Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Five: 5 highlights from the ACFW conference

OK, I lied. Twice. And because I'm a terrible liar (and a Christian), I have to come clean.

LIE #1: A couple weeks ago I posted my first FRIDAY FIVE post. In it, I said (and I quote): "Every Friday, I'm going to post 'The Friday Five.' This "five" can be anything from 5 things I've learned this week to a writing-related list of 5 ways to bring your character to life. Anything goes! I hope you'll jump in on the fun."

Well, if you've been paying attention, you know I have NOT made a Friday Five post every week. In fact, this is only my second Friday Five post and it's a full 3 weeks after the first post.

LIE #2: In Tuesday's post, I said (and I quote):  "On Thursday, I'll post a few of the highlights of my trip."

Well, if you're paying attention, you know it's not Thursday. It's Friday. glad you all are Christians and will find it in your hearts to forgive me these travesties.

On to the FRIDAY FIVE (which I am now saying will be posted whenever I find the time instead of every week).


There were many memorable moments for me from this year's ACFW conference. But here are five things that really stand out:

1. THE ARCH. What an amazing structure: 630 feet high and 630 feet wide at the base, made of stainless steel, it takes about 4 minutes to travel to the top in the tram. We didn't go up, but even the view from underneath was awesome.

2. THE FOOD. I'm a simple girl, who likes simple things. Like normal scrambled eggs, bacon, cereal, bagel. This may be boring to some people, but hey, I'm not ashamed. I get that the Hyatt is a high-class hotel. I appreciate the fact that we were pampered and spoiled. But I have to admit, my favorite meal of all was probably the turkey sandwich and chips we had for lunch on Saturday. The popular food of the week was squash, of which I'm not a fan. But those who ate it said it was wonderful, so who am I to judge? Oh - and I will say that I enjoyed every single dessert. Go figure.

Breakfast quiche and mini potatoes

White and milk chocolate gala dessert

Our gala dinner. Can't really go wrong with chicken and green beans

3.  THE WORSHIP - There is one thing you'll find at an ACFW conference that you just can't find anywhere else (ok, more than one, but you know what I mean). The worship. After all, at the end of the day, no matter how many books we have published or how much money we make, it's all about HIM. The one who gives us the talent, the desire, and the drive to write. At the ACFW conference, God is always at the center instead of pushed to the sidelines...and that's what makes the conference so special.

Each day starts with worship, and there's also a Harp & Bowl session on Friday night for additional time of worship. This year, the focus was on healing. On Sunday, the ACFW Choir performed. And WOW. I know I wasn't the only one moved to tears. They were beyond incredible.

The ACFW Choir

Preparing for worship. Author Rachel Hauck and her band did an amazing job!

4.  THE FRIENDS - There's nothing like reconnecting - or connecting for the first time in person - with other writers. Especially those who have been in your critique group, have been praying with you in the Prayer Loop, is a part of your blogging team, or just writers you've clicked with online. So many hugs and squeals could be seen and heard throughout the hotel halls and conference lobby. Definitely one of the highlights of the week for me.

my Hartline friends

Teresa, Connie, and June

5. THE LAUGHS - Returning home, my face hurt from smiling so much over the previous few days. Seriously, I've never smiled and laughed so much. Just a few of the many "funnies" that come to mind:

  * Liz Curtis Higgs spilling coffee on her shirt and asking Karen Ball what country the stain most resembled. They decided on New Zealand.

  * Exiting the elevator and following a woman down the hall. When she headed straight to the area where my room was located, I thought she must be rooming next to me. Then I saw her put her KeyCard up to "my" door and realized...oops... I was on the wrong floor. But how strange that she had the "same" room, just one floor below me.

  * My flying buddy, Sandy, being honored with a random pat-down at the St. Louis airport on the way home.

  *My roommate Teresa trying to fix her camera, but not being able to read the "menu" prompts because everything was in German.

   *The rotating elephants on Gala night  (already explained in a previous post)

So there you have it. 5 highlights from the ACFW conference. Did you attend this year? I'd love to hear what stands out most for you!


Jessica R. Patch said...

I didn't get to go, but thanks for letting me live vicariously! What a great time! I did get to hear Liz Curtis Higgs speak at the WFTS conference and I laughed and cried, sometimes in unison. :)

Fun fun fun!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Sounds like you had an awesome time. Everyone look so thrilled to be there.

Have a great weekend.

Lynda Schab said...

I did, Michael. It was wonderful. Jessica, Liz Curtis Higgs is a stitch. Glad you had a chance to hear her speak.

Linda Glaz said...

While I have to admit to liking the food in Colorado two years ago, better, I have to say I loved the sweet and spicy squash soup. That was great. But oh, that coffee, that was real hair raising java! Most fun was spending time with friends.

Lauren F. Boyd said...

So glad you had an awesome time at the conference! What a great way to meet other writers, as well as industry professionals!

And thanks for your comment on my blog! It's great to see you!