Donuts and Not-So Distant Memories
My daughter says I can’t blog about how busy I am anymore, so today I’m going to tell you that I am sitting here eating cream filled chocolate donuts with nothing else to do but reflect on the StoryMakers conference.
Shall I share a few highlights? Okay, I will.
When I arrived at the conference, I received my name badge which had several ribbons attached to it because I was on the conference committee, I was a presenter, on a panel, etc. etc., so there was a ribbon for each thing. It was quite an eyecatcher because of its sheer size. One lady came up to me and looked at the ribbons and said, "Whoa, you look like you know what you're doing." (Had her fooled, didn’t I!) But our own illustrious Kerry Blair took one look at them and said, "With all those ribbons, you could be the general of a small country."
Then Rob Well passed me in the hall and said, “oh good, you’re here. You’re the star of the opening ceremonies.” That made me nervous. I didn’t know what his twisted in a not-necessarily-evil type “master” mind had cooked up. But I went to the opening ceremony nonetheless and Rob had done a “History of StoryMakers,” which told how Rachel Nunes had come to America with nothing but a typewriter on her back, and her struggle to form StoryMakers. It was hilarious. Rob had me as the prim and proper Canadian ambassador of the group who was also the “moral backbone” with a secret. He exposed my secret nightlife as a not so prim and proper dancer--like a burlesque dancer or something. Not only did I have this secret, but apparently I also influenced others in the group to pose for swimsuit photos and to generally buck at all the rules. Rob, of course, had himself as the “eye candy,” and everyone got a big laugh out of that. It was a very funny presentation and one of the highlights of the conference.
I taught my class on “Self-Editing and Revision,” and how to create carnage and put it all back together. I thought it went well and I was very proud that my power point presentation worked even though the projector was acting up all day. I also sang "The Editing Hokey Pokey," in front of the entire class. That was an awesome and unforgettable moment. Haha. But everyone in my class had some great ideas, questions, and energy. I really enjoyed that.
Another highlight was the keynote speaker Dean Lorey. He had some amazing and funny experiences to share as a screenwriter, scriptwriter, and book writer. I think he is a talented man and I can’t wait to pick up his series, Nightmare Academy. If it has any of his wit and humor, I think I will enjoy it. He was so good-natured about Jeff Savage showing the picture of him wearing Stephenie Meyer’s prom dress for a charity event. He’s definitely had some unique experiences.
Seeing the winners of the First Chapter contest was wonderful, but seeing all the entrants reading their evaluations was satisfying, too, in the fact that I knew they’d gotten really good feedback from industry professionals and they would be helped on their writer’s journey. It was my own little personal highlight, just to see that and hope the best for them.
My book signing with Nancy Campbell Allen was another highlight. She is so funny and witty, and when Jeri Gilchrist came to the table, they were quite the duo. They’re just so much fun, I could have stayed there and just laughed along with them all evening.
Shanda and Hillary interviewed me for the LDS Women’s Book Review and totally made me feel at ease. They are two very classy ladies for sure.
Lisa Mangum was a joy to chat with at our lunch table. She even signed an ARC to me, “To Julie, the very best luncheon date I could ever have.” Love you Lisa! Can’t wait to start the book!
I could go on and on with all the fun times I had at the conference meeting up with old friends and making new ones, give thank yous to everyone who helped put it all together, and tell you all the things I learned in the breakout sessions (Jeff Savage’s character bible class was outstanding!), but I’m getting gooey chocolate all over my keyboard and it’s making a mess. I do want to give a special shout out and heartfelt thank you to my husband, though, who brought my baby to me every few hours so I could nurse her, and took time off of work so I could be at the conference. He is such an amazing support and I couldn’t do any of this without him. Love you!