Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Monday at almost noon and I'm STILL tired...

The writers conference I spoke at this past weekend (and that my whole family founded and runs) was wonderful!!! But, I walked too much, talked too much, and stayed up too late...so now I'm tired from it all. But it's a GOOD kind of tired!

A few quick thoughts from the conference...

* All of our speakers were so good and inspiring. Our keynote speakers were Gilbert Morris and Angela Hunt, both of whom are very successful, prolific novelists. Everyone really seemed to love them!

* I really do love to speak! One of my favorite things in the world to do is public speaking. I feel very comfortable in front of an audience and I always get a real "high" from teaching and encouraging other people.

* Writers are everywhere! This conference always reminds me of how many people out there write...how many people connect with their feelings and passions and experiences by writing it all down. I love that, and am encouraged by the fact that so many people are still moved by the written word (because it's very important to me).

* The kids in my family are unique and talented. I must be in one of the few families where all the kids--my daughters, my two nephews, so basically my parents' grandchildren!--are obsessed with writing and think having a writers conference in the family is such an exciting thing! My parents started this conference 18 years ago, before McKenna was born, and McKenna has been to EVERY conference until this year. She has always loved it and would sit in on talks and take notes and soak in all the information about writing. This year, Delaney was the same way. She took notes during Angela Hunt's talk on character development and is currently working on a novel. My two nephews (9 and 10) are both writers and Matthew has said that the conference is his favorite thing of the year, even better than holidays! And this year, Sydney just jumped right in too and got involved. She helped sell my books, sat in on workshops, and helped give away door prizes. The kids are quite the "celebrities" at the conference!

And a few quick pictures from the conference:

This photo cracked me up, because I was going around during one of the larger sessions and getting pictures of different groups of people. I stopped here and said, "Smile!" and Sydney comes running back in between these two ladies so she'd be in the picture too...

Here's my Mom talking to one of our speakers, Bucky Rosenbaum, who is the agent who sold A Purpose Driven Life..

A good overview picture of the entire crowd getting ready for one of the keynote addresses. We had around 160 in attendance this year...

Dad, me, Mom, and my brother Christopher...

And at the end of the conference, we had to pack all of our stuff up on carts and get them out to our car. By then, of course, Sydney was pooped and hopped a ride on the cart...

Once the attendees "recover" from the conference and return home, we often get emails and notes from them. One email we received this morning was especially gracious. The woman who sent it--a first-time attendee from Tennessee--said that our family's "love for others was evident." What a wonderful compliment to be given. (Don't you think that's about the BEST compliment you can be given?)

So....we are blessed by the experience every year, and I hope it's something that we get to experience still for years to come!

(I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend too, and I will be popping by your corners of the world soon!)

15 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

Looks like a great conference. I always come away from these thing re-energized to write.

Adrienne said...

Looks like you had a great time!

Leah said...

That's really cool that it's a big family affair!

Sheila said...

Glad you had a nice time.

Tracy Ruckman said...

Hey, Cheryl Wray! I didn't know you had a blog! Cool!

It was good to see you again Saturday. All of the workshops I attended were awesome - Ramona Richards, Susan Richardson, and Bucky Rosenbaum.

Angela Hunt was an inspiration! Precious woman.

Now that I know you have a blog, I'll be back. Come on over to my blog if you get a chance - we have challenging writing contests every week!

Cheryl Wray said...

Travis--I agree!! Conferences always get me all fired up and re-energized!

Adrienne--It was fun!

Leah--I love that about it!

Sheila--Thanks!

Tracy--Yay!!! So cool that you popped by. We were so thrilled with how the conference turned out, and the speakers were great! I will definitely pop by your blog.

hippochick said...

sounds absolutely wonderful!!!

~hippo hugs~
p.

Nina Diane said...

that's great Cheryl....sounds like ya'll had a good time

Patti_Cake said...

I was wondering if we were going to get a post from you today. Sounds like the conference was a rousing success! Congratulations!

Gin said...

Sounds like a great time, Cheryl. Love that last picture of Sydney. She is so preious.

Edleen said...

how fun! a writer's conference!
Sydney looks so cute :)

hope you had a good rest and have a great week ahead!

Katrin said...

I think i would've liked this conference, too. Looks like a huge success!! :)

NancyJones said...

Hey girl we are leaving in a bout an hour for the BIG BIRMINGHAM.. IM so nervous but ready to get the dr visit over with. IF you think you and Adrienne can meet up with me some time this afternoon or tomorrow gimme a shout! would love to check out yalls scrappin mania!

Dawn Bibbs said...

Wow, sounds like ya'll had a great conference and great out come of people. How cool for you and your family!

Jenster said...

Very cool! Looks like a wonderful conference. Gilbert Morris?? I LOVE his stuff!!