I admit. I’m on information overload after a fantabulous trip to Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. I promised some fantastic writerly friends a post with pics. And while this post is neither a review nor rambling opinion, I hope it’ll give you a glimpse into my trek towards getting my book published. Or even looked at. 🙂
My trip to Mount Hermon in 2015 was sad. Anyone who knows me and my extrovert style would be shocked to know how q.u.i.e.t. I passed the five days. Yeah, I chatted with my friend and roomie, Hannah, but I had my own reasons to question why I had even attended.
When they offered a discount for an early bird registration for 2016, I plunked down my money because, for lack of a better reason, I just knew God wanted me to come back.
Fast forward a year. Two months before I leave, I decide to pitch everything from last year out of the proverbial window. I focused on a new story and prayed for a heart change.
Hannah and I began our journey on St. Patrick’s Day. When her Oldest Gal called, I was worried. Right up until I heard Hannah say, “No, I don’t have on any green. Oh wait, there’s some on my necklace.”
We yammered on and on. Stopped for lunch and some Disney store shopping. Back on the road, we swapped opinions, bounced story ideas and shared from our hearts. In fact, we talked so much that I nearly missed our turn off for Highway 17!
Heehee…I had a plan. My sweet friend Hannah loves the ocean. And while I couldn’t get a hotel anywhere close to “her” beaches, I chose a little dive across the sidewalk from the Pacific and right next to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
We walked on the beach, talking. Shocking, right? Me? Talk? Shhhh. Here’s our selfie! I pulled a Popeye.
I’d never been on the pier, so we were adventurous and walked to the verrrrrry end. Good thing because we found a little restaurant with a $10 shrimp and fries basket. If you see Hannah, ask her about the seagull. 🙂
The next day, we made our way to Mount Hermon. We are a bit geeky in the fact that we like to be there at 9, almost exactly. Like the old Mervyn’s commercials: open, open, open. The gracious front counter gave us our keys and off we went, up the steep hill to Sequoia 5. Here’s Hannah taking pictures. She took oodles of pictures.
Look at my new friend! Found him while making my bed. No, I did not release him back into the wild.
I had the privilege of meeting and having several classes and meals with Francine Rivers. She is truly a humble and phenomenal woman. I wasn’t stalking her, but ended up walking to and from places near her. This is the closest I got to being a lurker, because I loved her umbrella (on the right). I was too embarrassed to ask for a picture with her.
I took the mentoring track with Sarah Sundin. I adore her. She knew how to guide, encourage and push me. Here we are with Sandi Banks, also from our mentoring class. We totally forgot to have a class picture. (Sorry Libby and Mike!)
And I had inspiration! (and cute nail polish from my friend Amy!)
This is Marci Seither. Honest to goodness, she was someone I wanted to meet last year because she was always having fun. So I did it this year! I sat with her at lunch and was blessed to visit with her. She’s even coming up to Redding to host canning classes! I’ll keep you informed.
Joanne Bischof. This woman has blessed me in more ways than she knows. She and Amanda Dykes had a wonderful class this year on critique partners. If you haven’t read her latest book, To Get to You, get thee to Amazon. You can’t borrow mine…it’s signed.
Oh wait! Here’s Kara Swanson, Hannah, me and Joanne!
Say hi to Tara Johnson. She writes nonfiction and devotionals, but as you can see, we are totally cut from the same cloth.
This lovely lady is Leann Barna. She cracks me up. She had a night owl session about script reading. She encouraged writers to submit Christian screenplays because they are getting snapped up. I had the best time whenever I was near her. We have a few pictures together…like 20.
The fog descended on the last evening. It was enchanting. This is the pathway from the bookstore to the chapel, all lovely and glowing.
I came away refreshed. Made some great contacts and even better friends. I stretched myself personally and sat at tables where I knew no one. Handed out lots of business cards and collected even more. Stayed up until midnight every night with Hannah and “R,” my conference kid.
Hannah’s post from her perspective is here. She brought a Zelf. There may or may not be shenanigans involving Petal next year. I can’t promise anything because I don’t even know if I’ll remember by then.