julie was so sweet and encouraging to a young, aspiring author that it brought tears to our eyes. I'd bet that she doesn't know how much that must mean to the girl she was speaking with. James and I just watched the girl blossom while Julie was talking to her. Julie is an incredible example and I hope to get to talk with her again someday.
It was totally worth it to stay at the hotel. I ran up and downstairs so many times with Bean I lost count. James and I traded holding him, and Bean did really well.
He did so well, in fact, that while he was army-crawling around the hotel room on Friday, he disappeared around the corner leading to the bathroom. James went to check on him and I knew that the "oh no, Bean" that came out of his mouth could only mean one thing. I winced as I said "Is there blood?" because I already knew the answer. After hearing James' "Yes." I walked around the corner to find the words Red Rum drawn on the mirrored panel closet door in blood.
Well...ok, there were no actual words. But it did look like something small had been murdered there. Blood was all over the carpet, and Bean had been merrily playing on the mirror while his finger dripped, not even crying. He was only drawing in his blood, nothing to worry about, right?
I had to actually nurse him so he'd let me hold his finger to stop the bleeding. We figured that he must have slid his finger down the mirror panel at just the right place to slice it.
Bean was pretty wonderful through the workshops. We sat at the back of every one to enable a quick getaway, but he gave nary a peep until the very last workshop on Saturday, and at the closing ceremonies. He even fell asleep on Elizabeth Mueller's shoulder on Friday night at the Shaun Barrowes concert, and James and I got to dance. That was very romantic! Thanks again, Elizabeth!
We also got to visit with Shaun for quite a while. He is incredibly talented! We're hoping to work the details out for him to visit our hometown. He does musical concerts with high schools to promote the importance of music in schools.
When it was all over, I was so worn out both physically and emotionally, but I would have done it again in a heartbeat. I learned so much, and met so many wonderful people! It was very hard to leave the hotel.
Saturday night after conference was over, we went to Alpine to visit someone who was James' Teachers Quorum Adviser years ago. He and his wife are lovely people.
Sunday we went to Temple Square and the Church Museum, but only got to stay for 45 minutes or so before we had to leave for our flight.
Now, all I want to do is work on my book, so I'll leave you with some wise information: if you want a warm, melty Lindt 85% (I'm hardcore, plus it has much less sugar) dark chocolate bar, leave it by the side of your laptop where the fan is blowing. Gooey.